How do you stay focused in a world that’s constantly distracting you?
And how do you stay disciplined towards your goals and what really matters to you?
In this blog I’m going to break down 4 key areas (steps) you can implement TODAY to start seeing an increase in discipline and focus.
What is discipline?
Discipline is one of the most important personality traits in everyone's life. Discipline creates habits, habits make routines, and routines become who you are daily.
It refers to a set of rules and regulations which are to be followed while completing any task or activity. It’s a way of being honest, hard-working, motivated, and encouraged while doing any task.
So how disciplined have you been recently within your life?
We’ve all gone through the waves of procrastination, self-indulgence and recklessness, but how you manage your ship through those waves will ultimately determine how far you go in your journey.
Maybe you’ve been extremely disciplined with going to the gym and working out, but you’ve been lacking discipline in your diet.
Or maybe you’ve been disciplined with getting things done at work, but you’ve been lacking discipline with your personal goals.
There are a million different scenarios, but wherever you are in your level of discipline, adopting these four simple habits will help you stay more focused and disciplined towards your path of self-mastery and high performance.
I know this sounds obvious, but common sense isn’t always common practice.
If you feel like you’re lacking discipline in your life, then I challenge you to ask yourself if you truly know what your goals are.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and busy all the time, but you’re not making any real progress?
A lack of discipline usually begins with a lack of clarity. How can you achieve your goals if you don’t even know what they are! That’s why the first step in identifying your goals is so important. It gives you clarity and direction with where you want to go.
Not only do you want to know your goals, but also what your purpose is. I’m not talking about Purpose with a capital P (like what’s the meaning of life) I’m talking about what are your intentions for the day? How do you want to feel and show up in the world? What’s your top priority?
Getting clear on why you do what you do will help you stay disciplined along that journey. Once you know where you want to go, that leaves us with our second habit.
Now you need a game plan.
Do you have “going to the gym” marked down in your calendar? Where is it a part of your day? When are you going to do it?
If you leave your day to randomness, then you’ll see random results. You need to write down your goals and map out when you’re going to create the time to work on them.
Mark this down in your calendar every day and map out your goals for the next 3 months. This is an arbitrary number of course, some goals you could accomplish in 3 days or even 3 hours if you really put your mind to it, but whatever that number is for you, write it down and schedule it in your planner. Bigger goals tend to take longer to accomplish.
So why is this so important?
Well, do you go into a football game without a game plan or strategy? Of course not (at least I hope not). You have a plan and it’s clearly articulated.
That’s why you need to identify your goals first, be specific with them, and then map out your calendar so you know when you’re actually going to work on them.
Another critical component to your success is having deadlines for your goals - which automatically happens by writing them down in your calendar!
Think back to times in your life when you got things done, what was a common and big motivating factor in that process? Deadlines.
Remember when you had HW?
If you were one of those students that actually did their HW, then I’m sure a major reason why you got it done was because a teacher gave you a deadline to get it done - or you got no credit.
When you have a deadline, you’ll be more likely to stick to your goals. This leads us to our third habit.
You’re more likely to achieve your goals and stay disciplined if you have accountability. Research actually shows you’re 95% more likely (I talk about this in another blog I wrote).
Staying disciplined is hard though. It takes grit, consistency, commitment, mental toughness, and more. We often let ourselves down because it’s easy to let our personal goals slide in our personal lives, but when we have somebody holding us accountable, then we’re more likely to stick to it.
Accountability comes in many shapes and sizes too.
You could have a workout buddy, a teacher, business partner, or even hire a life coach (like myself) to help you set goals, develop a plan of action, and continuously work towards that goal.
Without accountability, your dreams will probably float away.
How many times have you heard someone say, “one day I’m going to write a book!” And then they never do. That’s because they often don’t have someone holding them accountable (and they also don’t have the first two habits developed yet!)
The different types of accountability depends on your goals too. If you're trying to lose weight and go to the gym, a personal trainer could help you stay committed to your workout routine 2-3 times a week. They will also help you stay committed towards your diet. This is a professional relationship that really helps.
Yeah it’s good to have friends as accountability partners, but when you invest in a trainer or coach (which is really an investment in yourself) you’re going to have a different level of commitment, focus and discipline to your goals, because now you have someone cheering you on, pushing you, challenging you, and helping you grow so you can reach that next level of success - and often times we don’t want to let them down!
If you haven’t already done so, find more accountability in your life. There are many creative ways such as joining a group of like minded people like a mastermind, or hiring a life coach. Whatever method works best for you, then I highly recommend and encourage you to invest the time and money into it.
That is one of the most proven ways to help you stay disciplined.
Ultimately, your goal is to learn how to stay more and more disciplined on your own, but even the highest achievers and the most successful people have struggles with discipline, and they also seek out accountability because they know it works.
When people lack confidence and discipline it’s usually because they never took the time to celebrate their wins.
What’s the point of playing a sport if you can’t celebrate a victory with your team!
Yes, there are many other reasons and there are more important things than winning too, but either way, taking the time to celebrate your success is crucial to your growth of self-discipline.
Why does this work and why is it so important?
Well, when your mind takes time to reflect on your journey, research shows that it helps you develop and maintain long term habits that continue to help you achieve your goals. You can read about it in a previous article I wrote on this topic here.
The reasons why this is so powerful is because the act of reflecting is the reward itself.
Think about it (literally).
Take time to think about your success! That’s the best part. Think about the journey you were on. Think about what you learned from that experience and relive it!
You could have a goal as simple as going to the gym twice a week. Great! That’s amazing. Now how can you celebrate that? You can reflect every Sunday on your week and write down how it made you feel. Where did you see growth in your health this past week? What are you proud of?
This will help you in many ways. You’ll start to feel more confident with yourself, increase self-awareness and develop greater discipline towards your daily goals and tasks.
When you take the time to reflect, you’ll be able to recognize how far you’ve really come, which will only encourage you even more to stay even more committed to your goals. You don’t want to lose that streak! You want to keep gaining momentum and making progress in your life so you’ll continue to consciously choose to stay more disciplined. You know you can do it and you know how good it feels when you do accomplish something.
Tap into this reflection period more often, and watch your discipline increase.
Once again, the simple act of reflecting on what you experienced in that process will increase self-confidence, self-discipline, and ultimately self-mastery.
At the end of the day, if you want more discipline, you need to develop better habits.
Going through this process of seeking clarity on your goals, creating a game plan, sticking to it with the help of a coach or an accountability partner, and rewarding yourself for all the hard work and progress you made is going to help you stay more disciplined in whatever pursuits and dreams you’re chasing after.
If you’re looking for accountability, sign up for Mindset University’s Life Coaching Program and develop your mental fitness so you can stay more disciplined and focused on your goals.