Four Keys to Greater Self-Discipline

“No person is free who is not master of himself. “– Pythagoras

Feeling stuck? Unmotivated?

Does it seem as though you’re drifting, not really achieving your goals or making progress in life?

First, you are not alone! Second, if you’re reading this you are on to something,

Discipline is both the key and the bridge to take you from where you are right now to where you want to be in life… and, here’s something you’ll rarely if ever hear, it doesn’t have to be difficult!

I’m going to repeat that, “Discipline can be simple once these key ideas are understood and then applied!”

Believe!

Belief almost always comes first.

There’s almost no point in trying to become better and more disciplined at anything if you don’t believe it’s truly possible. Too often people will say, “Well I’m just not that disciplined.” With that sort of self-talk and mindset where can a person truly go from there?

Believing / knowing you can be a disciplined person is the first step!

Do you believe?

Visualize!

See your ideal self in your mind’s eye. What would a more disciplined you look like? Rather than trying to encompass every possible disciplined aspect of your life, focus on ONE simple discipline and say to yourself, for instance:

* I see myself passing up the cookies

* I see myself reading every night before bed

* I see myself controlling my reactions/anger

Track Your Behavior

How can you tell if you’re making progress if you don’t track your behaviors (your habits)? How are you going to know if you’re eating better, losing weight, etc.?

Plus, there is a great secret bonus to tracking— self efficacy! It simply means that you are able to produce a desired result. Then, guess what happens? That’s right, you become happier (because you are controlling directing your behavior/producing a desired result AND you gain momentum! ; )

Tracking your habits produces discipline or to be more accurate the discipline habit. The Habit Factor provides this FREE handy, PDF tracking sheet or a free app (Google Play store and iOS) — it  is amazingly effective.

Patience

“The man who masters patience masters everything else.”

Patience can not be over-stated! All too often people bail on the process of self-improvement because they fail once or twice. You can and will “fail” a few dozen times… but that doesn’t matter. The most disciplined among us have just kept trying. EVERY DAY IS A NEW DAY!

Change is simple but not necessarily easy, and patience is the difference maker. Those that succeed are patient with themselves and keep trying. They keep plugging along, keep moving forward and of course that bring us full circle to Key #1…. they keep believing!

So there you have it. Four simple keys to improving your self-discipline. Abide by these tenets and you WILL find success.

 

The Ultimate Habits and Goals Tracking Template

Brian Tracy likes to say, “Success equals goals; all else is commentary.” This is a man who’s written 60-plus books about personal development, so it’s safe to say he knows a thing or 12 about the subject.

That’s an important consideration, really, because if you want to become a dentist, you study dentistry. if you want to become a biologist, you study biology. However, something strange happens in our society in that 100{17e3bfd9a07c0de986581ed5697b485698805caa8353107ff911cf28c852f548} of us start out wanting to become successful, yet, few — very few — study the subject matter of “SUCCESS”.

Putting the obvious aside for a minute, this brings us to a simple formula:

If success is goals, what are goals?

Goals, it could be argued (very successfully mind you), are the RESULT of supportive habits.

Supportive habits create the realization of any goal!

For instance, the goal of writing a book is — and can only be — the RESULT of the writing habit! The goal of running a marathon will be the RESULT of developing the running habit. Becoming stronger is the result of the weightlifting or push-up habit.

On and on it goes.

So, to get to our endpoint, we just invert the formula:

Habits -> Goals – > Success!

A Powerful, Paradigm-Shifting Book

If you’d like to learn about aligning positive, constructive habits with your goals, check out The Habit Factor. There’s also an app with the same name (free and paid) and you can track those habits that will help you achieve your goals more easily.

A Powerful, Free Habit Tracking Resource

This habit tracking worksheet (below) is FREE and it’s powerful. It helps greatly to keep me focused and organized, and provides instant visual feedback and motivation.

tracking sheet

Try it!

After just ONE week of tracking I feel even more motivated and have great momentum… I’m excited to see all that I’ve accomplished and begin to believe in what is possible!

So check out this free tool and give the habit-alignment method of goal achievement a shot. Go easy on yourself if you miss a day, two or even a week of tracking… just stay after it!

Here’s to your sucCcess!

When Do You Start Counting?

Enjoy the pain

By: S. Kelley

When Do You Start Counting?

Let’s be frank (or Joe for that matter).

Most of us don’t like pain. Arnold Schwarzenegger, champion bodybuilder and erstwhile Terminator, viewed Muhammed Ali as a great role model for success. He recounted a terrific story about The Greatest in an interview in the ‘70s.

As Schwarzenegger explained it, Ali was asked, “How many sit-ups do you do?” He said, “I don’t know”. “I don’t count my sit-ups… I only start counting when it start to hurt! When I begin to feel the pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.

More Schwarzenegger and his “Six Rules of Success” can be found in our previous post here! But stick around first and try to FOCUS! ; )

So, what do Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muhammad Ali and even great Olympic curlers have in common? Yes. They may all seem to be strange bedfellows, but they embody a basic tenet of success and goal-achievement:

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

While watching the 2018 Olympics the other day, I found myself mesmerized not by snowboarders or skiers and their death-defying leaps. No, it was curling that fascinated me. An ordinary-looking guy was sort of ice-bowling a disk while his partner furiously swept alongside the sliding granite stone. It almost looked . . . easy.

The announcer must have been reading my mind. “Don’t forget, folks. If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.” Turns out that hurtling a 40-pound rock down a sheet of slippery ice while trying to hit a small target takes (certainly) some level of athleticism, patience and an enormous amount of SKILL.

In short, becoming an Olympic curler is likely to take years of hard work, training, sacrifice and involve some pain.

Piers Steel, author of the Procrastination Equation, talks about an elite cyclist’s trick for pushing past the pain threshold: micro-goal-setting. “Ivan Basso (aka Ivan the Terrible) is one of the best mountain bike riders of all time. One of his motivational tricks is to set a series of targets for the race, each one within sight and as short as thirty seconds if negotiating a series of bends. One at a time, he focuses on finishing each one.”

Steel recounts a similar story about micro-goal-setting — but one with life-or-death consequences.:

“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch; yard by yard, life is hard. How powerful is this mantra?

Joe Simpson, in one of mountaineering’s greatest survival stories, used it to save his life. Left for dead at the bottom of a crevasse in an isolated Peruvian mountain with a shattered shinbone, he had three days to pull himself to a base camp through five miles of truly treacherous glacier field or be really dead.

He was already utterly exhausted from an arduous marathon of an ascent, with no food and only a little water, so this journey should have been impossible, except for one critical survival tool: his wristwatch. With it, he set goals. Setting the alarm for twenty minutes at a time, he made for a nearby rock or drift — he was elated when he reached it in time and he despaired when he didn’t. Battling exhaustion, pain, and eventually delirium, he repeated the same process hundreds of times and ultimately reached the perimeter of the base camp just hours before his friends’ intended departure.”

(Read the entire article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-procrastination-equation/201207/breaking-the-pain-barrier.)

Crazy, right?

It ALL comes down to pain. Or, to be more accurate, your pain threshold. How much pain and frustration can you endure before you give up? Can you be like Ali and Schwarzenegger and use pain as the signal to BEGIN counting?

Challenge yourself every day — starting today. Become uncomfortable with comfort. Brian Tracy likes to say that “Comfort is the great enemy of success.”

Become comfortable with discomfort AND pain. DO the work until it hurts AND THEN START COUNTING!

More PAINful advice here:

A great article in Runner’s World, “Tricks To Push Through Midrace Pain,” (https://www.runnersworld.com/psychology/mental-tricks-to-push-through-midrace-pain) offers some advice for making it through a seemingly impossible challenge, with techniques that can be applied to any discipline, not just running. The author discusses how to stick to the grind despite the pain by recalling past sacrifices, practicing gratitude and even meditating.

Another insightful article similarly discusses the idea of “training for pain.”  (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/fashion/29FITNESS.html). Pushing your training in intervals, it points out, increases your tolerance for pain and exertion naturally. Tricks such as external distractions and relaxation exercises can help nudge you farther on your quest (be it a race or another type of goal achievement. If all else fails, we are advised to: “Suck it up.”

So, dear reader, one final time, when do you start counting?

 

The most important SKILL you can learn? SELF CONFIDENCE and Why you’ll want to write yourself a letter

Self confidence is a skill.

How do you develop it? Check this out — the answer is a bit of a no-brainer but bears repeating. Here’s a clue – how do you develop any HABIT? Plus, why writing yourself a letter is a good idea and how you process feedback is essential. All good messages shared by Dr. Ivan Joseph in his Tedx talk, The Skill of Confidence.

Remember, if you aren’t going to believe in you… who is?

Enjoy!

P.S. check this out for a related podcast – How Life Expands!

“How Can I Be Happy?” A Timeless Lesson told by a Personal Development Legend


How can I be happy?

If you Google “how can I be…”
Care to guess what Google will autofill? No guessing required… (see image below)

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 2.37.11 PM
only here is the dilemna.

“The art of happiness is to serve all. To be truly happy, we must think not only of how we can help ourselves, but how we can help others.” ~Anonymous

I wrote extensively about this here (see post)

I love the above video, here Jack La Lanne underscores all the above! Watch it at least three times this week and see what happens!

Enjoy!
~mws

Are your Habits Aligned with your Dreams for Tomorrow?

The above video and corresponding post was originally published on 4/20/2014 – years ago.

Steph Curry has now willed his team to multiple NBA FINALS AND he managed to WIN (by vote) the league’s MVP award (for regular season play).

On his march to the NBA finals, Curry has shattered every 3 point record that’s existed in league history–and the playoffs aren’t done yet!

Pay special attention to the statement,

“I knew he was going to be a future NBA superstar and here’s how I knew that, it was all because of his work habits.” And, it gets better from there… at one point the voice over guy explains how AFTER practice, Curry would not leave until he swished five free throws in a row. Do you know how hard that is? The moral of that story is that success is NOT an accident, success is a CHOICE…”

YOU can take if from there… enjoy this video/ post and the NBA playoffs 2015 ; )

>>>>>Original Post below
Happy Easter!

SUCCESS IS NO ACCIDENT.

This applies to whatever you are interested in becoming great at!

And, speaking of great— this is a short video that beautifully illustrates the power of habit (that seemingly magical force that has the ability to take what was, at first, difficult (driving, shooting a basketball, playing piano, tying your shoes) and, over time, through diligent practice and repetition, make it easier… seemingly effortless.

“Habit is, as it were, a second nature.” ~Cicero.

The highest form of competence is a state of natural mastery (in developmental circles it is called unconscious competence), where once there have been many thousands of hours of practice, it’s actually harder for a person to err than performing the skill/task correctly. In fact, I believe Tony Robbins cites a story about Larry Bird who was once filming a commercial and was asked to miss a basketball shot badly— unfortunately, he kept making his shots.

THE REAL TAKE-AWAY
The ultimate take-away is actually far more compelling than “success is no accident” — the real gem here is everyone (YOU) has this built-in, all powerful achievement device, a gift really — and that is the ability to develop any habit necessary to help them achieve any goal or to help them realize their vision of success.

Ask Stephen Curry. ; )

And, it’s worth asking yourself, what habit (link to a free habit building template) you are trying to develop? How are you developing it?

The REAL “F” Word

Failure-success-streetsign

It’s pretty funny if you consider that out of all the possible words in the English language starting with “F” only one word, (that word) is known as the “F” word. (noted in below audio!) However, I’d like propose a NEW “F” word– the NEW “F” word. It may not be as fun to shout —- but it holds far more value.

We FAIL far more than we might ever hope to do the other F word anyway… On average, I’d venture to guess that we fail at least ten times a day. Some of YOU much, much more.
; )

We turn on the wrong street. Purchase the wrong product. Pronounce a word incorrectly. Say something we shouldn’t have said or do something we wish we wouldn’t have done. #FAIL!

So, what’s the point?

I came across a brilliant quote from former General and Secretary of State, Colin Powell and, I absolutely love it. First because he dispels rather quickly this garbage about “SECRETS to success”. Then, he gets to the meat of it…

“There are no secrets to success. Success is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from our failures.
~Colin Powell

Learning from our failures…. Brilliant.

My friend, you and I have (already) and will learn far more from our failures than we will ever learn from our successes.

Another notable personality (and brain) to back up that statement.

“Success is a horrible teacher.” ~Bill Gates

Simply put, we NEED THE INFO.

When you take ACTION and FAIL– you’re getting information (energy) back and redirecting you in new directions, thoughts, actions. You must have the feedback. Did you know that a guided missile is really NEVER on perfect target UNTIL it hits the target. Throughout the entire distance it travels it’s making adjustments, correcting itself until the last second!

You are no different! You have to take action — to fail. To be reidrected and you must conntinue making adjustments and ultimately believe you’ll hit your target. YOU MUST TAKE ACTION!

This is what Napoleon Hill meant when he said, “Action is the real measure of intelligence.” Then, there is our buddy Tony Robbins who put it brilliantly when he said, “You haven’t really made a decision until you’ve taken ACTION!”

Take the shot, miss the shot (celebrate if you want) just know that another attempt will get you that much closer! “You miss 100{17e3bfd9a07c0de986581ed5697b485698805caa8353107ff911cf28c852f548} of the shots you don’t take.” ~Wayne Gretzky

This is how you hit your target! This is how you achieve your goals! This is why failure exists! Enjoy the new “F” word.

#failfaster

~mws

(ADULT CONTENT WARNING!!!) this is an old audioclip I’ve run across… it’s about the original/other “F” word and is both educational and entertaining. However, if you are adverse to profane language please avoid.

 

Behavior Modification: Temptation, Reward Substitution & Self Control Contracts– Oh My

“In the future, we are all wonderful people.” ~Dan Ariely

This short TEDx video 17 mins – will give you some insight into why people (YOU) behave certain ways regarding certain things— even things that are very important to you. Do you wish you ate less of that? Do you wish you worked out more last week? Didn’t you plan to run this morning?

This elaborates on the basic idea that PAIN and PLEASURE are the guiding principle forces behind our decisions and actions. Entertaining and enlightening delivery. Enjoy!