Oh, no! Not again! Yep, another word of the week!
I won’t promise this is the last one but it’s the last one for a while.
So this week’s blog is going to tackle self-discipline: the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses or the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.
One of my favorite quotes on discipline is by Jim Rohn. Jim says that “discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” And I think he’s pretty dead on.
How many times have you set a goal and never accomplished it? How many times have you started a program that you never finished? How many times have you had an idea that you never implemented? I can’t even count the number of times I’ve not followed through. My guess is that you’ve experienced similar shortcomings as well. We are all great at starting things but struggle to see them through to the end.
Why do we let this happen? We understand our “why” and we visualize the outcome but we still can’t seem to take our ideas and goals to completion. Usually it comes down to self-discipline. Even when we have the best of intentions we let fear and self-doubt derail our efforts. Unfortunately, self-discipline is thing that will bridge the gap between our goals and success.
Fantastic, Stacy! You’ve just explained that my lack of self-discipline for developing self-discipline is keeping me from being successful. How in the world do I fix that circular issue?
The good news is that it can be done. You can build and strengthen your self-discipline with 3 easy steps.
- Start small
When you create goals for yourself, they are usually ambitious and lofty in nature. I mean why wouldn’t they be? They wouldn’t be worth the effort at all if they weren’t a bit grand. But most of us stop at creating the large goal. If it’s a worthwhile goal, then the goal in and of itself is going to feel overwhelming. Breaking the goal down into manageable and reasonable steps makes it feel less intimidating and easier for you to be disciplined.
For example, let’s say you are in network marketing and your goal is to recruit thirty new people to your team. Thirty may be a large, ambitious goal for you. Because you fear that you can’t do it, you may not work on anything that gets you closer to that number. It’s easier to work on other things than to make yourself sit down and work on recruiting each day.
But instead of looking at thirty new recruits, what if you looked at it as all the little things that need to take place to recruit one person? For instance, before you can close a recruit, you have to have to pitch. And before you can pitch, you have to get to know people to see if they are a good fit. And before you can build a relationship, you have to meet them. Then start by focusing on meeting people instead of focusing on recruiting thirty people.
- Take a step every day
Once you have your small steps defined, then commit to taking a small step each day. I’m going to go back to my earlier example. You’ve decided to start your focus on meeting new people each day. Let’s say that five new people per day is your goal. Start your morning working to identify and introduce yourself to your five. It could be through social media, referrals, or networking opportunities. But commit to working on it each day. If it takes you an hour, great! If it takes you four hours, then hang in there until you reach your goal.
Once you’ve become disciplined in this first step, then add your next step, building relationships with the people you’ve met and feel connected to. Once you’ve become disciplined in spending time to develop these relationships each day, then you can move on to determining which people may be open to hearing your pitch. And, so forth.
- Build on your momentum
As you become more disciplined in each step in the process to reach your goal, you’ll be more excited about working toward your goal. You will also start to protect the time you need to develop your craft and keep moving forward. And before you know it, your self-discipline will get stronger and stronger.
It takes perseverance, focus, and action to develop self-discipline. But it is a trait that can be developed. Once you begin to develop it in one area of your life, you can use the same steps to develop it in every important area of your life. You are too fantastic to let you stand in the way of you! So, start small, take a step every day, and build your momentum. Let nothing get in your way of practicing self-discipline a bit each day.