Well, yes and no.
I’ve heard self-discipline defined as “the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.” Hmmm. Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it? Well, sometimes it’s not.
And honestly… there are many things I don’t feel like doing at all.
But many of these things are ones that keep my business moving forward and thriving. And things that actually keep me happy, healthy, and feeling good.
But there IS a secret I use to make it all much EASIER… I create environments that support my success.
Coaching pioneer Thomas Leonard was the first person I ever heard talk about this concept. What a novel idea: Instead of struggling on your own, set up environments that make it nearly impossible for you to fail.
And I’ve often also used what I call “self-imposed discipline”. It’s hard to kick your own butt, so why not set up systems and situations that kick it FOR you?
Let’s use a non-business example we can all relate to… getting to the gym.
Ladies, I know you are feeling my pain here. There are a million reasons why finding the time to workout falls to the bottom of the list and never happens. So I create situations where I HAVE to work out.
In years past I’ve paid a personal trainer to come to my house—and gave her the code to get inside lest I try to sleep late. (She was so annoyingly perky that this motivated me to be up and ready before she appeared at my beside, excitedly announcing what we were going to do today.)
Today my partner Brett and I commit to going to the gym together three days a week, and we don’t let each other wiggle out. I’ve heard other examples from women who have signed up for 10K races or RSVPd for fancy events to get into shape. The former is about your fitness, the latter is about your figure, but it’s all about what motivates YOU.
Now, let’s create environments that support you for your business.
I am a terrible procrastinator at coming out with new products or programs. I’ll marinate on ideas for months, wondering about this and that, trying to use my virtual “crystal ball” plan it all perfectly before moving forward. This is a waste of time. Once you have a good idea and you know you ‘should’ implement it, motion beats meditation and money likes speed. The trick is I give myself a deadline so I’m forced to get it done, and I move into imperfect action.
Often when I’ve wanted to create a new product or program, I would first announce the launch date to my clients and subscribers, even if the plan wasn’t ready. I wouldn’t go back on my word, so I stuck to that schedule, rain or shine!
Or, still today, if I want to start a new project, I hire someone to help with it, so I am forced to start delegating parts of it right away. This way the project starts moving forward, whether I’m personally ready or not.
Or, I delegate the project completely. I remember in 2005 when I lived in a nifty little waterside apartment, I’d put off organizing my office for months and embarrassing piles has started building up. So I hired an organizer to come “make me clean my room”.
Yes I know I could have done it myself. I felt silly spending money on this when, as you can imagine, I’m perfectly capable of sorting, filing, and carrying out trash. But by making the appointment and paying someone, and someone who was even better at this that I was, not only did I solve my problem FAST, but I learned how to organize even better.
When you’re looking at hiring someone to help create these self-imposed deadlines, don’t look at the cost. Look at what it’s costing you NOT to. That messy office was a huge energy drain on me, as well as a time waster when I had to dig through piles to find anything. (It was also embarrassing when I had company over and had to shove everything in the closet, making the problem worse.)
So, let’s put this to work…
What are some ways you can move yourself forward effortlessly? What are some self-imposed deadlines you can set this week that will make you put the pedal to the metal? Who can you hire to kick your butt and get things done? The clock is ticking, and money is passing you by.
And if this article got you going, you’re going to LOVE my “Millionaire Time & Productivity Secrets” program. I’ve packed in 101 of my personal tips around time and productivity. And I even give you a video tour of how I set up my home office! You can learn more about this program here and see if it’s exactly what you need right now.
QUESTION: I’ve shared some of my tips, what are yours? What do YOU do to create environments that support your success? Please share your tips and insights in the comment section below.
© 2014 Ali International, LLC
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