One of the most important attributes to becoming successful is self-discipline. It’s almost impossible to achieve excellence without it. Self-discipline helps you stay focused; it gives you the grit to stick with something even when it’s difficult. It helps you choose to win the long game over short-term gratification. Self-discipline allows you to overcome obstacles and deal with the discomfort of pushing yourself to new heights. With enough self-discipline, you can form life-long, positive habits; once you create a habit, it no longer requires discipline, and you propel yourself towards success because it’s what you do day in and day out. Create success using self-discipline.
What is self-discipline? Essentially, it’s the ability to control your impulses, emotions, reactions, and behaviors. It’s the ability to forego short-term gratification in favor of long-term satisfaction and gain. It’s basically saying no when you really want to say yes.
The word self-discipline makes most people shudder just uttering it but being self-disciplined isn’t about leading a restrictive and boring life void of enjoyment, relaxation, and fun. In fact, it’s next to impossible to be self-disciplined in all areas of your life and I don’t recommend it. Instead, you should use self-discipline to focus your energies on what’s most important to you. Let it help you make the tradeoff between the short and long term to make better choices. You’ll be happier when you have formed habits that make your life better in the long run.
So how do you become more self-disciplined? Here are my tricks:
- Make a self-discipline list. You can’t achieve your goals without discipline, so supplement your list with what you need to do to be disciplined enough to achieve them.
- Use a daily “success” list to keep track of the three most important things you need to get done each day to achieve your goals. These three things should coincide with your discipline list.
- Figure out what your barriers to success are. Are you trying to lose weight? Get the junk food out of your house. Do you want to be more productive at work? Close your email application and only check your emails twice per day.
- Share your goals with others. It’s easier to stick with something when you’ve made a public commitment; the desire not to fail in front of others can be highly motivating.
- Do it for someone else. I know the saying goes, “don’t do it for others, do it for yourself,” but I have found I am much more disciplined when considering how my actions, behaviors, emotions, and impulses affect others.
- Stop making excuses. Don’t wait for tomorrow; do it now.
Tune in for more details.
Question of the Episode
This week’s question came from a young woman who reached out after heading my give a keynote and she asked, “Should I give feedback in an email so it’s documented?”
My answer: no! Listen to find out why and how to handle this situation like a pro.
Like this? Check out my blog on why you need a vision and plan to create success.