5 Ways to Fake Discipline

I know I lack discipline…Do You?

Here are two quick examples:

1 – “Oh, it’s late. I shouldn’t go out, because I have to be up early tomorrow. Ok – I’ll be down in 5 minutes!” – Literal, story of my life.

2 – “Oh, I’m already a little full. I just ate. What, you want to get burgers? Ok – I’ll get a double bacon cheese burger!” – Literal, story of my life, part II.

What is this discipline you speak of?

As you can see, I’m not very good at saying no to things I like.

All I’ve done over the years is learn how to incorporate the best bad decisions into my life and into NOT listening to the “weakest part of me, at my weakest time.”

Beyond that, I suck at discipline.

To me, you can get away by not being as disciplined, as you think you need to be, if you set yourself up for success a majority of the time.

To do that, all you need to own are small moments of weakness. You own those 3-5 small moments per day, set up systems to support you otherwise, and you can make drastically good changes to your life.

For example, if you want to workout more, here’s an idea. This is seriously, super simple.

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Go to the gym…



You don’t have to work out every day, but you have to show up. Go there and change.

If you’re tired and feel like crap. Go to the gym and change into gym clothes.  If you still don’t feel like it. Leave.

Next day, you’re still tired. Go to the gym and change into gym clothes. If you feel like doing 5 minutes. Do 5 minutes and leave.

Next day, you have a ton of energy, it’s nice out and you want to grab a drink with friends. Go to the gym and change into gym clothes. Do 10 minutes and then go meet with friends.

Next day, you only have 10 minutes, but want to work out. Go to the gym and change. Do 5 minutes.

This isn’t discipline so much as setting yourself up for success.

And I bet, if you did that for 60 days, you would work out a ton more.

Simply show up!

As often as possible, show up.

Most success and what people confuse with discipline is simply showing up and being prepared. With that said, here are my 5 top strategies for “Faking Discipline.”

5 Ways to Increase “Fake Discipline”

1 – Learn to Have Fun

Hate working out? Then find workouts you enjoy and show up.

Go with friends. Use it as a time to yourself.

Just find a way to make it more enjoyable.

If it’s more enjoyable, you don’t need “discipline” for it.

Hate eating healthy? Find meals you can enjoy that are still congruent with your goals. Again, if you like a food, then it doesn’t require “discipline” to eat it.

2 – Find a Deeper Reason

Hate all types of working out? Then find ways that working out enhances your life.

Do you have more energy and feel better afterwards? Do you feel like a super-hero afterwards?

Use those reasons and show up.

The problem is most people rely on motivation, which feels good and people think they need motivation to make a change. You don’t.

If you did, most of you wouldn’t have shown up to work today. I doubt most of you were like, “YES! I’m going to work today…I’m so motivated.”

And sure, getting paid is nice, but that’s not motivation. That’s a reason.

Motivations are fickle and based on how you feel, whereas reasons are more stable and logical.

So find a reason to workout and show up. Again, you don’t think about going to work, because you have a reason to. Use that same logic with working out.

3 – Try a different strategy

I used to want to write more, but if I try to write at home, I would sleep or watch TV or read a book, or cook and then sleep. In other words, I did everything but write at home.

Guess what? I stopped trying to write at home.

I didn’t beat myself up for being lazy or not writing. I just changed the strategy and problem solved.

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Yet, I see clients doing this all the time.

They hate chicken and broccoli and yet they try and eat chicken and broccoli every day.

Then they wonder why they want sweets and consciously decide to eat all these other foods that don’t help with their goals.

Want to know the solution? Stop eating chicken and broccoli.

Try nearly any other protein and vegetable combination (even starchy vegetables). You can have turkey, beef, salmon, tilapia, pork, eggs, protein powder, tuna, bison, mixed with any other vegetable including sweet potatoes. It’s ok, you’ll live and still see results.

??Sometimes, all you need is to stop doing something you hate and replace it with something you can tolerate.

4 – Don’t listen to your weakest self

When’s the weakest point in the day for you?

In the last example, I said, I used to want to write more, but couldn’t at home. So I switched it up.

My next issue I had was working 14+ hour days when I wasn’t going to be home. This meant lugging a laptop for 14+ hours, where I was only going to use it for less than an hour.

Knowing this was a mental struggle, especially in the morning, when I could find any excuse to not carry my laptop with me.

What did I do?

I always had my laptop packed in my bookbag and there was only one rule in the morning: I had to take my bookbag. I couldn’t listen to that weakest self say, “You’re running late and the bookbag will slow you down. Leave it (in a sinister voice).”

Those few times I did leave the bookbag, I always regretted it. Every time.

What about you?

What’s your weakest self, when it comes to eating healthy?

Is it late at night when your weakest self comes out?

If so, find a different strategy. At night, instead of going for more sweets, eat a large, healthy dinner with a lot of protein, veggies and some carbs. Get rid of the physiological urge to eat and then aim to go to bed earlier. Urges magically disappear when you’re sleeping.

Or does your weakest self come out when you’re out with friends on the weekends?

If this is the case, make whatever you eat worth it.

Want that piece of cake? Make sure it’s delicious enough to justify eating. Want all that alcohol? Eat healthy the rest of the week. Make sure you ate beforehand and don’t eat a lot of bad foods after you drink – I know, much easier said than done.

And if you do, simply pick yourself back up and eat healthy afterwards.  Don’t let it become a cycle.

What about when it comes to working out?

When do you skip planned workouts?

Is it when you’re busy at work? Is it when you’ve gotten bad sleep? Is it because you’re tired overall, or tired in that moment? Is there something you can do to change it and simply show up?

Remember, the key is to NOT listen to that weakest self. It’s a liar and a seductress. You don’t need that person in your life. So don’t listen to it.

Remember, show up and change. That’s all.

5 – Know your triggers

What are your triggers?

Are their certain foods, you have no self-control around? If so, don’t put yourself in situations where you need to exert lots of discipline. Here are my two biggest triggers.

Trigger # 1 – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

I can’t stop eating Reese’s chocolate peanut butter cups – it’s an obsession and full on binging whenever they’re around. When they’ve been given to me as gifts, I’ve either ate them all or ended up throwing them out, because I know I can’t stop. CAN’T…..

So I throw them out.

Trigger #2 – Being Exhausted

If I’m exhausted, I have no desire to go to the gym.

No matter, when I’m there, trying to move heavy ass weight.

You know what I do though?

And this may come as a surprise for you…but I show up.

And then do something that’s mentally, much easier. I foam roll and do something I enjoy. If I don’t gain any energy, I leave. Most of the time, by that point, I feel a bit better and do other things that I enjoy doing that day.

Aka, I learn to have fun on the days I feel miserable.

Bottom Line

Showing up will always be more effective than lying to yourself and saying you’ll start tomorrow.

Changing strategies to either find deeper reasons for something that adds to your life or just stop doing things you don’t like, makes it look like you have a lot of discipline, when all you have are good strategies.

Therefore, if you do show up, do something you enjoy, so that you have a reason to show up the next day. Don’t do something you hate on a day when you’re already winning by showing up.

The 5 strategies above will make it look like you have more discipline than you actually do.

Steal them and use them to do the same…and learn to have more fun with it.

Because seriously, what’s the point if you’re not going to have fun with it?


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