Our excitement launches us forward into our brand new lifestyle.
But for some reason we let ourselves slip up once, and then twice.
Before you know it, you’re back in your old routine and old habits. Your new running shoes have been shoved to the back of the closet, you decided you didn’t really need a side hustle, or you’ve just come to realize you don’t have time for whatever your goal was.
What a shame. You made a commitment to yourself and didn’t keep it.
Don’t worry, we’ve all done it. I’ve done it too many times to count.
So what’s the solution?
Why is it so hard?
“The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it. That means the more something threatens to change how you view yourself, how successful/unsuccessful you believe yourself to be, how well you see yourself living up to your values, the more you will avoid ever getting around to doing it. There’s a certain comfort that comes with knowing how you fit in the world. Anything that shakes up that comfort – even if it could potentially make your life better – is inherently scary.” Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a ****: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
You have an idea in your head of who you are – your identity.
Anytime something threatens to change that, whether it be for better or worse, we naturally avoid whatever that thing is.
For example, I am not a runner.
I could get outside and go run every day, which would make me a runner.
Do I do that? No. It makes me uncomfortable so I avoid it.
That’s just a super simplified example, but I think you see the point.
Growth and change require us to dig down and change the very way we view ourselves. It’s not easy. It’s not fun. But the results are so worth it.
But most importantly, it improves your relationships.
As you improve your self-discipline, you improve your productivity. As your productivity skyrockets, you increase your freedom. When you have more freedom, you have more time to spend with those you love and grow those relationships.
Start proving to yourself that you’re reliable. Make a commitment to yourself and then actually keep it.
It’ll do a world of good for your mentality.
Common Pitfalls & Healthy Mindsets to Try Instead
Everyone has that negative nancy voice in our heads that tells us we can’t do something. It can be one of the most debilitating powers acting against your pursuit of self-discipline.
Common pitfalls in your thinking include:
“I already have good self-discipline.”
“I’m already behind. I’ll never be able to catch up.”
“I don’t need crazy discipline, so I don’t need to get better at it.”
“I’ll never be able to do that.”
“I can skip just this one time.”
“I failed once, I might as well quit.”
“Once I have self-discipline, it’ll cure all my problems.”
Any of those sound familiar?
When you start hearing those types of phrases in your mind, actively try to replace them with phrases such as:
“I’ve made progress.”
“There’s still room for opportunity.”
“I can try again tomorrow.”
“I can do this.”
“This activity is going to make my life better.”
“Always work to improve.”
“I won’t let myself give in.”
First, start with making it a priority to wake early & make your bed every single morning
“The next thing to do is exercise — do something physical. Again, that takes discipline, but it gives you momentum in the right direction. Exercise also has real physiological impacts on the body and mind that pay dividends all day.” -Jocko Willink, Jocko Willink: The Relationship Between Discipline and Freedom
3. Create a to-do list and complete the tasks
“One of the best mental disciplines for people to implement is simply putting together a schedule or a task list and actually executing it. Write the list or the schedule the night before, and then do what you said you would do. Life becomes much better when you do that.” -Jocko Willink, Jocko Willink: The Relationship Between Discipline and Freedom
“When you really want something, you will find a way. When you don’t really want something, you’ll find an excuse. How does your subconscious know the difference between what you want and what you only pretend to want? It looks at a history of how you’ve tackled similar things in the past. Have you kept your word? When you set out to do something, did you see it through? … Whatever standard you’ve set for yourself is where you’ll end up . . . unless you fight through your instinct and change your pattern.” -Rachel Hollis, Girl, Wash Your Face
7. Set yourself up for success
Remove temptations, prep ahead of time, and do whatever you need to do to set yourself up to win each day.
8. Work backward to create a game plan, then stick to it
Give yourself deadlines, reward yourself for hitting milestones, and create your own motivation.
You’re going to fail from time to time. Don’t let it hold you back. Buckle up, realign your mindset with your goals, and keep going.
10. Track your progress
Use a Habit Tracker to track your progress. The thing I love most about habit trackers is the ability to track nearly anything I can think of, from finances to health to spirituality. Simply write the action you want to accomplish daily (make your bed, read a chapter of a book, journal, exercise, call a friend, complete to-do list, etc.) and color in the box corresponding with the correct date once you’ve completed the action.
“And that is the real message: If you want to transform your life in a positive way, that transformation will not happen by itself. You need to make it happen. You need to do the work. You need to put in the hours, the days, the weeks, the months, and the years. You need to get on the path and stay on the path—the path that leads to the positive transformations, the path that leads to a better you, the path that leads to freedom. And that path is the hard path. The tough path. The relentless path. It is the path of Discipline. And the path of Discipline is the only way. Discipline Equals Freedom. -Jocko Willink, Jocko Willink: The Relationship Between Discipline and Freedom