8 Self-Discipline Tactics That Can Change Your Life
March 16, 2014
This blog post is inspired by a book I read by Brain Tracy, called The Miracle of Self-Discipline. I am about to take you through eight different ways that you can learn to use self-discipline to control your own destiny. My goal is that you reference this blog post back when you are having a rough day and feeling like you need some guidance or forget what you have learned here today.
I will take you through 8 different tactics that you can use to build your will power, confidence, and self-reliance! Self-discipline is the foundation that all successful people have in common. You are here because you care about your health, fitness and weight loss goals and looking for a way to align your mindset and lifestyle habits with it! You must place a sense of urgency on these 8 self-discipline tactics. Practicing these on a consistent basis will add quality to all aspects of your life and could very-well change it forever!
Before we start…
Let’s get on the same page, EVERYTHING is hard before it gets easier. Raising a child, exercising regularly, whole food nutrition habits, work, life, school kids, in-laws, and math.…see where I am going with this? You must buy into the concept that habits, will power, strength, and decision making are muscles that can be flexed, you will be able to exercise them individually to make them each stronger each day. These 8 tactics are the “exercises” that you use to build your “self-discipline” muscles. The choices you make each day define who you are, so you have ask yourself…
Do you want to be a healthy person or an unhealthy person?
Do you want to build health in your body, or destroy it?
Do you want to live life at its maximum potential, or never know what “good” feels like?
Do you believe that you can live a better life than the one you are living now?
If you answered like I though you would, then this blog post is for you…
Self-Discipline – It’s Your Choice
One word you will have to be familiar and comfortable with is sacrifice. Are you willing to pay the price of things in the present to see the reward in the future? If you can honestly answer that question with a yes and a smile, then the rest of this blog post is for you and could change your life forever!
1. 30 Minute Think Sesh
Most people go through their day to day agenda without prioritizing one bit. Letting tasks intertwine and overlap without accomplishing anything really. It is not an insult when I label those of us that do that “scatterbrains” because I am guilty of it too! Nothing gets accomplished with scattered, unfinished tasks and without clear mental frame you cannot interpret what you should be truly focusing on.
So how do you clear those mental cobwebs?
To obtain focus you need to be focused. Not focused on TV, Facebook, driving, but focused on sitting in solitude letting your brain do all the talking. Pick a time that works for you to sit down for 30 minutes and just think. Uninterrupted, unbiased, silent as can be and all by yourself.
Your goal during this time is to kick your negative thoughts and let what your sub-conscious see what it wants to see. I PROMISE you that when you will do your own 30 min think sesh your first 20 minutes of thoughts will be cloudy. But after 20 minutes you will start to surprise yourself.
The things that REALLY matter in your life will start coming out. Your kids, your health, your husband, work, and you will start to think of the important things.
You are going to have negative thoughts!
We have 60,000 thoughts per day, 48,000 of them are negative. That is 60% of the thoughts we have in our mind want to bring us down into mental submission. When you are thinking for 30 minutes kick your negative thoughts!
“I can’t” becomes “I am”.
Tell yourself, “I am the best mom in the world.” “I am 60 lbs. lighter” “I am an excellent wife”
“I won’t” becomes “I will”.
Tell yourself, “I will complete my marathon” “I will work out 6 days per week”
Traci illustrates how 30 minutes of silent thinking works in his short book titled, The Miracle of Self Discipline, by using the bucket-of-water example. If you fill up a bucket with dirt, water, grass, and pine cones and shake it up you will end up with a dirty bucket of water. Now let that same bucket sit for 30 minutes uninterrupted and watch what happens. All of the sudden the water is crystal clear with dirt settled at the bottom. This is exactly what will happen to your mind when you practice this routine. You will experience extreme clarity and thought separation.
- Take Some Mental Notes
- Eat Healthy and Exercise Often
If you are looking for some excellent advice for fitness and nutrition, you are certainly in the right spot. There is not a single other act on this planet that can release “happy hormones” like a high intensity exercise session. My Burn Boot Camp program is challenging but equally rewarding. Working out in the morning, in my opinion, is the best time of day to achieve maximum overall lifestyle results. Your brain requires oxygen to function efficiently and supplying your brain (and other bodily tissues) with oxygen first thing in the morning will set the tone for a whole day of clear thinking.
2. Get Rid of the 3 White Poisons: Sugar, Salt, and Flour
Simply eliminating these three “food” groups from your lifestyle will boast some serious life changing results. If you have never done this for a lengthy period of time you probably do not know what it feels like to feel great. Sugar, salt, and flour can literally suck the energy out of your body causing dehydration and sluggishness. I could go much deeper into nutrition, but for the purposes of this post, eliminate the 3 white poisons and you will be in a much better position to think, look, feel, and be a better person each day.
Drink water. Too many of us under estimate the power of what water can do for our bodies. Wake up in the morning to a large glass of cold water, followed by a workout, and then a solid meal full of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fat to kick start your day. It takes 21 uninterrupted days to form a habit and it is NOT easy. Like I prefaced in the begging paragraph, making yourself do what you don’t always want to do is how self-discipline is practiced. The more you practice a healthy lifestyle, the stronger your will power gets. When your will power is exercised over and over again you will have formed a life-long habit that can only be broken by 21 straight days of the opposite behavior.
3. Daily Goal Setting
Setting a goal for yourself everyday will revolutionize your life. Whether your life’s goals are personal or professional I am going to take you through a little exercise that will help you develop a laser-like focus in achieving them.
What do you really want out of your life?
I am not asking what you want of your current situation. I am asking you what would you do professionally if you had 10 million dollars and 10 years to live? Close your eyes and imagine your life in 25 years. Think long, hard, and vividly about exactly what kind of house you are living in, what your body looks like, what your relationship with your husband looks like, and what your children are doing.
Based on your vision, what kinds of things would you get into? And what activities, relationships, habits or hobbies would you get out of?
Would you exercise more? Would you spend less money? Would you create a new relationship or mend an old one?
Sometimes life seems like a “grind” because we are preoccupied on our current limitations and fail to realize the full potential of what we are truly capable of. Now I want you to get out a piece of paper and write down 10 goals that align with your “10 million dollar and 10 years to live” vision and going to work over the next 21 days on these tasks.
Each goal needs to have a single-minded and laser-like focus that is in line with what your vision is. Constantly reverting back to this vision will allow you to give your subconscious mind the ability to execute and write down goals contrary to your current situation.
Every 21 days revisit your vision and come up with 10 new goals that compound upon the old ones!
4. Daily Time Management
Plan your day thoroughly. It is said that for every hour of planning 3 hours of guess work is removed thus making planning one of the most efficient things that you can spend your time doing. I wanted to share something with you that I have picked up along the way. It is called a “GSD List” or Get Stuff Done list. This list consistently of breaking your goals in to 5 much smaller goals each day. Let me explain further.
So each night before you go to bed, take a moment to write down the 5 things you will be getting done the next day. It is important to do it the night before to give your subconscious mind something to focus on. After you have your 5 things written down you now must prioritize these tasks. Use the following system to know which tasks are the most important to you…
Beside each daily task write and A, B, C, D, or E next to it.
A = Must do tasks that you and only you can do. These tasks cannot wait and must get done first.
B = Should do tasks but do not HAVE to get done. A tasks are priority.
C = Nice to do tasks. Things that you enjoy doing.
D = Delegate tasks to others that you need to get done, but that others can do.
E = Tasks to eliminate. Sometimes making a “Not-To-D0” List is just as important. Freeing you of non-sense.
Sticking to the things that align with your goals is the key to supercharging your quality of life. Stay with this style of prioritization and you will get twice as much done in the same amount of time.
Force yourself to do the things you do not want to do. A tasks aren’t always going to be the most pleasant tasks and often require you to step out-side of your comfort zone. You are paralyzed by your own words “I can’t” “I don’t” or “I won’t” need to be eliminated from your vocabulary. Sometimes fear of loss or the need to overcome gets in the way of doing the things that move your life forward in a positive direction. Everyone’s natural tendency is to steer clear of fear but as the famous quote suggests:
“Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain”
I want you stand in front of the mirror each morning you wake up and repeat the following sentence to yourself 10 times:
“I can do it, I will do it, I am awesome, I am beautiful, and I am smart”
Write these words down on a post-it note and stick them the three places you hang out the most in your house. Post it in the bathroom, kitchen, and on by your computer. Constant reminders are necessary for overcoming your fears. Understand that building courage is a process just like building muscle. The more times you work it out the stronger it becomes. Practice courage over and over and over and over again until you truly are a courageous person.
6. Regular Savings and Investments
Make it an A list priority to get and stay out of debt. Resolve to this as often as possible and each day chip away at keeping more money and spending less. This is often a New Year’s resolution for people but making this part of your everyday life will bring true resolution and not a fad sure to die out. Rewiring your brain to get satisfaction out of saving money rather than spending it. Don’t get me wrong, spending money on priorities is a different story. But what things have you bought this last week that you could do without? Fast food, new shoes, Starbucks? Adding these little expenses that do not align with your “10 million dollar 10 years to live” goal up can amount to a fortune over 10 years.
Don’t know where to start? Allocate about 10-20% of your money to savings. Focus on upping your savings by 1% each month and living off of the other 99%. Two thirds of all success is not making the wrong decisions. Buying decisions are very important and having a structured way to handle your finances can go a long way in relieving stress and adding to the quality of your life.
7. Hard Work
One of my favorite quotes in Traci’s book is, “work hard when you are working”. So much of our time is wasted at work by mindless chatting, gossip, googling, and non-sense during the work day. Think about your office and how much time is wasted each day. You are at your job for a reason, to better yourself and your family. Those with strong self-discipline do not settle and are always striving to get ahead in life.
How can you get ahead if you are involving yourself in the wasted time at work?
“Work hard when you go to work” means exactly what is says. If your peers are participating in activities at work that do not involve work, you can say this one thing to get yourself out of being sucked in, “I have some work to do”. Do not tell them you are not interested in talking with them or that they need to get to work, but take it upon yourself.
Self-discipline at work WILL be noticed by your executives. Be the first one into to work in the morning and get right to work. Bring your lunch to work and work while you are eating rather than skipping an hour to take lunch off campus. Compounding these little efforts to “work hard while you are at work” will do wonders for your career!
8. Exercise Daily
Move your body every day and live in great physical health! Imagine what you want your body to look like, eat less, and exercise more!