By LEE LABRADA Iron Man MagazineWhether you’re an elite bodybuilder or a couch potato, you have the same amount of self-discipline.What would you say if I told you that your level of discipline might not be quite up to snuff when it comes to building a lean and muscular body? Before you answer, consider this: Whether you’re an elite bodybuilder or a couch potato, you have the same amount of self-discipline.
How is that possible? The difference lies in which habits you’re disciplined to.
Elite bodybuilders are disciplined to working out regularly, eating frequent and nutritionally dense meals, taking quality supplements and getting plenty of rest. All of those habits propel them toward their goal of gaining muscle and losing fat. On the other hand, couch potatoes are disciplined toward their habits of watching endless hours of TV and stuffing down as much junk food as their artery-plugged hearts desire.
My point is this: We are all already disciplined to our current habits. The real breakthrough comes when we can alter our habits to push us toward our goals.
The first step is to set a specific goal. Question: Right this second do you know what your current physique goal is? If not, how are you ever supposed to attain it?
So here’s the first part of your weekly “assignment.”
1) Write down your specific physique goal and the date it will be accomplished by.
I will gain five pounds of muscle and lose five pounds of fat by—let’s say July 1.
(Grab a pen and paper and actually do this. You want results, don’t you?)
2) Next, identify and write down four of your “bad” habits that are keeping you from your physique goal.
• Skipping meals because I don’t take the time to prepare healthy meals during the week.
• Hitting the snooze button on the alarm clock in the morning until it’s too late for me to get in my morning workout.
• Forgetting to take my supplements at the correct times during the day.
• Robbing my body of sleep by staying up late watching the boob tube and/or surfing the Net. (Could that have something to do with the snooze-button problem?)
3) Now it’s time to replace the bad habits with good ones by identifying and writing down four new habits.
• Spend one hour on Wednesday and Sunday nights preparing healthful meals to eat during the week. (Try freezing meals in advance.)
• Be asleep by 10 p.m. each night so I can get the rest I need to recuperate from my workouts.
• Skip hitting the snooze button so I can make my workout before work each morning.
• Create a supplement schedule so I can “check-off” each time I take my supplements.
4) Once you have completed writing down your new habits, hang them somewhere where you can read them every day. (Otherwise you will slip back into your old habits in a day or two.)
You will experience tremendous resistance—from yourself!—when trying to develop your new habits.
It’s not easy. Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with. Bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with. Remember that successful people do things that unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do.
It will take you one month to form a new habit, but once it’s ingrained, it will feel more uncomfortable not doing the activity than doing it.
Remember how uncomfortable it was when you first started working out with weights—but the discomfort soon turned into pleasure when you started becoming stronger and more muscular? Believe me, the same thing happens when you stick with new habits!
Start your new habit list now, and make the commitment to those habits that will pay you in rich dividends for years to come.