Disciplinary punishment

Disziplin und Strafe

I introduced some kind of disciplinary punishment for myself a few weeks ago. Whenever I am unable to sustain the willpower to hold onto something that I have set out to do, the bar is raised significantly for the day ahead. Example: Yesterday, an hour of cycling was on the plan as a sports program. Since we had made an appointment with the vet for our cocatoo Dexter in the morning, it was foreseeable that I would be short of time in the afternoon. Nevertheless, I ignored the vet appointment, which meant that I was only able to do 45 minutes of exercise instead of the planned 60 minutes. For today, that meant in concrete terms that the 6K run that was due in the morning had to be either faster or longer than usual. The end result was a new personal best.

Consequences help you stick with it

In my experience, you are not always able to discipline yourself to hook up to everything that you have set out to do. Some days are stressful, you are less organized than you thought or you just slept badly and that’s okay because it’s human. But I found it somehow insufficient to say to myself “It’s okay. Tomorrow it will be better”. Even if you have probably said that 1000 times to yourself or someone else, I think that you can quickly get going in this way, because you create a scenario in which there is simply no consequence. By imposing even more of what you have set out to do for the next day, you think one time or the other whether you really can’t go through with it today.