“The greatest injustice in life is letting yourself down.”
The first fight we stand to lose each day is against ourselves. A familiar start to the morning for many people includes hitting snooze, rushing to shower, not packing lunch, skipping your morning journaling, all small acts of self-betrayal. If you desire, by any measure, to design your life to your own specifications then you cannot avoid self-discipline.
As creativity begets creativity, so does self-discipline. Rising at the first ring of your alarm, making your bed, sitting to meditate, packing your lunch, listening to your audiobook on your commute. In this sequence of events, you can see how it would be simple to slot in another positive habit. These are the blocks that your day, your life, is built upon.
There is a longstanding belief that discipline will wring your life of spontaneity and enjoyment; that “too much” order makes life boring and tedious. You don’t need to learn to speak each morning or how to tie your shoes, however, if you did, you would never have enough time to do anything else. Our ability to evolve is based on not requiring to relearn skills and habits each day. Each decision we make that weakens our resolve for doing what is difficult detracts from our ability to pursue self-evolution. Self-discipline is difficult enough, here are some ways of making it more attainable.
1. Prime yourself.
As you may have gathered by now, how you wake is a big decider on the trajectory of your day. Starting your morning with habits that reinforce the qualities you want to carry through your day is a great way of priming yourself to show up as you need. A keystone habit, like exercise first thing in the morning, is great for creating an anchoring point for the rest of your day.
2. Start with the difficult.
As you create your daily to-do list, place the most difficult tasks at the top. This not only increases the likelihood of completing high priority tasks, leaving you with a greater sense of achievement, but it trains the mental toughness required to undertake difficult tasks.
3. Don’t break the chain.
Running 2KM each day will get you exponentially fitter as opposed to running 10KM twice a month; bursts of greatness ever so often do not equate to a lifelong change. These sporadic behaviours tend to be driven by life derailing us from our plans. I use a simple trick for avoiding these lapses, I never skip a repeating habit I’ve committed to 2 days in a row. Doing this allows me to stay consistent even when life gets in the way.