3 Steps to Leading a More Disciplined Life.
Motivation can be powerful for short term spurts of high intensity productivity. Discipline, however, is the key to long term success.
Motivation is fickle and requires constant attention. Discipline is reliable and becomes a way in which you lead your life.
What we’re lacking in the world isn’t sources of motivation—it’s self-discipline.
Type in “motivational video” into Google and you’ll get upwards of 13,000,000 results! And I’ll be the first to admit that most of the videos are incredibly motivational!
The problem is that motivation wanes fairly quickly and it is weak when challenged.
All it takes to throw off a persons motivation is a slight loss in sleep; a hungry tummy; an endless social media timeline; a phone call; a comfy bed… We’ve all been there.
But when you look at a person with strong discipline, a slight loss in sleep makes no difference; a hungry tummy can wait until the work is done; an endless social media timeline will be there with just as much news to feed on later; a phone call can be called back; and a comfy bed gets made because sh*t needs to get done and it’s not gonna get done itself!
The biggest difference between motivation and discipline is how your “low” days are handled when you don’t want to do your work. Discipline will carry you through—motivation will not.
So, how do you improve your self-discipline?
Step 1: Make your word, law.
This is probably one of the most important mindsets you can ever adopt.
Train yourself to follow through on what you say you are going to do (both to others and yourself) as if it were a law and you had no choice.
The more you break your word—the weaker your discipline will become.
For example, if you say you are going to give up donuts in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle—then you better make sure that that golden glazed honey fritter doesn’t enter your mouth (or any of his donut friends) again. Period.
Or, if you say you’re going to train on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays—then you make yourself show up to that gym on those days unless you are deathly ill or there’s a genuine emergency.
Nothing gets scheduled during your workout time, no phones are allowed to be used during workouts, and sleepiness/ sickness/ sadness aren’t excuses.
You ALWAYS show up—non-negotiable. Intensity, however, can vary.
Step 2: Pick your battles—carefully.
If you are going to make your word, law, in an attempt to strengthen your discipline, don’t verbally commit to ridiculous goals.
You have to build up the momentum starting with a challenge that is appropriate for you and work to increase the difficulty from there.
It works the same way as weight training.
If you have no experience lifting weights, then you don’t go to the gym and try to bench press 225 lbs on your first day!
The same is true for verbal commitments and goals.
If you are notorious for quitting early and not following through on your word—you need to start small to build up that rapport with your mind.
Once your mind starts believing in it’s ability to follow through on smaller goals, then (and only then), should you commit to larger feats with bigger outcomes in mind.
Step 3: Who are the police and what are the consequences?
I’m gonna go ahead and argue that we need police to keep us on track as law-abiding citizens and that without them, we’d have A LOT more law breakers in society.
Well, I believe our mind works in much the same way.
If there are no consequences or accountability members for our actions, breaking the law (our law) becomes much easier.
And if the law is easy to break, our discipline will be quicker to falter.
Who can you team up with to keep you accountable? What should the punishment be if you break your law?
Get it set in stone before moving forward and get serious about your word.
For example, why not try giving up one food in your life that is causing your body the most harm (i.e. donuts) and tell a friend that if you ever eat a donut again that you will have to pay him a $100 Eating Violation Fine?
Sounds legit to me.