KB04 - The Ultimate Guide to Self DisciplineJan 28, 2023
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Want to know the secret to getting things done?
Self Discipline is the ability to make yourself do things even when you don’t want to do them.
Once mastered, it becomes a superpower because you no longer rely on your emotions and mood to make decisions..
You get the things that need to be completed DONE!
In this newsletter, I will give you five ways to Increase self-discipline in your life.
Let’s dive in, shall we…
#1 - One Chapter A Day
Success is about breaking big goals into small chunks and committing daily to them.
Something I get asked all the time is
“Jay, can you send me a list of your top 20 books of all time”
and when people ask me, I’m reluctant to answer.
If I gave you those 20 books at the start of the year, the chances are you would make some progress.
You might even get through 3 or 4 books before the end of Jan.
When life gets in the way, or you get busier, your commitment to the books will dwindle.
At best, you might get in a 2-3 more books before the year is out
(and 5-7 books a year is pretty dam good)
But your strategy for getting the books completed was wrong
What you should do is get one single book and make a commitment to read One Chapter Per Day
It’s a smaller chunk and commitment, and you’ll find that it only takes about 20-30 mins max to get an entire chapter of a self-development book read with notes about the chapter written down.
Most Self Development books have 11-12 Chapters meaning you’ll probably get through an entire book like this in a couple of weeks.
That’s 2 books a month and 24 books in a year
All from just reading one chapter a day
Swap this chunking method for other things in your life, and you’ll be amazed at how much progress you’ll make with what you commit to…
- 7 Pull Ups Per Day is 2,555 a year (178,850kg of weight through your back if you’re a 70kg male)
- 2,000 Extra Steps a Day is 730,000 Steps a year (32,850kcal extra burned a year)
Always remember that small things are done consistently turn into big things over time
#2 - Challenge and Commit
In 2018, I wanted to get into cold therapy and sea dips, but there were a few issues…
- I didn’t like the cold.
- The thought of swimming in the Sea in Winter was CRAZY!
So the only way I thought to do this was to find a challenge and commit to it.
I decided to create a “Cold Shower Challenge” and commit to doing a cold shower every day in March.
The first day was hard, but I got it done
So was the 2nd
and the 3rd and 4th and 12th.
(I probably would have stopped the first week if I had not committed to doing it.)
Then on day 15, something strange happened…
The water didn’t feel as cold, and I enjoyed the minute under the shower.
On Day 16, it got even easier, and on Day 17, I went for a swim
As I was going to shower before entering, a man stopped me and said…
"You don’t want to use those showers; they’re freezing cold!"
I smiled at the man and went straight in for the shower with him looking at me like I’m crazy!
(had I not been 16 days into my challenge, I would have taken heed of his advice)
That shower in the swimming pool made me realise a few things.
- When you commit to doing hard things, you can deal better with things that life throws at you.
- We need to be committed because it takes a few weeks to see the benefit of what we’re doing. Only then can we become more consistent with doing it and truly understand its purpose.
Commitment is doing the thing you said you would do, long after the mood in which you said it has passed - Les Brown
So, if there’s something difficult that you want to get into in your own life, then challenge yourself for a month and commit to doing it every day regardless of how you feel.
#3 - Become Accountable.
I have a cold plunge in my garden set to about 4 degrees celsius and jump in at 6 am daily.
Although since the cold shower challenge, I’ve been doing some form of “Cold Therapy” every day over the last three years, it can still be hard to get it done on certain days.
The voice in my head, especially when there’s frost outside, talks to me and says...
“No One Will Know If You Don’t Go in” and “Why Don’t You Skip it Today”
I get my phone out on these more difficult days, and press live on Instagram.
The reason? I know 100% that if I press that button, I’m getting into that cold plunge!
Accountability is so important when it comes to doing difficult things!
We find it easy to let ourselves down by convincing ourselves it’s unimportant or that we should skip doing it today.
We find it much more difficult to let others down.
So if there’s something that you want to achieve that you’re struggling to be consistent with, ask yourself how you can become more accountable for getting it done.
Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result - Bob Proctor
#4 - Dial in the Distractions
When I’m doing something that requires my full attention and it’s difficult to do, I’m easily distracted.
One of the easiest distractions is social media, and if I’m not careful, I’ll happily waste 20-30mins scrolling through my phone before I realise that I’m procrastinating.
I watched a TedTalk on Mindfulness this week with Sam Chase, and he said something super important to understand...
"Your brain receives 11 million bits of information per second from your senses but can only consciously process 60 bits. The rest is processed unconsciously."
The reality is that we’re terrible at multitasking, and if we want to get more things done we need to increase our focus and decrease our distractions.
Here are some great ways I’ve found to do this…
- Find a time in the day when it’s the quietest (either early in the morning or late at night)
- When it’s focus time, turn off notifications, switch off your phone and set a timer between 25-45 mins
- Listen to music to get you focused (search binaural beats on youtube)
- Treat yourself to something once you have completed the task (I find this helps strengthen the behaviour and gives you something to look forward to when it’s complete).
- (It doesn’t have to be anything big, a coffee, a 5 min stretch outside or if you must, a timed 5 min scroll through your Instagram feed)
When you dial in the distractions and create a positive process for getting things done, it becomes much easier to do
"Life is a hailstorm of distractions. It’s not the monster that stops us but the mosquito" - Robert Allen
#5 - Eat a Frog Every Morning
"Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day" - Mark Twain
When we know that Discipline can make us do things even when we don’t want to do them, we can start looking at ways to build strength in this area.
It is possible to build up your self-discipline by simply starting your day with something difficult, and as the quote says, “eat a live frog.”
When you wake up and choose to do the most difficult thing at the start of your day, everything else in the day becomes much easier.
This is because you’re training your self-discipline muscle, and it’s getting stronger.
My version of “eating the frog” is my cold plunge.
It’s, without a doubt, the hardest thing to do for the day, and my day certainly becomes easier once I’ve done it.
But you don’t need an Ice Cold Plunge tank in your garden to train your self-discipline; far from it!
Start small, and work your way up as time goes on.
Here’s a list of a few things you can try for the next 30 days if you want to build your self-discipline first thing in the morning…
- Difficulty Easy - Get up 30 mins earlier than normal, stretch for 15 mins and read a chapter of a book.
- Difficulty Medium - Get up 45 mins earlier than normal and go for a run or gym session.
- Difficulty Hard - Get up 45mins earlier than normal; start with a 1 min cold shower and do all the above.
(note: if you’re getting up earlier, make sure you’re going to bed earlier, so you still get at least 7 hours of sleep)
👉 Small things done consistently turn into big things over time
👉 Challenge Yourself to Make a 30-Day Commitment to Something Hard!
👉 Accountability will make sure that you keep your word and commitment to the challenge
👉 Be aware of your Distractions and remove them if you want to stay focused
👉 To build up your discipline muscle, do something difficult first thing in the morning every day.
I hope you enjoyed this week's knowledge bombs!
Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you soon for the next one.
Calling Everyone From Belfast! On Saturday 22nd April I'll be hosting my brand new Mindset with Muscle Workshop at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast. To grab yourself a ticket and find out more just click here