|05-04-2010, 04:10 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
Life Tune-up / Self-discipline
For a computer, there are many applications out there that will run a battery of tests and then based on these test results the application will make a series of adjustments. The end result is usually that the computer runs much better than it did before.
I am curious as to whether there is a similar procedure that can be done for a human. I know that there are batteries of health related test that a medical doctor can do. I know that there are tests that psychiatrists like to give people to determine which drugs to hop them up on. I have already done both of these. The medical doctor said that I should lose weight, exercise regularly and eat a more balanced diet. The psych said that I had a dysfunctional upbringing and offered no solution other than pursuing a more realistic dream.
Given those recommendations, I am not doing any of them. I have gained weight, exercise in random bursts, eat an awful diet of cheap unhealthy food, and am still pursuing my "unrealistic" dream of becoming a electrical/computer engineer.
I can introspect to come up with my own explanations for this. I have gained weight because of my diet/exercise routines. My diet is awful because I am too lazy to create healthy meals from scratch. My exercise routine is non-existent because I dislike the sensation of burning muscles, a pounding heart and headaches/dizziness. I am still attempting to get my degree in computer engineering because I still believe that it would be the most interesting, socially significant and financially rewarding career path available to me. Even so, I am now facing my second academic drop from my university due to awful grades.
Based on that analysis, it seems that I need to improve my self-discipline and do lower intensity work outs on a regular basis which ties itself back into the self-discipline issue.
The only problem is that self discipline doesn't fix itself. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." I bought a book based on recommendations here, Self Discipline in 10 Days, or something like that. The unpleasant comedy of this is that I haven't got around to finishing the book. Why not? I came to this part where they asked us to get out a piece of paper and write down all the reasons that we want to improve our self-discipline and I was too lazy to do it. Yeah, awful, I know.
So what gives? I'm nearly 30 years old now, haven't finished my bachelor's degree after being in school for going on 10 years, am almost 100 lbs overweight and it's getting worse rather than better. The only answer that I can come to is to "just do it" but for some reason that's REALLY HARD! It's disheartening and I'm letting everyone close to me down. I'm just about out of ideas here. I would go grab that yellow self-discipline book and just force myself to read it but I've got an exam to cram for. There's always something... ugh.
Any thoughts/revelations would be much appreciated.
|05-04-2010, 06:14 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2010
I don't know about such a battery of tests for a human being, but I would sure be interested if anybody knew of one.
However, your comment about disliking the sensation of burning muscles etc. reminded me of a blog post I read recently. The overall jist of it was that without some discomfort, you're not going to grow, or at least nowhere near as much as if you were growing from experience with uncomfortable situations. If you want to take a look at the blog post, it's available here at Stepcase Lifehack.
However, if you'd rather go by the path of least resistance, then take a look at the first point in Steve's post "Cultivating Burning Desire" which details on how one man made it easier for him to quit smoking by making quitting the path of least resistance as opposed to the normal path of least resistance which would be to not bother. Why not try making yourself an accountability thread or perhaps something more suited to your specific situation? What about using accountability to force yourself to read the self dicipline book?
I think that's all I've got for now, but if I think of anything new, I'll be back.
I hope this helps.
|05-04-2010, 07:06 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
I don't have all the answers yet myself, but here's my take. If you believe that your dream is "unrealistic", you will have trouble moving forward. So either change your belief about it, or change your dream.
Exercising, changing diet, at keeping up in a difficult degree program is a lot to change all at once. As Steve has suggested in the past, exercise is the first place to start. And take it easy at the beginning. Don't compare yourself to athletes. You can always start by walking.
I've found this article to be helpful as well:
A Question on Procrastination Send Sandra to CGW
ps. I'm a fan of the yellow book myself, but if it's not working for you, that's what matters. Find something else.
|05-05-2010, 04:00 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2009
A few random suggestions for you:
Once you've decided on an exercise plan, make it foolproof and non-negotiable. Like brushing your teeth. I did this with jogging in the morning and lifting weights on my lunch hour. I bought a rain poncho and jogged every morning, rain, sleet, snow, whatever. I did not allow myself to make excuses or change my mind. I just made it as mandatory AND AS NEUTRAL as brushing my teeth and taking a shower. (You don't hate these tasks, or enjoy them either, you just do them automatically.) When I got up in the morning I would get right into my sweats and sneex and hit the pavement. I did not allow myself to debate about it. At 1 o'clock, I would stop what I was doing, get up and go to the gym, like a robot on cue. I did not allow myself to decide each day if I really felt like it. The decision was permanent. There are days when it's easy. There are days when it stinks. But after awhile of doing it consistently, it becomes a habit and you stop agonizing over it. Again, having a friend to do it with is ideal.
As for food, how about trying Nutrisystem or buy a bunch of Lean Cuisines and stock your fridge with fruits and veggies, pre-mixed salads. You can also make easy meals in a crockpot.
You also need continuing support and encouragement. Consider getting a new psychologist/counselor to keep you on track and bounce around more ideas.
|05-05-2010, 07:19 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2009
If youre almost 30 and haven't developed any self discipline you better do something quickly. In my experience self disicpline is one of the most powerful tool for change there is. As steve said
"self discipline shreds problems"
finish that book!
|05-06-2010, 09:26 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2009
How about a daily power hour where you only need to 'achieve' anything for 60 minutes. Use a timer. Don't get sidetracked.
Get dressed, walking shoes ready to put on quickly.
Have your reading book, your study materials close at hand.
Have paper, pencil or pens.
If you want a healthy snack at the start, prep it before the timer goes on!
START WITH 20 MINS OF PHYSICAL ACTION:
Drink a glass of water (200ml, half pint). Eat a piece of fruit or SMALL healthy snack that doesn't require any preparation (unless you prep it before your hour starts).
10 mins - housework (make bed - smooth it only no hospital corners, put dirty plates, cups in kitchen, scrub toilet, put all clothes/shoes away). A basically tidy house can help lift mood no end. Stop after 10 minutes no matter how much is not yet done.
10 mins walk - put on shoes, leave home, walk as briskly as you can for 5 minutes, turn round and come back. That's a bit of exercise which if you did it on 6 days would add up to 1 hour of cardio a week. Can also help you feel better.
Take a glass of water when you return. Make yourself a coffee or tea or whatever you like to accompany your 'thinking time'.
NEXT 10 MINUTES OF 'OPERATIONAL PLANNING' (the next 24 hours)
1 min - Plan out in your book 5 mins worth of reading. Mark it with bookmarks or postit notes. (Good psychological markers if you are struggling with a book!)
3 min- Plan out your meals for the next 24 hours - what are you going to eat, when are you going to eat it - what do you need to buy? when are you going to buy it? (Use frozen veg to improve the nutritional content of whatever rubbish you normally eat - a few minutes in the microwave is all it needs).
3 min -Plan out one study objective for the day that only takes 15 minutes (eg pick one point you're not clear on and decide to master it). What resources will you use to do it?
2 mins - Quick finances check - what did I spend in the last 24 hours, what do I need in the next few days?
Take Another glass of water now.
OK 25 minutes left (allowing a bit of flex between activities and a PNB)
20 MINUTES MENTAL ACTION
5 minutes Do the reading.
15 minutes Do the Study Point - stop after 15 minutes whether you have it or not.
LAST 5 MINUTES
5 minutes Get a paper and pencil and do some free form thinking about what you want in life and why - what do you want out of the next week? month? quarter? year? Is there an 'elephant' in your mind - something that needs to come out but you are trying to block it?
OK - end of your hour.
Another glass of water.
Put your shoes back on and go for another walk - more leisurely this time - 15 minutes one way, then come back. This will help consolidate what you have just achieved and maybe your sub-conscious will bubble up some stuff.
Another glass of water.
If you did this 6 days a week you would have done:
1 hour housework
1 hour fast walking
3 hours slower walking
1 hour operational planning including reading, studying, meals, finances
30 mins reading
1.5 hours studying specifically focused on 6 'study points'
30 mins reviewing what you want from life.
6 litres of water (dehydration can cause many symptoms of lethargy, hunger and so on)
Remember, do everything in this 'hour' (or hour and a half if you want to be picky) with a timer and stop the activity when the timer goes off and start the next one! Using a timer for short bursts can help keep you focused and not get sidetracked.
Last edited by CoolBee; 05-06-2010 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Add advance prep
|05-06-2010, 11:27 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
I was just thinking that self discipline should be known as "resistance to discomfort" because that is what it really is. Of course by discomfort I mean things that are not always directly enjoyable but have enjoyable side effects.
One way I build resistance to discomfort is through daily cold showers. Start with warm water to do the basic washing then after you're clean acclimatise to the room temperature then turn the water to cold and just go for it. At first you may chicken out or it may take a while to psyche your self up for it but after a while you will build up the self discipline to know that you are going to do it regardless so it is pointless hesitating.
Also it shocks your system that energises you and causes blood to be released from your capillaries. This makes me feel nice and warm when I get out. I have noticed that it enhances your bodies ability to adapt to cold weather quickly and I find that it makes me feel great because I had the courage and self discipline to follow through with it.
Then because I find it a simple and somewhat fundamental act (everyone can relate to the cold) then I am able to use it as a guide for other parts of my life e.g If I have the self discipline and courage to take cold showers I can sure as hell do something else that I may otherwise have been put off by.
|05-06-2010, 01:25 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2009
|05-06-2010, 01:46 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mexico City
As for exercise...
I hate getting sweaty as well.. burning muscles.. pfff I don't even get that far
What I do, is going for walks, swimming and pilates.
Pilates only in so far as I can actually do it, cause it is pretty heavy, but slowely and surely I'll get better at it.
Swimming doesn't make you sweat.. or if it does, at least you don't notice cause you're in the water already anyway I don't swim fast.. Just very calmly, slowly enjoying the water.
That helps getting some exercise
Edit: oh, thank you Zach!!! Very nice of you to link to my article !!!
|05-07-2010, 09:20 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
How can you not enjoy the sweat and burning muscles of exercise. To me aside from the secondary benefits they are the best bits of exercising. I enjoy the feeling of pushing myself especially when it is to total exhaustion like with sprinting. I find it empowering and liberating like a form of release.
|05-11-2010, 03:11 PM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2010
Honestly, I don't wanna be a hyprocrite and say that I'm the most self-disciplined person... I am lazy most of the time, especially when you talk about exercise. But the only thing that keeps me move about and do something or anything productive is the thought of what the "future" lies if I keep on doing these things. You said yourself you have dreams of becoming an engineer and you still dream of becoming one, then how would you achieve that if there's no real effort from you. You know how your family feels about it and it sucks to think that before other people might think you're hopeless, you're already doing that to yourself by being lazy. A few years from now, picture yourself...what would I become of if I continue these habits? I do that, and it gets me motivated, especially after having a family and children of my own..believe me, you need to move your butt on. I hope I made sense.
|05-11-2010, 08:43 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2009
Procrastinations and overweightness are not the results of lack of "doership" or bad diet.
They all are results of inner energy misalignment.
Simply said - you making yourself feel emotionally bad and then cover inner pain with tasty foods and laziness. And bad diets and laziness are not the causes - they are consequences.
If you force yourself to change diet without getting in habit of feeling good first - you'll be spinning wheels.
If you force yourself out of procrastination and to "do the crap" you need to do without aligning your energy first - you'll be struggling and result of your doership will be more struggle.
|academia, health and fitness, self-discipline, weight loss|
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