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Discipline: The Fuel for Long-Term Success
The hardest person you will ever lead in life is yourself. It’s always a lot easier to tell others what to do than to actually do it yourself. As a child, my grandmother would say, “Do as I say, not as I do”, in hindsight, that really was not the best way to get me to be obedient, my childish curiosity wanted the why behind the instruction. If I didn’t understand why chances are, I’d experiment to find out myself.
As a mother, I realized that saying isn’t effective and it certainly isn’t something I tell my children. If I want the best out of them, I have to be the best example for them to follow. This takes discipline.
In my human resources career, I have had to master self-leadership so that I can model the type of leadership I want to be displayed in my team. It takes discipline, a lot of will, determination, and commitment; it also requires a whole lot of self-work.
Motivation and discipline are two sides of the same coin; they are both important to achieving long-term goals throughout life. Motivation inspires you and gives you momentum to move forward; however, if you fail to act on that inspiration and build upon the momentum, motivation will quickly fade away and you won’t experience true success.
Author Jim Rohn says, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments”. Your level of success in life is heavily dependent on your level of discipline. If you master self-discipline, you can achieve just about anything you set out to do.
In Chapter 6 of my Bestseller, Get Up & LEAD, I share 10 habits that lead to discipline. Here are 6 of those steps you can begin practicing today to help you become disciplined and achieve long term success:
Write Your Goals Down.
A study of 270 participants conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, a Professor at the Dominican University in California, revealed that you are 42% more likely to achieve goals if they are written down. Don’t store goals in your head when memories fade. Write them down and go back to them daily, reread them to keep focused on the plans you have, and pay particular attention to the timelines you’ve set for each step of the process.
Start Out Small & Build Momentum.
When I decided that I needed to prioritize my health and lose weight, I took baby steps. The first thing I did was to eat from a much smaller plate in order to control my servings. I was initially eating the same food, but a lot less of them. Then as I saw the pounds dropping, I was motivated to do more, so I started introducing more fruits and vegetables into my meals and eliminated sugary drinks.
Then greater weight loss inspired me to begin going to the gym five times per week instead of just walking outdoors three times per week. Each small change yielded results and encouraged me to do more. You didn’t form those old habits overnight, so unlearning old behaviors and learning new ones takes time.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
Be patient, it doesn’t happen overnight; it takes lots of practice. Some experts believe it takes at least twenty-one days to form a new habit, while others say it takes about forty days. If you truly want something you will practice, fail, and start over as many times as necessary. Disciplined people have the same challenges and temptations as undisciplined people; the difference is, when a disciplined person falls off the wagon, they don’t stay off. They get up, dust off, and start again. Forgive yourself and continue on your journey.
Get a Coach and a Mentor.
Coaches help you by asking you tough questions to unleash the answers already inside of you. Do your research, and look for client feedback to determine the success of the coach before deciding who to hire. Mentorship is also a must. Every successful person has at least one mentor, I have several mentors, some of who have been mentors to me for twenty years. Mentors will not only provide guidance and advice but also hold you accountable to deliver on the things you have committed to along your journey. Both mentors and coaches are great accountability partners.
Know How You’ll Measure Your Success.
If you don’t know what matrix you will use to measure your progress, how will you know if you’re succeeding? The key is to know what success looks like for each goal you’ve set. Determine what is the best way to measure your progress but also recognize that some goals are measured quantitatively, in numbers or amounts, while others may be qualitative, measured by observing your behavior or response as you progress.
Rewarding yourself when you experience small and large-scale victories along your journey is a great technique. It can be as simple as a spa treatment to celebrate a small win or a large purchase to commemorate a huge victory. Rewarding yourself throughout your self-discipline practice will ensure that you remain energized to keep pushing toward your picture of success.
I hope this has been helpful for you. To gain more insight and strategies for developing a discipline for long-term success, get a copy of my book Get Up & LEAD. Available for purchase on Amazon.
About the Author
Name: Sheba Wilson
Title: Bestselling Author, Inspirational Speaker & Executive Leadership Coach
Bio: Sheba Wilson is the Bestselling Author of the book, Get Up & LEAD – Live Everyday Above Defeat. She is also the CEO of Sheba Wilson Consultancy LLC and Sheba Wilson Training Ltd, providing human resources solutions, consultancy, leadership development, executive coaching, and corporate training services. She is also the founder of She LEAD HR Solutions, providing streamlined and automated applicant tracking software for recruitment and onboarding employees.
Social Links: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheba-wilson-30127463/