“I think self-discipline is something; it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.” Daniel Goldstein
Lack of self-discipline can lead to failure, frustration, unhappiness and underachievement. How many times have you heard yourself saying – I need to lose weight, I need to make more money, I need to get a better job, I need a vacation, I need to start exercising, I need, I need, I need…and the list goes on and on and on. And how many times have you told yourself, I’ll start tomorrow? We all know tomorrow never comes; it’s an illusion as the next day is now today.
Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.
Maybe you do get started, but the follow through fails miserably. Here are a few keys to exercising self-discipline that you can start using right now to produce better results in your life.
Forgo immediate gratification for a large but delayed reward. Do you want that new sports car or that house you’ve been driving by daily and dreaming of every night? Every time you go to spend money, think, “Is this getting me to my reward, do I need it?” Instead, put the money you would have expended in a savings account. As you practice this technique, you will start seeing many ways you can save money. The same method can be used for other actions as well. Want to lose weight, before you go out to eat, open the refrigerator, visit the fast food drive-thru, or drink that sugary or alcoholic drink, ask yourself, “Is this getting me to my reward, do I need it?”
It’s easier to avoid temptation than resist temptation. Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t go to that expensive restaurant if you are trying to save money. Instead, enjoy a picnic in the park, relax in nature and breathe in the fresh air. Don’t buy that bag of potato chips that you know you’ll eat in one sitting. Don’t go to the bar telling yourself you’ll just stay for one drink. You know if you are out with friends, having fun, one drink will turn into how many? Don’t sit down in that chair and tell yourself I’m just going to watch one show; that turns into 3 hours of mindless television. If you are trying to quit smoking, avoid places people go to smoke. You get the message.
Decide what it is you want, the outcome, and then only focus on the actions. Make a plan. Develop action steps to get you from start to finish. Write it down. Post it on a whiteboard where you see it every day. Read it every day. Take action every day, even if its just one phone call to obtain information. Set deadlines for every step. Cross off each action step as you complete it. You will create momentum and feel satisfaction when you get to mark things out. Go for it!
Surround yourself with winners and stop trying to do it alone. Your environment creates your reality. Decide who you want to be like and then find those people. Attend conferences in topics you want to master, set up a mastery support team. I have financial, nutritional, and strength-training mentors along with being a member of a marketing mastermind group in my circle of winners. Whatever it is I want to excel in, I find people that have achieved success and bring them into my life. Don’t discount mentors you cannot reach personally. You can read their books, and attend on-line seminars of those you want to follow.
- Define your ideal life in each of these areas: passion, family/relationships, health, and financial.
- For each area, write down just one action step you can take right now to get you closer to your ideal life.
- Schedule each action step in your calendar and follow through with the completion.
- Repeat steps 1-3.