While having lunch with a friend last week, he told me how impressed he was with one of the speakers at a conference he recently attended. Sabriye Tenberken became gradually visually impaired and eventually completely blind by the age of 13.
Ms. Tenberken overcame her handicap and went on to achieve great success. During her speech, she said, “If you are going to be successful, your goal must be bigger than your greatest obstacle.” Wow, how true! Think about it.
My mind immediately went to my lesson about discipline in Your Greatest Obstacle post, as I am convinced that DISCIPLINE is the greatest obstacle in preventing most people from achieving their goals. Just think, if you had the discipline to do everything you knew you should do, even when you did not feel like doing it, would you be more successful in achieving your personal and professional goals?
As I pointed out on the Little Things Matter Facebook fan page this past Sunday, if I were to assign a dollar value to each of the 643 little things on my list, discipline would carry a higher value than any other thing. It’s the hardest one to do consistently and, therefore, the marketplace rewards it more than any other.
In today’s lesson, I am going to highlight 11 things you can do to increase the intensity and consistency of the discipline required to achieve your goals.
1. Make a Personal Commitment That You Will Become a Disciplined Person—If you really want to achieve your goals, then you must make the commitment that you will become more disciplined.
2. Focus on Your Goal—To help you become more disciplined, review your goals every morning before you start your day. Pick a quiet place where you can concentrate and visualize. Put yourself in a state of mind where you have achieved your goal and imagine the feeling you will have. If possible, find pictures or images of your goals to help you better visualize what your life will be like when you have achieved them.
3. First Do What You Don’t Want to Do—As you plan your day, make sure you block out time to first do the things that require the most discipline. Whether it’s prospecting, exercising, or cleaning up your home, do it first. I have learned throughout my life that the best time to do the things I don’t want to do is first thing in the morning. If you will commit to doing the things that are the hardest for you to do first, not only will you do them with greater consistency, but also you feel great the rest of the day.
4. Get Your Rest—One of the keys to employing discipline with consistency is maintaining a high level of energy. When I’m tired, it is VERY hard for me to be disciplined. How about you?
5. Eat Right—When you eat right, you will feel better and have more energy. Start your day with a breakfast high in protein and low in simple carbs. For lunch, avoid eating the foods that make you tired so you can keep your energy high throughout the day.
6. Don’t Drink Too Much—I know firsthand that if you drink too much alcohol at night, it is very difficult to have any discipline the next day. Use your discipline to drink in moderation so you can use your discipline the next day to achieve your goals.
7. Start Doing the Little Things—One of the best ways to become more disciplined is by doing the little things you know you should do, like making your bed, keeping your car clean, taking the garbage out, and picking up after yourself. As you become more disciplined in doing the little things, you will become more disciplined in doing the big things.
8. Make The Decision in Advance—If you make the decision to exercise every morning at 6:00 AM, then don’t allow yourself to question your decision every morning. If you are going to take on that important project in the morning, then don’t second-guess your decision in the morning. The decision is made, now follow through with it!
9. Make It a Routine—Set up a routine for doing the things you don’t want to do. As an example, if you are in sales, set up a routine to prospect for new business every morning from 9:00-11:00. When you make things part of your daily routine, it’s much easier to employ the discipline to get them accomplished.
10. Consume Energy Drinks—I have found drinking coffee and other energy drinks increases my ability to be more disciplined, especially those double-shot iced lattes in the afternoon.
11. Reward Yourself—When you do the things that require discipline, recognize and reward yourself when you are done. If you just finished a big project, take yourself out to your favorite restaurant. If you have been disciplined over an extended period of time, then perhaps a weekend getaway would be an appropriate reward.
Let me challenge you to become aware of the role your personal discipline will play in the achievement of your goals. Adopt the “do it now” mentality, and when there is something you need to do, say to yourself “If I don’t feel like doing it, then I must do it now,” and without further delay, ATTACK it with vengeance and get it done.
As I said in The Hidden Benefit of Discipline, when you employ self-discipline, not only will you be more likely to achieve your goals, but you will also feel great about yourself.
Will you accept my challenge to be more disciplined? Make your commitment public by sharing it in the comments section below this post.
One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it.