February Life Skill of the Month – Self Discipline

Road to Rio: Vera Schmitz from Megan Cody on Vimeo.


Self DeciplineElite US pole vaulter, 2012 Olympic Trials competitor and 3 time NCAA All-American, Vera (Neuenswander) Schmitz kicked off the monthly HALO staff meeting by sharing her ideas on “Self Discipline”.

Vera gave insides in her life as a professional athlete and told us how a positive mindset is essential for her in order to reach her full potential. Surprisingly, she defined self discipline as “training the mind”. According to Vera it’s much more valuable to stop telling yourself that you are wired a certain way and to break a cycle of bad habits, than just being in an excellent physical condition. Nothing that’s worth working for is easy to achieve. This is Vera’s step by step guideline to achieve greater self discipline:

  1. Identify the problem: Listen to reoccurring feedback (e.g. “You always worry so much.”)
  2. Be open for an intake:  Which bad habit do you want to break because it stops you from achieving greater things? Don’t be afraid to ask the people close to you. Don’t be afraid to get help.
  3. Come up with a statement: E.g. “I’m a woman, who worries too much, but I’m going to break this habit.”
  4. Mindfulness: Be conscious about what’s going on in your mind. If you catch yourself worrying about something, thinking about eating junk food or smoking a cigarette, give yourself 60 seconds to stop that pattern. 60 seconds. If you don’t stop after that minute, you’ll most likely continue that bad habit. So use those 60 seconds to break with your bad habit.

And most importantly: Don’t forget to reward yourself. You like to get a good coffee every once in a while? Use this to review how you’ve been doing in the past few days or weeks. Has your strategy been working for you or do you need to change it? You’ve had some breakthroughs? Celebrate them!

As we celebrated our 10 year anniversary last year and set ourselves up to achieve even more this year, we are highly inspired by Vera’s ideas on self discipline. We are ready to strengthen our mind and come out with an even greater impact in 2016. HALO is #JustGettingStarted