Self discipline. Do you have it? What even is it? Plain and simple – self-discipline, is having the ability to do something you should be doing. Sounds easy enough, right? The answer is yes, but unfortunately the majority of us struggle with this on the daily.
Why? Probably because there are distractions everywhere you turn! You get on your computer to finish an important email to your boss and guess what, you remember Nike is having a sale on those shoes you want. That email can wait, right? Or your looking at your “To Do’s” list telling yourself it has to get done today and someone invites you to lunch… this list can wait a few more hours, right? How about that promise you made to yourself about going to the gym every morning at 5AM? Do you jump out of bed at the sound of your alarm or push snooze telling yourself you’ll go tomorrow? There are SO many examples of not having enough self-discipline to accomplish what you should be doing – I could go on and on. Gosh, to be honest, I’m late on writing this blog because apparently I left my self-discipline behind somewhere.
So the questions becomes, how do you become self-discipline? Well, I can tell you it’s certainty not something you wish for in your dreams and wake up the next day having it all. Having self-discipline is something you must work at every single day. Ironic right? To become self-discipline, you have to have enough discipline to work at it? Here are a few things that I try to practice to help better myself in the self-discipline area.
- Write it down. Have a very clear goal and jot it down on a piece of paper. And not a piece of paper that you throw in the your drawer never to be found again. Put it somewhere you will see it over and over again. A bright pink sticky note on the top of my computer works wonders for me. Because remember the saying, out of site out of mind and that’s not working towards self-discipline, people!
- Measure progress. It is important to have a goal and then find a way to measure your progress toward that goal. Say you want to book five new business meetings a week, how can you measure that progress? Maybe you have a large and in charge desk calendar that has each of your new business appointments in red, easy to see, easy to read. Or maybe you have a co-worker check in with you every Monday to see how many appointments you have booked for the week. Whatever it is you need to do to hold yourself accountable and to easily check your progress, do it.
- Don’t give up. Look, I can’t tell you how many times I have missed my 5AM workout because I pushed snooze on my alarm. I find myself waking up and feeling so much guilt because I let myself down. Instead of beating myself up, I choose to make a commitment to go right after work hours. As long as I keep my head high and continue working at it then I can let go of my anger and guilt.
Self-discipline isn’t easy but it’s something you can develop and it will help make your life smooth sailing. I’ve noticed some very positive changes in my every day life. I have had a decrease in anxiety, I’ve become more resilient, and most importantly I am happy. Mike, our amazing creative director said it best “self-discipline isn’t just for a special occasion.” So, let’s hold ourselves accountable and work on this together every single day.