When I look back to my failures from my past and think about what the consistent reason for my failures were, I know now that my main problem was lack of discipline. I’ve struggled with discipline my entire life. Something as simple as making my bed every morning or waking up at the same time every day was a challenge when I was young. My decisions mainly relied on how I felt at the moment versus doing somthing because I was conditioned to do it no matter how I felt about it. I wasn’t conditioned to follow a routine and that hurt me in achieving my goals. To achieve large or difficult goals, you must execute a series of activities over and over again for months or years until the goal is met. But if you lack discipline, achieving goals that require a consistent pattern of actions will ultimately lead to failure.
Some of the most successful people that I have met personally or observed from afar all have a set of routines that have become a part of who they are. These successful people may make slight modifications to their routines as they learn or if their goals change, but the foundation of what they do on a daily basis stays the same. This provides a stability that allows them to develop skills to a mastery level achieving amazing things that astonish the average person. Many of us view these people as if they are somehow “superhuman”, when really their success materialized from starting with a vision and developing consistent routines that helped to mature and strengthen their skills. There is no difference between us and them, in the end, we are all human with special gifts.
Discipline is a funny thing because we don’t often realize how bad we are at it until life shows us a symptom. These “symptoms” typically come in failures: failures to meet goals and/or personal expectations. If your goal is to lose 40 pounds, you will have to consistently workout and eat right. If your goal is to become a lawyer, you will have to consistently read books on law and study legal cases. If you want to be a professional athlete, you will have to consistently train in the sport to get better. You get the point, it’s not rocket science (duh). Is the concept simple? Yes. Is it hard for many people to do? Also Yes!
I get it. You were told this plenty of times before when you were a kid starting with simple chores that your parents made you do like washing dishes and taking out the trash. Some of you picked this up and stuck with it as you grew and matured into adults, and the others only used discipline with some things but lacked discipline with other things that mattered. I was a part of the “others” group up until my mid 20s when I realized that I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be in life.
Why did I write this? Because I’ve come across many hard working adults over the years that are disciplined only in some areas of their life but show strong immaturity in other areas that interfere with their goals in dreams. I hear people all the time say that they want to write a book, start a business or start a new career, but they don’t put in the necessary work on a daily basis to make those goals become a reality due to lack of consistency.
Here are my 5 tips, that if done daily, can help you develop into a more disciplined person:
1. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than you usually do every night
2. Create a consistent morning routine that you can stick with that starts 30 minutes earlier than usual wake up. During this extra 30 minutes you can pray, journal, exercise, or just sit still in silence. This time is designed as a fresh start to the day with purpose and gratitude.
3. Exercise every day no matter what is going on in your schedule. This does not have to be complicated and can be as simple as a 10 min walk. There are so many benefits to exercise that are scientifically proven to enhance your productivity. Use this as an anchor to develop other positive habits.
As time goes on, and new habits are built, you can add additional activities to your daily routine that will help you to become more disciplined which later will translate to better outcomes in your personal, professional and spiritual life.
Author: Mike Free