Cut the Calories, Add the Self Discipline

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / September 30, 2013


When I was 13 years old I was chubby.

I hated it.

So I did what any stubborn teen would do I cut out all desserts for one entire year. I’m talking about everything, no birthday cake, no occasional ice cream cone, no mint after dinner. NOTHING.

Why did I take such a drastic measure?

Because when we let something control us we need to take dramatic measures to stomp it out. I knew what was holding me back from feeling good about myself and I wanted to obliterate it. Not just beat it for a while for it to come back later, I knew where my weakness was and I wanted it gone. Now would I recommend doing this for the rest of my life? No. That wouldn’t be sustainable and ultimately would be unhealthy.

However, I do think there is something to be said for understanding a huge obstacle we have and then developing a plan to kill it. Forever. Once you overcome an obstacle you realize how much control you have over yourself and your environment and that control can translate to other areas of your life. Once you understand you have more power over yourself and your circumstances it opens up a whole new world view.

So this story isn’t merely about me being successful in conquering my weakness, it is about finding your dessert? What is the one major thing that is keeping you from taking the next step in your life? I don’t know what it is, but you do, and here is how to defeat it.

Identify your dessert. This is the simplest step.

We’ve already discussed it but I would guess you knew what your dessert was as soon as you started reading this article. Develop a game plan. My game plan was straightforward, No desserts for one year, NO EXCEPTIONS! I like to write a “plan statement” with specific points to accomplish the plan. Your game plan shouldn’t be overly complicated and should be something you remember and is visible to you often. Your game plan should be easy to explain to someone and it should be easy to observe if you succeeded or not.

Below is an example:


My lack of meeting new clients is holding my business back.

Plan Statement:

For the next six months I will go to 3 relevant networking events each month and make 10 new contacts at each meeting.

  • Schedule networking events to go to
  • Attend networking events
  • Bring home at least 10 new contacts information
  • Follow up with each new contact within 48 hours

Let others know about your plan.

All my family knew what I was trying to do. If I had tried to snarf a cupcake down I would have taken some heat

Be open with those you are accountable to.

Ask them to check up with you weekly, daily, or as often as you need.

 Follow the plan. Relentlessly.

When I was following my plan I had many opportunities to let go and enjoy “just one” dessert. But I soon realized that if I had given in, just once, I would be letting myself down and proving to myself that I could not follow through. And that failure would haunt me forever. I also realized that as I continued my plan it became easier and easier to say no to the desserts each day because I was starting to see the results  I wanted. (affirmation baby).  Celebrate. Once you accomplish your goal it is time to party! Seriously, celebrate. You have defeated a foe and more importantly gained an invaluable ally. Yourself.
So what is it going to be? I can promise you it will be hard to give up whatever vice, habit, person, or destructive behavior is holding you back. It will be painful to go cold turkey. But I can promise you it will be worth it. When I look back at the year I went without dessert I realize those skills have translated to every aspect of my life. And you know what? I’m really not that hungry for dessert anymore.

Written by Matthew King

“I believe everyone has the responsibility to create beauty, share  ideas, and inspire others to action. I am passionate about creating and  sharing ideas about leadership and the evolution of today’s work  environment, as well as helping others create a lifestyle they love and  NOT just a career. I invite you to join me as I explore and share my  passions, and hopefully, along the way assist you in finding yours.”

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About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.