How many times have you told yourself that you were going to make a change, but didn’t follow through?
What about the times you got excited to start a new workout plan or to start a business — only to give up after a week or two?
It’s happened to me more times than I can count.
We can try to blame our circumstances or inconveniences, but deep down we know what the problem really is.
A lack of discipline.
Discipline is what sets apart the good from the great.
- It’s the difference between the guy that practices his craft when he can and the guy who practices for 3 hours a day, minimum.
- It’s what give you the ability to wake up when you’re tired and put in the work when you don’t feel like it.
- It’s what allows you to follow through, get results, and be someone folks can count on.
If there was ever a secret to success, it’s discipline — the ability to consistently do what others won’t, to get the results they never could.
*Cue cheesy motivational meme*
There are a lot of self-discipline books out there, but building discipline doesn’t happen through learning — it happens through doing.
Yeah, yeah, easier said than done.
You already know that building discipline takes work. That’s the entire point.
The question is, how do you commit to being disciplined when the act of doing so requires discipline?
I’ve found just the solution.
But before we get into that, you should probably understand how willpower plays a role in all of this.
There’s a reason some people struggle with willpower, while others practice extreme self-control with ease.
Think of Chinese Monks, for example.
It’s the same reason that some people are physically stronger than others — willpower is just like a muscle.
You have the ability to increase your willpower with practice.
Picture a daily budget of willpower. Each annoying task or unpleasant situation you encounter costs you different amounts of willpower.
When you wake up, you spend a little on getting out of bed. If you have an office job that requires morning meetings you’ll definitely spend some in there. Then when you turn down fast food for some grilled chicken and veggies, you use a bit.
This is why we often make poor decisions at night. By that time, our willpower is spent.
We literally have no more fucks to give!
But here’s the part you’re going to love — we have the ability to improve self-control.
According to this 2008 study, there are perspectives proven to promote self-control. Two perspectives stood out as the most powerful:
- Global construals: This is a mindset of keeping your BIG GOAL in mind and focusing your actions on that goal. For example, most people start a business because they want to make more money or they want to solve a problem no one else is.
- Abstraction: This is a mindset of focusing on the fulfillment you get from your actions. For example, you might feel warm and cozy hitting the snooze button, but you’ll also feel guilt and disappointment when you get less done that day.
These are both critical to the solution I’ve found, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
The Benefits of Self-Discipline
I’m sure this goes without saying, but just in case you’re doubting the value of being disciplined — a 2004 study confirmed the obvious fact that high self-control leads to successful outcomes.
Here are their 5 major findings about people with high self-control:
- They procrastinate less and get better grades
- They don’t struggle with compulsive behavior, such as abusing drugs and binge eating
- They have less occurrences of psychological disorders and have higher self-esteem
- They feel less guilt and shame
- They have better interpersonal relationships, argue less with loved ones less, and better emotional control
Are those qualities you would use to describe yourself?
There was a time when I would safely answer “no” to that question, but not anymore.
Because I have discipline and I can attest that it truly is life-changing.
How to Build Self-Discipline
Building discipline is simple, but it’s not easy.
It’s simple because all you have to do is set your mind to something and do it.
In theory it sounds easy, but change always requires a bit of discomfort.
There’s a reason that most people lack discipline.
However, there is a method to building discipline by making self-discipline a habit. Creating new habits doesn’t take very long and can usually be done in less than month.
Throughout my life, I’ve gone through periods of being insanely disciplined and other periods of being lazy, weak, and unmotivated. However, when I set my mind to something, the self-discipline always seems to follow.
This is the exact area that I see others fail — they set their mind to a goal, but quickly abandon it after a few days. What these people need is a structured system to keep them on task.
Introducing: 30 Days of Discipline
A year or so ago I discovered a program called 30 Days of Discipline.
At the time, I felt that I was starting to lose my edge — that I wasn’t putting forth the effort I used to and attacking life by the throat.
The premise of this program is that you follow a strict daily routine that’s designed specifically to do one thing — build discipline.
Essentially, you have 10-12 things that you must do every day on the program. Each of these things are habits that add value to your life, but are also challenging to do.
Right away, there were a few characteristics that stood out to me.
The first was that it was presented as a challenge and I love challenges. One of my favorite things to do when I want to accomplish something is to find a friend with a similar goal and create a competition.
I actually tried to get a few different people to do 30 Days of Discipline with me, but they all said no and the one who did try it didn’t make it past the first 10 days.
The other characteristics that stood out to me were related to habit-building, which by now you likely realize is a major interest of mine.
30 DOD requires you to do several tasks each day that require a ton of willpower — which allows you to dramatically strengthen your willpower muscle.
Granted, if you’re like me then you are already doing (or not doing) a few of the items on the daily checklist. If that’s the case, you have two options.
- Run the plan as intended and be thankful for the discipline you already have
- Replace the tasks from the daily checklist with new habits that are valuable and challenging (what I do)
I would encourage most people to run the program as intended the first time. Unless you’re mad man, like me.
Finally, and probably most importantly, 30 DOD is designed to help you focus on one big goal. If you remember from the research I linked earlier, this is crucial for developing the mindset that promotes self-discipline.
In other words, it helps you “put your mind to it and stick with it” — the area that most people struggle.
My Results From 30 Days of Discipline
I have literally made thousands of dollars and had some of the most productive months of my life while running 30 DOD.
As it turns out, 30 DOD takes a similar approach that I naturally take to adding habits in my routine. However, there are a few things in the system that I only do when I run 30 DOD.
In fact, I intentionally keep it that way.
I don’t follow the routine from 30 DOD all the time. I do it a few times per year when I need it most.
For example, last year I built and launched a local business in 30 days while running the program. (I have since sold the business.)
At one point, while following the program, I was doing 100 pull-ups a day. Not in one set, of course. But that was a big feat for me, because I’ve always struggled with pull-ups. (This is an example of how I altered the routine, but I’m not going to get specific and give away what’s in the book.)
Those are a couple of the things that stand out to me. However, what I like most about 30 DOD is having a set amount of time to go all out and knowing that it’s only 30 days.
You can do anything for 30 days.
Not just for 30 days, but you can accomplish a tremendous amount in 30 days when you put your mind to it.
I carefully vet everything I recommend to you, because I want to know that I’m providing value and I don’t want to betray your trust.
30 Days of Discipline gets my strong seal of approval.
I believe that anyone that actually follows the program for the full 30 days will see drastic difference in their productivity, their self-confidence, and even their overall health.
I know those sound like bold claims, but you’ll see what I mean when you buy the program for yourself.
It only costs $15, which is about what you would spend on an entree at a decent restaurant. Considering what you stand to gain for that price, it’s a no-brainer.
Do you notice how I’m always looking at relative value?
However, I will warn you. The actual material is very concise. There is no fluff or room to procrastinate.
You will likely be able to read the material in 30 minutes or less and then you’ll either get started or you won’t. What I’m saying is, you could buy the program today and get started tomorrow.
There isn’t room for excuses like “well, I’ll get started when I read it and make sure I understand it.”
It’s very simple. Do this and get these results. That’s the challenging part.
Have I scared you away or are you up for a new challenge?
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What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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