It's interesting how things that are bad for us are almost always instantly gratifying – boozing; lying around on the couch; eating fatty, sugary, fried food – while everything with real positive effects takes longer to appreciate. It takes a week or more to start feeling the benefits of not eating flour or sugar or adopting a new fitness regimen or curbing the digital distractions in your life. (In fact, you'll probably feel worse before you feel better.) The key is not to give up just because you're not seeing immediate changes. Eventually, though, the results become your motivation. All the good results will be compounded: You sleep better, you eat better, you start seeing tangible results – I improved my time or ran farther or lifted more or lost some weight – and the self-discipline increases.
Credit: Thomas Barwick / Getty Images
The 2014 Adventure Issue
From Iceland's Highway 1 to Utah's Canyonlands, an epic itinerary for modern explorers.
Plus: Building a Bigger Action Hero
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Duke Lacrosse and the Fog of Scandal
How Thailand's Most Notorious Prison Became a Fight Club
Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.