How To Master The Art of Discipline

disciplineDiscipline has gotten a bad rap as a word.  

We hear that word, and it paints a picture of push-ups, crunches, saying no to dessert, dusting furniture, mowing the lawn, and so many more things.  For sure, those things require discipline, but I want to give the word discipline a break and give it some credit.

There are lots of things in our lives that require discipline.  Many of them are positive and yield positive results.  For example, what if we disciplined ourselves to use positive imagery to displace negative thoughts in our heads?  We can discipline ourselves to take 30 minutes every day to do something that fuels our passion.  We can discipline ourselves to see the unique light that each person contributes to the world.

You get the point.

So, how do we incorporate discipline into our lives to promote growth and forward movement?  Here are three ideas for how to adopt discipline once and for all:

  1. First, commit to a vision that is the result of discipline.  Thoroughly imagine what discipline can create in your life for you.  Whether it’s less anxiety, less guilt, less loneliness, more friends, more money, more free time, or even more alone time, spell it out and give it a name.  Once it has a name, you can step backwards and identify the steps you’re going to take to achieve it.
  2. Second, give yourself reminders that reinforce the discipline(s) you’re engaging to realize that vision.  It can be Uncle Billy’s strings around your fingers (It’s a Wonderful Life reference).  It can be a mantra or song that resonates in your head all day.  It can be email reminders to ping you throughout your day.  Maybe it’s even a list of your power words (that you’ll use to combat limiting beliefs as they pop into your head) that you post on your fridge or dashboard.  Whatever’s going to get into your head, identify it and get going!
  3. Finally, reward yourself.  Discipline (like happiness) is a journey.  Over and over again, it takes you to destinations and allows you to enjoy the exhilaration of success.  Celebrate the milestones (big and small) that are the result of your discipline.  Go ahead!  Pat yourself on the back and lay claim to your success.  It’s yours, and you earned it with your close friend Discipline.

Bonus!  To quote my shampoo bottle, Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Do it again and again and again and again.  It’s a little addictive…

However you adopt discipline, I hope you’ll share your joy with others and encourage them to do the same.  Tomorrow Begins Today.

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