I’ve come across some really insightful lifestyle books and blogs as of late, but without proper discipline (and good habits), my best intentions for exercising regularly, being more organized, eating right, and living proactively would be for naught.
Developing discipline is a consistent, purposeful effort. In this week’s column, I found myself writing about the d-word, and three ways to develop your own self-discipline.
How are your new year’s resolutions working out? We’re several months into the year, and I’m genuinely curious to hear if you’re still sticking to the goals you committed to on January 1.
Motivation and inspiration. Push and pull. Ever feel so totally excited by an idea that you just have to do it? Or maybe you’ve started out the year with best intentions, determined to make positive changes. We’ve all been there. Follow-up months, weeks, or even mere days later, and chances are you’re feeling less than inspired; you’ve lost your motivation.
And why is that?
Stephen Covey (you may remember his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) once said, “the undisciplined are slaves to moods, appetites, and passions.” Inspiration and motivation are not bad – in fact, quite the opposite. However, it’s important to recognize that without discipline, inspiration and motivation aren’t going to get us anywhere.
A few weeks ago I talked about a handful of good habits we should all be practicing that will positively impact our lives, and discipline falls into a similar category – it’s something that needs to be practiced daily. Like, every single day. Day after day. Then repeat. We all require a certain amount of motivation to get up and get started, and the key to success is transforming our inspiration and motivation into discipline.
So how do you make it happen? Here are 3 ways to develop discipline:
- Habitually practice a daily routine. You may argue that your schedule doesn’t permit for a daily routine. As someone whose daily grind differs day to day, I speak from experience that even with a crazy schedule, you can still maintain a daily routine. Wake up earlier. Make the time. You can do it if you’re disciplined.
- Take heart; have courage! Practicing self-discipline is not for the faint of heart. Discipline is hard; it requires real work, and accountability. As you find the courage to face the fears that challenge you – as you take even the smallest steps – you’ll better realize your potential, boost your self-confidence, and grow even more courage to continue.
- Be patient; keep going! I’ve said it before: Patience doesn’t mean sitting around doing nothing. Patience is actively waiting, being productive, and making the most of your time. Patience also means continuing on when the going gets tough. The best results come with time. It will be worth it.
Discouragement can be an excellent opportunity to develop discipline. I’ll leave you with a quote from Thomas Edison, American inventor and entrepreneur: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” When you’re feeling discouraged, take it as an opportunity to develop your discipline!