10 Ways to Become a More Disciplined Person

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Success is not possible without growth and change. Discipline is the key to growth and change. TWEET

John C. Maxwell said, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

My favorite team’s coach, Nick Saban says this about discipline:

“Discipline comes when there's something you know you're supposed to do that you really don't want to do, and you make yourself do it anyway.”  

So how can we become more disciplined? That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? To help, I will give you 10 ways to become a more disciplined person. 

1. Recognize that discipline begins with your habits.

If we want to change our life, we have to change your habits. Stop a habit. Start a habit. Discipline begins and ends with your habits!

2. Recognize that AVERAGE IS a HABIT.

Everyone tends to be lazy, even the most successful people. Successful people just refuse to give in.  No one “feels like it.”

Ordinary is natural and easy. Extra-ordinary is what will separate us from the crowd. TWEET

3. Prioritize your life.

Place yourself on the calendar first. If we wait until things “slow down” to do the things that really matter, they will never get done. Place your personal development and your priorities on the calendar first. Schedule time when you are unavailable and inaccessible so you can get the most important things done.

4. Focus on one area of discipline at a time.

Don’t try to change everything. Don’t write yourself off as being an undisciplined person and use that as an excuse. Start with one area. Focus on one new area of discipline.

One area of discipline spills over into another area. Before you know it, you have become a more disciplined person.

5. Map out a new routine.

Hope is not a strategy. A strategy is a strategy! Map out a new routine that feeds and fuels your new habit.

Athletes know that to increase their odds at winning, they have to be consistent in their warm-up, cool-down and recovery. Planning your own routine—and sticking to it until it becomes automatic—can prep you for success, too.

6. Don’t cheat and don’t take a break.

If you take a break or buy into the “just this one-time” mentality, it’s over. If you don’t let the devil get his foot in the door, he cannot get in!

7. Get Accountable.

As soon as possible, go public with your habits. Is it possible you fail? No, it’s probable! That’s why we need other’s help!

Just say to everyone: “I’m not sure I can do this but I definitely can’ do this without your support and accountability.” If you really want to be held accountable, ask your SPOUSE to hold you accountable! Works for me! Write everything down and place it on the door of the fridge. Take a friend to coffee, share your heart, and ask a trusted friend to ask you about your new habit every week.

8. Focus on the fruit, not the process.

This will not be easy. If change were easy, everyone would be accomplishing their goals! Don’t base ANYTHING on your feelings. Don’t give in to excuses, self-pity, fatigue, or laziness.

You have exactly enough time to accomplish what you need to accomplish. Delay instant gratification and think long term!

The smallest disciplines pay off over time. Chances are no one’s going to notice or applaud right away. However, over time, your choices and habits will take you where you want to go.

9. Think long term.

We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period of time and overestimate what we can do in a long period of time. There is also a link between INTEGRITY and DISCIPLINE. Chances are no one’s going to notice our new habits right away. There will be no applause. No one’s going to send us a congratulations card or a trophy for these new disciplines. We have to simply stay the course and recognize the compound effect of our disciplines OVER TIME. If I eat healthy and you don't, no one will notice the difference for weeks, maybe even months!  However, over years, I will get leaner and meaner, and you, well...you guess! I'm delaying instant gratification for long term success. Are you willing to do that? If so, that's discipline. 

10. Know your WHY.

In my book Be Mean About the Vision, I say that “When we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing, we’ll eventually lose our passion.”

WHY do you want to change?

WHY will this be worth it?

Write this down and keep it in front of you. When it gets hard, always go back to WHY. 

Are you inspired? What action step will you take today to become more disciplined. Share it with us by leaving a comment below!

At CourageToLead, we're passionate about helping leaders raise the lid by becoming more disciplined and focused. Next level leadership begins with leading yourself at the next level! If you want to break barriers with your own leadership, check out the Leading Myself to the Next Level Cohort that I'm kicking off with a small handful of leaders this January! Spots are limited!