do you lack self-discipline?
first, you have to know your outcome. how can you focus and discipline yourself to do something if you don’t even know what it is that you're after? most of us don’t lack self-discipline, we just have no idea what we want. we lack clarity. when we know what we want, that clarity instantly gives us focus and discipline. so get clear on your desired outcome. what’s the thing, that when you get there, you think you will feel happy or successful? what are you seeking? some kind of outcome has to be on the horizon or you will never be able to be disciplined enough to get there. don’t beat yourself up that you’re lazy, you just need to make a decision about what you want. and it doesn’t have to be the whole grand picture of your life, if you truly don’t know what you want in 50 years, or 30 years or even in one year, what do you want in the next few months? what do you want in the next few weeks? let’s start there. if you’re confused about what you want in the next 5 years of your life, just start with what you want in the next 5 weeks of your life. people don’t understand that clarity is built. it doesn’t just land on you in an epiphany, well for some it does, but for most of us it does not. usually what happens is that as we go through life we get a little more clear on what we like and what we don’t like. how we like to spend our time and how we don’t, what draws out our passion and strength and what doesn’t. so if you really want discipline, decide what you want. get clear on that first.
second, make a plan. there is no discipline without a schedule. it’s so easy, to be hard on ourselves and say we aren’t disciplined, but there is no reason to be disciplined if we don’t have anything planned. we forget this part. start creating a schedule, fill it out, follow through with your schedule. as you follow through and do the things you say you will do, you build self-trust. as you build that trust, by always doing what you say you will do, you build confidence. with that confidence you build competence, and then you start to gain more mastery. now you are showing up in the game, you are actually getting somewhere. you are making progress. and there is nothing we love more than progress. you start to tell yourself, hey we said we were going to do it, and look we are doing it, we did it!
third, take responsibility for your life. if you want to be more disciplined you have to take more ownership, only do the things you want to do. own them, don’t blame any of it on anyone but yourself. if you need to, ask more of people around you. delegate to your spouse, your kids, your employees, ask for help…you have to constrain…you can’t do everything all by yourself. stop saying yes to more stuff when you can’t even handle everything you already are trying to do. start saying no to things that don’t align with the outcome you are seeking. and when you say yes, own that you want to do that thing, you at least wanted to do it more than you wanted to say no to doing it. own it.
fourth, reward and reflect. reward yourself with reflection time. be willing to give yourself the reward of time to reflect on what you have done thus far. we get so burned out, not because we are doing too much (though we are very convinced this is the problem), it’s because we aren’t taking time to reward ourselves for our accomplishments. we don’t even realize our progress because we don’t allow ourselves time to reflect and celebrate ourselves. and we don’t realize that one of the best rewards for progress is actually reflection! we have to take time to be grateful. allow our minds time to process the progress. celebrate the small wins. go out to dinner. write down the things you’ve learned and share them with someone. take time to pray or meditate. be with yourself in a quiet place without entertainment, (i know this can be hard to do). as soon as we take time for this on a consistent basis, our lives change dramatically and we realize we have created sustainable forward moving momentum.
self-discipline isn’t about disciplining ourselves and trying to get ourselves to do things we don’t want to do. as we take time to do these four simple things, we realize we already have self-discipline and it’s a natural product of our lives. if you ever think you aren’t being self-disciplined enough, go back to these four steps and don’t forget to celebrate aka reward and reflect. if you are finding it hard to do, it’s probably only because you aren’t doing it. we get good at whatever we do. when we don’t take care of ourselves we get tired, and do you know when discipline is hard? when we are tired. it get’s easier and easier. this is how consistently over time, we become a thriving disciplined person. this is how we simply thrive now.
p.s. a coach can help you see why you aren't doing any of these already. we don't know what we don't know. talking through it with a coach is incredibly helpful in seeking clarity, deciding what you want, creating a plan, owning your story, teaching how to develop intentional habits that compound, and at the heart of all coaching is some real reflection and celebration! my coaching tools truly deliver!!!
p.p.s. you can totally do it all on your own, but if you want help getting there faster, i'd love to be your coach.