So I am that person, the one that people make fun of and endlessly joke about how ridiculously type “A” I am. Constantly saying things like, “Well, you know Meridith, she will have made three sales calls, worked out, and delivered a keynote all before the rest of us roll out of bed,” or “You can order dessert, but Meridith won’t eat it, no matter how much you tempt her.”
Yes, in the group within I run, I am considered the disciplined one. But what many of my newer friends and certainly my clients don’t know about me was that I was not always that way. In fact, I was far from it.
For most of my life, I was the girl who was always late for work because I could not get out of bed. I never scheduled a college class before 11, and more often than not, I barely made it. My diet consisted of all things fried, morning, noon, and night, and my weight, as you can imagine, was a constant struggle.
So, what changed? And why did it change?
Well, without boring you with the long story, the short answer is my life. Circumstances put me in a situation where I had to perform, and I had to deliver. Not being disciplined was no longer an option. I had to make a choice. I could either rise to the occasion or let people down and lose my job.
What I learned from that was a valuable lesson. Discipline isn’t a gift or a talent that some people have and others don’t. No, discipline is simply a choice. A decision that you make either to be or not to be disciplined.
One you make the choice to be “that person” the type “A” personality you can easily and effectively apply these strategies to be disciplined.
Now before I share those strategies, the question really becomes “why?” What is the value of being disciplined? It is simple, really. Discipline ensures you have clarity of what is most important in your life and what you most want in life. Then discipline ensures you prioritize the steps and actions you need to achieve it, giving you the ultimate gift of controlling your success in life.
6 Proven Strategies To Master The Art of Discipline
- Mindset – it all starts with mindset. You have to want to change. Now you don’t have to be good at it, know how to do it, or even do it well. But you have to want to do it. One of the best ways to get your head right when it comes to discipline is to define your vision – both for your professional and business life. Knowing what you want and seeing it will help you see the path to achieving it.
- Give Up The Net – not doing the things you need to do usually happens with the comfort you give yourself for not doing them. Things like hitting the snooze and sleeping another thirty minutes, or friends you call to get ice cream instead of going to the gym, or the filing you do instead of making sales calls. Whatever it is you are doing instead of the actions that will move you forward, give it up. Let go of the net.
- Baby Steps – take it slow. Choose one thing – you want to get up earlier, eat more vegetables or read more books. Whatever your list entails, choose the easiest and choose just one to get started.
- Progress Not Perfection – this leads us to make progress rather than perfection. This may be one step forward, two steps back. No, scratch that; this will be one step forward and two steps back. So give yourself a break; as long as you are moving forward, you are on the path to being disciplined.
- All areas of your life – this is bigger than work. Don’t just limit getting disciplined to work or your personal life – think about getting more disciplined across all areas of your life. Believe it or not, this will make the journey easier. Meaning, that the more you focus on the right things in your personal life, the easier it will be to do so professionally.
- Focus On Success – and last but not least, reward yourself. For every positive step you make, no matter how small.
Discipline can bring so much value and happiness to your life. The more you understand it, the more you focus on it, the further you will be on your path to success.