I’ve never met a person who wasn’t motivated to do something great, but I have met a lot of people who stalled out before even starting the race.
We all want to make a difference. To change the world. To be remembered for our contributions and successes. To inspire others. Unfortunately, very few people actually act on those desires.
The truth is, motivation doesn’t lead to action. If you want to make a difference in your life or your community, you don’t need more motivation to do so. What you need is discipline.
When it comes to achieving your goals, self-discipline is critical.
Discipline gets a bad rap. Too many people think of it as a punishment or a boring task that has to get done, but in reality, self-discipline is about showing up for yourself each day. It’s about setting consistent habits that help you work towards your goals. When you have self-discipline, you can rely on yourself to push through the hard times.
Your self-discipline shows your commitment to your True North. It’s easy to list your values on a sheet of paper, but hard to live them out each day.
Want to run a marathon? Start running.
Want to become a famous musician? You better be practicing.
Want to become the best in your business? You better never stop learning.
Want to make the world a more peaceful place? You better listen to others
Anything meaningful requires you to show up and do the work. Every. Single. Day.
No one gets to where they want to be overnight. With discipline, any goal is achievable. Self-discipline is like a muscle – you’ve got to work at it to make it stronger, but once you do, the possibilities are endless. Here are five ways you can start building your self-discipline today:
1. Focus. Chances are, there are lots of things you want to accomplish, but start small. Write out a list of all your goals, then pick one to focus on this month. Next month, turn your focus to the next one.
2. Remove temptations. Get rid of anything that could distract you from your goals. That means turning off your phones and tablets!
3. Set ground rules. Think of these as commitments to your goal. Your rules will be different depending on the goal you’re focused on. If you want to run a marathon, determine how many days each week you will need to train. If you want to spend more time with family, have a “no-work” policy every evening from 7-9pm.
4. Schedule. Self-discipline doesn’t mean you don’t get to have some fun or treat yourself. Without breaks and rewards, you’re bound to give up on your goals eventually.
5. Remember you’re human. Did you miss a day at the gym or indulge at dinner last night? It’s not the end of the world. Forgive yourself and get back to it! Don’t let a small misstep set you in the opposite direction. Remind yourself of why you’ve set your goals and keep going.
Don’t wait until tomorrow to dive in. Start TODAY.