Thursday, March 27, 2008

Discipline Secrets - 11 tricks for Self Discipline

One of my friends - Nate Collier did a great post on Discipline. His message was we all have discipline what we need is motivation. We know this because we all can get things done if we are inspired. So build the motivation to build discipline.

I agree completely.

For me, I like to add tricks to help with discipline:

1 - To add to the motivation, tie in an added reward. Take something you want and "reward yourself" if you do the task you want to discipline yourself to do.

2 - Same thing but punish if you do not do it. Often punishment is more of an incentive than reward.

3 - Lead me not into temptation. For example, if I want to eat cookies at night I can but I have to go out and get them or bake them - both of which have a barrier to entry.

4 - Create an environment that supports what you want to do. If you always work in a specific place, you become acclimatized to it so it is easier.

5 - The primary difference between successful and unsuccessful people is long term vs short term. The challenge is often the gain is long term (and huge) but the pain is short term (and small). EG - Lifting weights. Deliberately listing the long term impacts can help. Also realizing that successful people think and act long term inspires me.

6 - Develop the habit. I have often blogged on Success Habits. Once something is a habit, it happens more easily.

7 - Eliminate or reduce the part of the task that you are objecting to. Often I find it is something small that is holding me back. EG - get the right tool to do the job.

8 - Delegate it. Sometimes you don't need to do it yourself to get the advantage (does not work with eating right, working out, stopping smoking etc. but works for some things)

9 - Start it. Often it is just the getting started that holds us back. Not to advertise for Nike but steal their phrase - "Just Do It". And sometimes I make the job simpler to start. For example, it is not much work to get in the car in my workout clothes and drive to the gym.

10 - Work with a buddy. Often just having someone to hold us accountable makes us work harder.

11 - Track it. Ideally track it positively. Rather than lose weight, weigh X. What gets measured gets worked on. I write my work outs in a book.

Other tricks you have?


At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

12. Keep it small and put a lot of faith in momentum. Setting huge goals can be offputting to some people. Its easy to get caught up trying to rationalize the sheer size of the goal and forget about the work that it is going to take to get there. Instead of worrying about the size of the goal, or the total amount of work that needs to happen, just break it down into little chunks and only focus on whatever your next step is. For instance, I'm riding my bike across Canada for charity in June. I don't even think about the ride - its just too much to worry about. Instead, I'm laser focused on my training goals for this week and laying out what my goals for next week are. Inside my head, all along the way, I keep telling myself, just get yourself to that beach in Vancouver and let momentum take care of the rest. This prevents me from trying to deal with the irrationality of sitting on my bike for 19 days straight. I know that if I do the right things now, the rest will take care of itself.

Keep blogging - I'm a longtime reader and always find something great in every post you make.

be well,


At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post Jim.

I would add "Review". This ties into #7 and #11 in your list.

Reviewing your habits will identify what is working and assist in eliminating what isn't. Also, reviewing the positive results that you've achieved over time motivates you to continue and build on the good habits.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great list and I agree.

I've learned to keep handy what motivated me to start something.

If I read a report or sales letter on the benefits of article marketing and I started writing articles, but then I find myself slacking or feeling overwhelmed I review it to get that initial spark of motivation back of why I started and need to continue...



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