Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be, be one.Marcus Aurelius
Mostly everyone knows what they need to do to get what they want. If you want to lose weight: eat healthily and exercise. If you want wealth: save and invest. Both of these examples require sacrifice. Which many are capable of doing…. for the moment at least. Then comes in the procrastination littered with self-help books, diet trends, expensive trainers and wealth seminars which robs you from both time and money.
What many people lack is the ability to be consistent with the work to meet their goal and the self-discipline it requires. How does one remain focus in this busy world? We know we must overcome our desire for short term pleasure to meet our meaningful long term goal- but how does one accomplish this?
For starters, it is never motivation.
When I must meet a goal, I never used motivation to get me there because that is a feeling that comes and goes. Motivation isn’t there with me at 3 AM when I’m breastfeeding my daughter. I use discipline, which operates as a contract.
For I want to achieve in this, there are things I now need to do.
There is no such thing as a “small goal.” If it requires you to have self-discipline, it is a big deal. Part of this big deal of having discipline is structure and maintenance. It can get boring. So, how does an individual stay structured? Stay maintaining? Stay disciplined?
Here are 8 ways on how I stay disciplined:
- Know and understand your goal
Once you figure out what you want to achieve, learn the steps and tools you need in order to reach it. Don’t overload yourself with data because that can be discouraging. Instead, focus on what you need to do now. Work with what you have available to you now. And answer this: why are you going to commit to this exciting journey? This will help you stay disciplined.
2. Start slow- then doors will open up
When my teenage daughter began to show interest in playing basketball, she immediately wanted an (expensive) pair of basketball sneakers. “The sneakers will help me look more like a basketball player!” She explained. Well. She is correct. The sneakers will help her look like a basketball player. Not actually be a basketball player. Is this Halloween? Or are you serious in the sport? If you’re serious, only skills will make you be one. She will develop the skills through practice and discipline.
She showed me that it isn’t Halloween.
She is serious and used the resources that are currently available to her: an old pair of sneakers, daily access to a basketball court, a ball, commitment and time. Within 6 months of training, the sneakers she wanted (which she had forgotten about) came to her as well as many opportunities within the sport.
3. Have a (private) audience, you respect and love
Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.Carl Jung
When you’re committed to achieving success, it can be rather lonely. Or if you made no (small) announcement about your goal, you might get lazy. What is important is to avoid these natural human flaws. The best way is to not make your “inspiring” journey public but rather, let those in your inner circle know. They will support you, encourage you and you’re reminded that they are watching you.
For me, it is my children.
Once you have children, you quickly realize that they don’t listen. You can say whatever you like: in one ear out the other. How does a parent get through to these little humans? The answer is through your action. The children aren’t listening, but they are watching.
For instance, many parents want to know how to get their children to eat more healthy. I ask them: do you eat healthy yourself? If so, they will follow. If not, they will also follow. And I’m not talking about a freakish diet or one healthy meal. It’s a lifestyle. Commit to it, sincerely enjoy it and your children will want to join. It will also help keep you disciplined to the point of the lifestyle becoming natural, no longer difficult.
For this, it is best to work in silence and allow your work to speak. At the same time, share your goal with a love one- in person. No need for a social media
4. Remove the naysayers and learn from the wise
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain- and most fools do.Dale Carnegie
Here comes the very popular unsolicited advice. The ones who are threatened by you taking a risk. The ones who are in no position to tell you what you need to do. The negative. Holding you back, since they’ve missed out and have become regretful- even bitter.
They declare they’re “realistic” but have no insurance themselves. If they were realistic about life, wouldn’t they have done things differently? Or at the very least, encourage you not make their mistakes? It almost comes off as if they want you to repeat their mistakes!
They might have good intentions, but how many wars were started with good intentions? They might express they have “wisdom” and experience- but they lack both since they offer no hope or way out, only to stress and cause strife.
You must set boundaries with these types. If they are unrelated people, cut them off. If it is your grandmother or father- love from a distance. Listen to them politely and then discard. Most love ones want to see you do mediocre in life. Your goals and ambitions upset them for having none. It’s a quiet reminder that they could’ve gained anything they wanted in life, but was too ignorant or scared.
Remember: the person you accept their advice from is the life you are working towards living.
Instead, seek from those who have already mastered what you wish to master. You can even learn from historical figures or present influencers. However, don’t compare yourself to them. You want to gain knowledge on how this individual remained discipline and what methods they took to
5. Understand it takes 8-10 years to master a skill: patience
After you turned off the noise, it’s time to take steps in the direction of your goal.
In today’s world, we have been wildly spoiled by the instant. We want instant results because we have instant messager. But know this truth: things that take longer to develop are more valuable. Things that come to quickly and easy are taken for granted and often less appreciated.
Think of how you spend the money you earned versus if you had won. Think of the time and energy spent at the gym rather than having a bypass surgery for instant fat loss. Or in love? Think of how quickly the fire of passion died out by your third date. People tend to celebrate weddings rather marriage itself, creating false expectations of pure joy all the time.
If you expect to accomplish your goal and master the field- you have to put in the time. As mentioned in the previous point, the person you seek for wisdom in your field had at least this amount of years dedicated in the industry. You will only want to hear from this accomplished person, not one in the making or someone with potential. We all have the potential.
But not all are disciplined, driven and have succeeded. This is especially important to learn because you will need tons of discipline and focus for many years to come.
6. Be consistent and know when it’s time to change your method
Understanding there are no short cuts to success, patience is virtual. There is a way to soften this however. Seek out the smaller task and don’t obsess with the bigger picture: read a fat book. (Long term goal) Never mind it has 30 chapters. Start with chapter 1. (Small steps) Continue each day, no matter how much or little you read. (Consistency) You will be amazed that you gone through that entire book when you’re done. (Goal met)
If you notice after some time, your goal isn’t being met- how do you know if you need to try harder or try something completely different?
Money is always a great indicator.
If you have been wildly passionate in a subject for over the years but gain no wealth– you don’t have anything but a hobby. It’s time for you to invest your energy elsewhere. Your work will be noticed if the market wants it. It is difficult to pass on something that is too good. If you’re an excellent artist, your work will sell, not your passion. Often people are blinded by love with their work. When in reality, they’ll
If you’re in the right field but keep getting stuck- use the trial and error method. You know it’s possible to lose the stubborn last 10 pounds. Reevaluate your routine. Perhaps diet soda is hindering your goal. You tried everything else. Now eliminate the diet soda and replace it with a protein shake. The results should show within 3 weeks.
Many people will stop here due to “I tried.” But no one makes history from the effort put in. You must succeed.
7. Never play the victim or speak about yourself
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.Dale Carnegie
If you give up, or won’t even start your goal- you’ll live to regret it. Everyone has a billion reasons on why they “can’t” do something. All you need is one reason why you can: because you should.
Those who complain why they couldn’t or why they currently can’t- are always a drag to have around. They seem to be attracting bad luck to them- and perhaps secretly enjoy it. Stay away from these individuals, their misery is infectiousness. Avoid becoming this type yourself by freeing your insecure thoughts through service.
Speaking about yourself (especially when no one asked) is a sign of a troublesome person. No- your childhood is not inspiring. Goals met in the face of struggle is inspiring. Most people aren’t interested in your past troubles. But what is interesting is when it is commonly known you had a struggle and overcame it against the odds. Let others speak of it, you work towards bettering yourself from yesterday.
Many people had a difficult past themselves. We have so much in common! The world is filled with sorrow, misery, and pain. We as humans are uncomfortable to be reminded about this. So spare us the dysfunctional upbringing. Instead, speak of life. Speak of hope- through your discipline work.
8. Want to help distant others? Start by helping yourself first and those closest to you
When people begin their journey to achieve their goal, it might’ve started out to be for themsleves. Now the results are kicking in. You might say to yourself: “Hey. I want my work to branch out. I want to reach as many people, influence and help people with their struggle I once had!”
Slow down pal.
A noble idea but a silly one.
How can you save the entire world? That task is too large and reserved for God Himself. But you can still help– those who are interested in your newfound wisdom will come, which will penetrate throughout society.
Whatever you have learned through your journey, say cooking in hopes to open your own food truck. You should feed your family first- free of charge. Let them experience your delicious recipes. Let them offer a review. Teach anyone in your home if they show interest. The food will be soon tested by their co-workers. Gym goers. Church people. Payment is proof your food and service is good.
A woman may have good intentions by marching for women rights- but how is her relationship at home with her mother? With her daughter? Part of staying focus and discipline is to remember your overall goal. There is still much to learn in life. Many get arrogant and this derails their trip to success.
A wise man knows that he doesn’t know. You can always learn and grow more.
You may not be the savior of the world, but to one person, you are their world.
Even if that one person is you.
Take care of yourself.