Discipline equals freedom. – Jocko Willink –
Tools to improve your discipline
Your alarm is annoying, so is mine, without it I would have serious trouble getting out of bed at roughly 5:25 am during the week. It is a tool that helps me maintain some level of discipline. My previous Fitbits and now my Garmin fitness tracker help me maintain some level of activity by tracking and encouraging me to move. Without these tools and other habits maintaining apps, discipline in life can be even more challenging.
Fortunately, in the smart phone app world there are many choices to help track, remind, and encourage us. You still have to get out of bed or off the couch and do the things that you need to do, however, technology and even old school lists, paper planners and goal trackers help propel us forward.
Step to build self discipline
- What areas that need more discipline: Identify the areas of your life you are looking to a improve your discipline. Make a list of these areas, set some goals. If you have 10 areas you want to improve you might start with prioritizing the most important 3 and work on those first. If you don’t have a lot of discipline start small and add more as you build momentum. Goals such as eat healthy and lose 20 pounds, workout 3 times a week, read more books, save $100 per month, etc.
- Goal setting: Next set some goals. The term SMART goals has been around for a long time, is stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. An example of a smart goal could be save $3000 in 12 months. It is a specific amount, you can measure your progress monthly.
- Tracking your goals: Once you have your list you need to develop a way to track your progress. It can be a paper list, a note file on your phone. The key is you have to track it. If you do choose an app, I recommend starting with the free apps first, upgrade after you outgrow the free version. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
- Building on your habits: Discipline is dramatically improved when you work to establish positive habits. Do things the same time, and the same way. For example, always put your keys in the same bowl or on the same hook when you get home. Every time you get out of your car or every time you get gas clean the stuff or trash out of your car.
Over time you will find that the goal setting, the tracking, and will help you form better habits and will create more discipline. You will be able to add new areas of focus and will be amazed at your progress.