Why is it so darn easy to say you’re going to do something and then so difficult to follow through and actually make it happen? The key is to cultivate self-discipline and persistence however, that’s sometimes easier said than done, right?
Here are a few tips to become self-disciplined and persistent – tips to make things happen in your life!
#1 – Eliminate, or at least set aside, emotion.
Self-discipline is the ability to move forward and to take action regardless of how you feel. Let’s say you decide you want to lose weight. When you make that decision, you’re probably feeling pretty motivated and confident. You probably went so far as to formulate a plan to make it happen.
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you decide you’re going to get up every day and exercise for 30 minutes as part of your weight loss plan. That may go along just great for a couple days until one morning you wake up and, for one reason or another, you’re not feeling so uber-motivated or even slightly positive about the thought of moving your aching butt out of that bed.
It happens to all of us and it’s completely understandable. The difference between the person with self-discipline and those without is that the person without will let their emotions affect their decisions and actions. Instead of getting up and exercising, they’ll stay in bed.
To cultivate self-discipline and persistence, set those emotions aside. Recognize them, accept them, and then move them aside and don’t let them get in the way of your goals.
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” – Calvin Coolidge
#2 – Cultivate an appreciation and a pattern of success
It’s always easier to persevere if you’re accustomed to succeeding. This is because your brain sets in motion certain peptides that become hardwired for success and you create habits. You are in charge of your habits of success or habits of failure. It’s your CHOICE.
To become accustomed to succeeding, start setting little goals each day and week. Sticking with the weight loss example, because it’s so accessible, if you set a goal to lose 100 pounds that goal will seem huge and unattainable.
However, if you set a goal to lose 3 pounds, then that’s a more attainable goal. You’ll accomplish it and feel great about yourself. The next step, would to then set another attainable goal and to continue the process thus developing a pattern of success. However, even if your long-term goal is to lose weight, it’s good to cultivate this skill in all areas of your life.
Set goals for productivity, financial matters, personal habits and relationships, any area of your life where you would benefit from a pattern of success, willpower and persistence.
#3 – Make small changes
In line with setting attainable goals and developing a pattern of success, make small changes in your life towards a larger goal. For example, if you want to lose weight then one habit to change might be to drink more water. So you might want to drink one glass of water with every meal and snack.This is a small change but it makes a big difference in your life. It may offer some challenges but they’re certainly challenges you can manage, thus developing your persistence and will power with smaller, and meaningful steps.
If you’re not sure what changes to make to get started you might consider following the footsteps of a trusted mentor. It’s always easier to have a template to follow. It’s also a subconscious way of convincing yourself that success is possible because someone else has accomplished the goal. Your brain uses it to eliminate the “impossibility factor”. Remember to follow a leader. We all know how to fail in business...you want to follow a proven success.
#4 – Reward yourself for your accomplishments
Celebrating your successes is a great way to help you stay positive and persistent toward achieving your goals. Self-discipline and persistence aren’t something we’re all born with but it is something you can develop. Reward yourself by buying that new laptop you’ve been drooling over or just take a day to relax and soak in the feeling of no work and all play.
What ways have you found to keep yourself disciplined and persistent? Have you had success in achieving a long or short term goal? Please share your comments below.
To Your Success,