Motivational quotes might be the theme of today’s Instagram feed, but the truth is motivation alone is limited because it’s finite. Some days, your motivation will not be sufficient enough to make you do what you must, therefore you fall off track. Discipline is what you should focus on because this is the thing which ensures you get everything done no matter what, especially on the days when you don’t feel like it. What follows is how to develop your own bulletproof sense of discipline that’ll never let you down.
Discipline is all about structure. Look at the military, they have an unwavering daily structure which instils strong discipline. You have got to be committed to your daily structure, having set practices which you apply every single day without compromise. Here is an example, just to illustrate how it should appear. Start strong by waking up at the same time every single day. Upon waking, start the day with some form of exercise so that you get that endorphin rush, your metabolic rate will also benefit as a result. After exercise is done, have a hot and cold shower so you are getting the benefits of hot and cold-water therapy. Spend one minute under cold water and one minute under hot water, for a total of 6 minutes. This also instils discipline because it is uncomfortable. Have set mealtimes so you are always in control of your food choices – if you don’t have set mealtimes, this means you are being reactive rather than proactive which leaves you open to making bad decisions. Identify your training days in the week and pencil in the specific times you will go to the gym, ahead of schedule. Don’t let your workouts “fit in” because that will mean you either miss them, or at the very least they will be sub-optimal because you aren’t properly focused. The same goes for everything else you must fit in during the week for improved self-development, both physically and mentally. Have a designated time when you do your meditation, journaling, foam rolling, cardio, red light therapy and everything else which falls into this category.
You absolutely have to put boundaries in place to protect your personal energy, manage your schedule and ensure you don’t fall behind. Discipline can be painful because you must learn to say “no” a lot, even to people you would like to say “yes” to. When you are training or carrying out other personal development-based activities, don’t let other people interfere with that – be unavailable. The same goes for other areas of your life including work; there must be times when you are out of reach so that you’re able to focus on you and your progress. In turn, you will actually become better at work-related things because your mind doesn’t become overwhelmed.
Set Your Alarm
Don’t just use an alarm to wake up with, it can be the perfect tool to stay on track and instill discipline throughout the day. You can set alarms for important meetings, mealtimes and even the pre-workout window so you know it is time to take your supplements while starting to focus. Eventually, you won’t need an alarm. In a similar fashion, using a digital calendar to set reminders is a very smart way to design each day. I personally live by this and ensure when I have meetings, people send me calendar invites to ensure that level of discipline is sustained throughout my week.
Don’t Be Afraid To Cancel!
When you have meetings, if people are late don’t be afraid to cancel. Don’t be afraid to give people 15 minutes grace before pulling the plug on a meeting, whether that is a call or in person. If you don’t have this mindset you just enable people to steal your time and it has a knock-on effect later in the day. Sometimes, it can even knock your schedule back for days – don’t allow this to happen. You will usually find by being strong enough to cancel and remain in control, people learn that about you and remain punctual as a result.
Do The Hard Things, Daily
Adopting the hot and cold-water therapy in the morning, is just one great example of doing “hard things, daily” in order to build discipline. There is value in doing hard things every day because they get easier with time, which signifies your discipline is evolving. Cardio, more intense workouts, interval training, meditation, going to bed earlier than you want, prepping meals and journaling are all great examples because they require effort.
Learning how to manage expectations and deadlines can truly enhance discipline because it reduces the chances of being in a reactive state, because you’re always chasing the day. Make sure you give yourself enough time to complete tasks and don’t let yourself fall behind – this means you remain in control, lowering the chances of missing important daily practices because you “don’t have time.”
Accountability is the thing which I provide to all of the coaching clients I work with (If you want to apply to work with me directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org). We all require some form of accountability to remain disciplined. At the very least, try checking in with yourself each week and ensuring you have done everything you are supposed to – use a daily journal to keep score as you go, so that you become more aware of any problem areas. You can’t always rely on motivation, but discipline is the unwavering support system which will always ensure you achieve your goals provided you develop it in the first place. For sure, when motivation is high, utilize it. Just never learn to rely on it.
Kris Gethin is the founder of his online coaching website http://www.Healthkik.com and the Kris Gethin Gyms Franchise.
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash.