Silence that inner voice telling you to take the easy way out

A key part of establishing good discipline is learning to silence the inner-dialogue that can try to talk you out of doing the right thing when it’s hard. The best way to silence that inner voice telling you that it’s okay if you skip the gym — or it’s okay if you indulge in that food, just a little? Don’t give it any airtime!

You go to your job most days because you’re a grown up who wants a paycheck — not because you don’t have anything better to do. You eat healthy and go to the gym each day because you’re a grown up who wants to be healthy and live a long time — not because you want to be there, or you don’t want to eat junk food. And yet, always, there’s an inner voice telling you that you ought to take the easy route. So why is it easier to silence the inner voice for things like “You should skip work today and do something fun instead”, versus “you should skip the gym today and eat donuts!”.

The answer? One has immediate consequences, while the other has long-term consequences.

This morning I sat in my car, in the gym parking lot, for 10 minutes trying to convince myself that I wanted to go inside. (I didn’t). In those moments, it’s easy to forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s easy to convince yourself that the result you’re after isn’t worth the effort. It’s EASY.

What forced me to get out of my car? I focused on what I would feel like if I didn’t….. How would the rest of my day go if I gave up on a commitment I had made to myself? How would I feel if I gave up on what I wanted, in exchange for what was easy? I was looking for motivation, when I should have been reminding myself that I didn’t need motivation — I only needed discipline. I never should have given myself the chance to talk myself out of it.

Just do it. Don’t ask questions. Don’t pause. Don’t hesitate. Don’t even give that inner dialogue 10 seconds of airtime. JUST START DOING IT. Choose what you want MOST instead of what you want NOW.

10 minutes into my workout I’d forgotten all about that. As soon as my heart-rate was up, I was back in the zone — and when it was over I felt great. I was able to get on with my day without feeling like I let myself down.

The strange thing is that I go to the gym 5 days a week. Every morning. Period. But some days are still harder than others. That inner voice will never stop trying to convince you to take the easy route. Your job, as an adult, is to figure out how to silence it so you can accomplish your goals.

Remember, weight loss and fitness are transactional. You will get out of it EXACTLY and ONLY what you put into it. There are no shortcuts.