By now you know self discipline is hard. And you’d probably figured out that the outcomes of your projects are also outside of your control too.

You see, any outcomes that require more than one party to make it happen is outside of your control. You may be able to influence how that outcome will turn out. But you’d be foolish to think you have absolute control of it.

So you may be asking, “If the outcomes are outside of my control, then what do I have control over?”

The answer, my friend, is your actions.

Here are the five steps in creating the conditions conducive for you to be more self disciplined.

1. Get your act together

Each project has its desired outcome. With each outcome, there are a series of actions you must take on a consistent basis that lead to the realization of that desired outcome.

This is where the weakest link is for most people. They get all excited about the outcomes and the benefits of it but they fail to ask this step. They failed to map out the actions necessary.

You can start by asking this question and then use the approach outlined here to identify the action steps you need to take in order to work towards the desired outcome.

2. What’s most important?

By taking the first step, you already have a plan of action. Next, you just need to execute it. Right? Well, not so simple.

There are several factors involved here that will still derail your plans. For a start, just looking at that list of actions could overwhelm you. Especially when the project is something over and above what you are already doing.

Some well meaning plans get stalled at this point. But here’s what you can do to increase your chances. By simply figuring out which of these action steps you’ve identified are the most important ones.

3. Schedule and commit

Simply identifying what’s most important will give you a sense of relief. You’re no longer staring at an enormous list of action steps. Quite frankly, just looking at it can make you tired.

However, just simply identifying what’s most important is only a good start. You will fall sick or your child will need additional attention. Something at work might come up. Your car could break down.

Things will happen. To ensure that the most important action steps get done, no matter what, you need to schedule it. You could also see scheduling it as making an appointment with yourself that on Tuesday between 9am and 11am, I will commit to taking action on this most important task.

4. Be clear about your AIM

Has there been times when you knew you were supposed to work on something and when the time comes, you stare at it wondering what to do? And before long, you find yourself doing everything except that very thing you were supposed to do?

I’ve found that whenever I am not clear about what to do specifically, my mind will go into overdrive and simply thinking about it makes me tired. To increase the chances of getting the work done, I’ve found it to be extremely beneficial to be clear about my AIM.

Additionally, I further break down the tasks into stupid simple steps that will prevent additional cognitive overload.

5. Celebrate your progress

What do most people do after they have completed their tasks? They go and create more tasks. That’s a surefire way to get burned out, no pun intended.

Instead, what you must do is to check it off and then celebrate the fact that you’ve made progress towards the realization of your goals.

Laozi said:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Stop wasting your time

For too many people, they spend all their time visualizing and planning their goals. Only to lack the discipline to take the actions required to make progress towards their goals.

But understanding how you can create the conditions conducive to be more disciplined is the smarter way.

Which of the five steps haven’t you implemented? You do want to be more disciplined, don’t you?

Category:
Thinking