Let’s say you’re starting from scratch.
Sure you’ve gotten things done in the past, but your reliability is 50/50 on your good days. You know you need to get more done to get somewhere, but life — ever-distracting life — draws you away from your personal bigger picture. It happens to the best of us, as we make room for new family responsibilities, changes in professions, a call to civic duty, or the gamut of things we have to deal with as we paint our life vision into reality.
What keeps you going?
For me, my biggest skill to develop has been the habit of discipline, which I see as doing something even though the thought of doing it brings one discomfort. Putting off that 50-page thesis or skipping a morning run all stem from the ideas that come into our heads when we think about doing them…
…ugh so many pages to write…
…but I’ll get all sweaty…
Whatever the situation or thoughts may be…it is the sensation of discomfort the forces us to choose whether to stay with the discomfort and do what is important anyway or find a way to escape the sensation by another binge session of Shameless on Netflix.
Discipline is the act of going forward anyway.
How does one use discipline?
While we can be sporadic about the ways we are disciplined (you should see me buy the whole town on Sims…), if you are interested in creating your authentic vision of success you exercise discipline in meaningful ways otherwise, you run the risk of life molding your discipline muscles for you. Creating a routine for yourself allows you to apply your discipline to your personal mission.
So here goes, here’s the simple way to create that routine:
- Figure out what you want to do with your life (i.e. write your vision)
- Write out what you want to achieve in the next 10, 5, and 3 years
- Develop goals to get done within 1 year
- Figure out what you need within 1 month
- Write down what you need by the end of the week
- Jot 3 things to get done by the end of your day
- Check 1-2 (once a year), 3 (once a month), 4-5 (once a week) and update 6 every day.
And we’re done. Sure there are tons of tools you can use, and please remember, you have to actually do the things on these lists for them to be real, but if all you had were a pencil and paper, this list is all you would need.
Build your routines around finding time to achieve what is on these lists and let life fill in the blanks.
Here’s a great article from ZenHabits on mastering discipline.
PS Posting are switching from Tuesday Mornings to Thursday mornings.