written by Chad Beatty
It is day one of your new business.
You wake up early, arrive early and hold a staff meeting to get the team fired up.
It is the one-year anniversary of your business. You wake up at your regular time, get to work a few minutes late because of traffic, and give the staff a quick speech.
It is the 5-year anniversary of your business. You hit snooze twice and get to work at the same time as the staff. You figure no speech is needed because everyone knows what they are doing. It is business as usual.
Does this sound familiar? I get it. Maintaining enthusiasm and motivation is tough, especially as you get older. In the world of business, and the world of fitness, I hear this catchphrase used all the time: motivation, motivation, motivation. Everyone wants to be motivated. They want motivation for their job, for their workout routine, for their marriage, and for their faith. But I am here to say that motivation is crap. Motivation comes and goes like the ebbs and flows of the ocean. If you are always waiting for the next burst of motivation, don’t expect to stay ahead of the competition.
Discipline is another matter altogether. Discipline is what separates the winners from the losers. Unfortunately, not everyone embraces the requirements of discipline, because, well, they require discipline.
What is discipline and how do we achieve it? Here is a definition I find useful for our purposes:
A rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity; self-control.
The author works on his discipline in his home-made ice bath.
To achieve our desired individual results, we must be disciplined every day. And to be disciplined every day, we need a realistic and achievable (yet aggressive) game-plan.
Begin this process with the following steps:
- Identify your goal(s).
- Identify obstacles.
- Initiate new habits.
- Replace/eliminate poor habits.
- Monitor your progress.
- Re-evaluate and recalibrate behavior as needed.
I recommend you create your own ‘discipline builders’ to help you to develop fortitude.
I will share some of my ‘discipline builders’ I have used over the years:
Ending showers on full-cold for 30-60 seconds.
- Stretching for 15 minutes before bed.
- Listening to faith podcasts on my drive to work.
- Reading for 30 minutes a day (it helps to calm the mind at bedtime).
- Ice baths.
- Forcing myself to do another set or 2 at the gym.
- Set an aggressive physical goal and work to achieve it (15 strict pull-ups).
- Set a reading goal and work to accomplish it (10 books in 2023).
You may think these are small or insignificant acts, and you may be right. But if you can’t force yourself to accomplish little goals, how can you expect to accomplish the big goals in your life?
You may also be thinking “these ideas sound miserable.’ And to be honest, some days they are. However too often we confuse comfort with happiness. But comfort is where dreams go to die!
A few years ago, I heard one of my favorite quotes on a podcast: "If you do what is easy, life will be hard. If you do what is hard, life will be easy."
So do what is hard and do it on a regular basis. You owe it to yourself, your employees, and your customers.
And never forget, somewhere out there, someone is working harder than you to steal your market share. Not on my watch!