Do you struggle with fighting distractions? Do you long to regain your focus in times of overwhelm?
You are NOT alone!
I've had many people come to me over the years in both my personal and professional life and say, "how in the world do you do it all?!"
My response is always the same, "I don't do it all; I just set a plan in place and focus on the priorities first!"
Some have responded to me saying I don't know how to have fun because I'm so disciplined. Nope! Not the case - I just LOVE what I do! Very few things I've done in my life thus far have I strongly disliked.
We have to remember, most of the time, we have a choice to do something or not, right? Are there tasks we must do in order to get to the bigger things we want and we may not thoroughly enjoy those tasks? Sure.
But I think the bigger question here is: how do you maintain discipline? How do you do whatever needs to get done—with an incredible commitment to your goal?
Achieving our goals becomes increasingly harder when we are in a society that rewards instant gratification. We tend to be more concerned about feeling good all the time, so we seek immediate pleasures (new clothes, exotic trips, a high-paying job with a fancy company car, etc.). None of these pleasures are wrong, by the way. But they shouldn't be the driving force of what determines our happiness.
Discipline is the difference between being in control of your future and letting your environment dictate your destiny (SUCCESS Magazine, Nov 2016).
It gives you the ability to do what you want because you know you can learn how to achieve any dream you set your mind to. Discipline teaches you HOW to control your thoughts—how to be happy in ANY situation and to trigger an optimistic mood. Here's the real kicker - discipline builds self-confidence, mental and physical strength, and inspires you (possibly to make that needed career leap!)
What I need you to know is ANYONE can develop discipline:
1. Set BIG, CLEAR goals
When we challenge ourselves with big goals (those hairy, audacious goals), especially ones we are passionate about, we put a lot of effort and time into them. We may not be able to see the end from where we are standing right now, and the process may seem overwhelming, but knowing our why and the final goal is what keeps us going.
Then, you can't just set this big vague goal and expect it to happen. You need to be clear. For example, your big goal is you want a new job. Well, that's great, but what is your road map to get there? How will you know you are on track? Do you want just any job? Or do you want a senior VP job on the West coast paying a minimum of $200K with stock benefits? And will you just randomly apply to some jobs online? Or will you reach out to 5 new connections per day and build relationships through virtual coffee dates once a week?
See the difference?
2. You got to know that each day matters
Every goal you set for yourself that HAS to be done, determines whether your dream lives or dies. Let that sink in.
Think about this: Athletes know if they skip even one training session, they are already behind. They know that they will lose a competition, even if they are still four months away from that competition. If an athlete doesn't follow through on the plan for their goals (saying what they said they were going to do each day), they aren't disciplined and WILL lose.
Get that same mindset!
3. Have a routine
I talk about this almost every week - create a routine. When we have routines, we accomplish tasks. A routine shows that we are disciplined in our minds to the point that we just do it. Like brushing our teeth - most of us wouldn't dream of waking up, barely throwing clothes on and leaving without brushing our teeth, right?
It's part of our routine that was instilled in us as little kids - but it didn't happen overnight. Brushing our teeth without anyone asking us, took many days and nights of our parents establishing a routine for us, day in and day out.
4. Understand the process takes time
Many times we set goals, clear ones too, and we don't succeed. Why? Our body and brain will do everything it can to resist change and growth. It’s natural to feel lazy and undisciplined—but you need to know that you have ALL the power to fight it - it's mindset people.
5. Kick feelings to the curb
Yes, emotions are great, but many times they hold us back. We may not FEEL like doing something that relates to our goal that day. We may FEEL lazy or discouraged or upset that we aren't where we want to be. Taking action reduces those feelings. Taking action is what it takes as you become a fighter for your goals!
Discipline is NOT easy. But it IS an engine that helps us understand and explore our capabilities and life’s opportunities. Discipline is not boring as some say; it’s the freedom to be able to put all our energy into creating something amazing, meaningful and beautiful.
No one is going to convince you to have discipline or force you to accomplish anything. Having a life of discipline (or not) is completely up to you - just remember, without discipline, achieving your dreams will be nearly impossible!