Discipline. Nobody really likes the word. In fact, I’m sure it makes some people cringe. We learn from a young age that the word “discipline” contains a number of negative connotations. When our parents disciplined us, it was usually followed by the end of a favorable activity, or meant we had to go to our rooms, or worse yet, we were grounded. When teachers would discipline us, it often meant the end of a fun conversation with our classmate, or maybe even detention. We grew up hating discipline.
Even in adulthood, the word “discipline” is still not welcomed with open arms. It usually means doing something we don’t want to do, or ceasing to do something we want to be doing. However, despite all of these negative connotations (and denotations) that come along with the word “discipline,” it is important to take a step back to see just how valuable of a word, and action, it can be.
Discipline is a key building block of any successful entrepreneur or businessperson. Without it, often times there is a loss of focus, motivation, and definitely a loss of results. You can simply think of “discipline” as doing something that needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it. It does not have to mean the end of something good or fun. For a businessperson, discipline can often mean the difference between good and great. As an example, after completing our two-day workshop, participants take part in a 16-week sustainable program, enabling them to put into practice what they learned during the two days, and helping them perfect their skills. To stay with this program requires discipline, but the results are worth it (for more information on our Sustainability Program, please click here).
So, what does this mean for you? How you can implement the idea of discipline in your daily routine? What will it mean for you, your goals and your success?
Here are a few suggestions of where you can start:
- Begin by writing down a list of daily and weekly goals for yourself. They can be personal and professional
- For each goal, write down a reward that you will give to yourself if you complete the goal, as well as a punishment if you do not
- Identify your most productive time of day. Are you a morning person? Are you a night owl? Set your hardest goals to be completed during those times
- It is important to set goals that are focused on “you” time, because that can often get lost in translation. For instance, going to the gym or reading a book can be a daily or weekly goal
All behaviour that gets rewarded gets repeated. If you begin to reward yourself for completing certain goals, by disciplining yourself, these behaviours will become ingrained in your habits. You will subsequently become more productive! Rewarding yourself makes the pain of discipline diminish, or cease entirely, so it is certainly an important aspect of self-discipline. We must change our perception of the word “discipline” in order to better implement it in our lives, and become more productive so we can reach our potential!