Six Steps to Becoming More Self-Disciplined
Discipline is the bridge between your goals and accomplishments.
Discipline, willpower, self-control – Whatever you call it, self-discipline is difficult for many people. Some days you think you simply don’t have it in you to make those 10 cold calls, and other days it seems much easier to drive by the gym than to go in and do a work out.
Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure. So, how do you become more self-disciplined?
These are not tasks to cross off as “completed”; instead, they are principles to use to guide your daily life.
1. Pace Yourself – Sometimes we have so much to do, we feel overwhelmed. For example, look at your business plan for the entire year. If it looks like an impossible undertaking, you might be tempted to give it a half-hearted effort. After all, it won’t work anyway, so why try, right? If approaching a project on the global scale intimidates you, don’t let it. Instead, take it one day, or if necessary, one hour at a time.
2. Organize – When lacking willpower, any minor setback will completely derail your efforts. So plan your day and then you won’t waste time or become discouraged. Make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish. Review the list and be realistic about what you can and will do. As you evaluate the tasks, look for any entries that are what you want to do, rather than what you need to do.
3. Be Honest – Self-discipline is powered by motivation; therefore, be honest about what motivates you. If its money, admit it and don’t think you need to apologize. If the admiration of others keeps you going, embrace that and use it to propel you even further
4. Be Flexible – Continually re-evaluate your list of tasks and do them because they are the right things to do, not because you might feel like a failure if you don’t complete a task on your list. Too many times we fall into a routine of doing things simply because it’s what we’ve always done, without examining if the reasons why we did them are still valid. Our goals and visions continually change, so our responsibilities might need to as well. If you lack willpower or self-discipline, it might be because you are trying to do something no longer in line with your goals and beliefs.
5. Take Responsibility – As you work toward your goals, be mindful of your effect on others. Take responsibility for your actions and, if necessary, apologize or change your behaviour. If left unresolved, a sour experience will become much bigger than the original event. Handle it now, and it won’t require a lot of willpower or discipline in the future.
6. Reward Yourself – Being self-disciplined is hard. You deserve credit for doing things you don’t want to do, or don’t feel like doing right now. Give yourself praise and a reward when you accomplish tasks. Don’t wait for others to notice, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!
You may also like to consider some of my recent tweets on Discipline.
Ultimately the price of excellence is discipline.