Doing what you Love is not easy. Like everything else, it requires patience, hard work, and discipline. The only difference is, it doesn't always feel like work when you're passionate about what you're doing. But no matter how much you Love what you do, working 12-16 hour days daily, no sleep and constantly growing to-do lists take their toll!
And that's where discipline comes in. Not only to get the work done, but also to find balance and create the space for others parts of life: working out, meditation, quality time with loved ones, rest, hobbies, etc. I've learned, for me, I function best when I'm up before dawn meditating, writing, reflecting, and working out before I begin my work day. Even if it means losing an hour or two of sleep, the effects on my overall mood, mental health, and well-being far surpass the comfort of sleeping in.
But knowing how good this makes me feel, doesn't make it any easier to leave my warm, cozy bed every morning! That's why cultivating discipline is so important. Discipline is defined as the ability to "train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way." It's what allows us to push ourselves daily to reach our goals. Without it, our true greatness cannot be achieved.
So how do we cultivate this trait in our daily lives? How do we learn to become disciplined in the areas we need most? By doing, and allowing ourselves to develop new habits that align with our highest good. Here are some tips to help get you started!
- 2-Week Challenge: Choose one thing and do it consistently for 2 weeks. Whether it's working out, eating better, writing, playing music, or meditating, pick a time and do it! Tip: It's much easier if you're able to do it at the same time daily, at least initially. Even if it's only for 5 minutes. It doesn't matter. In the beginning, the goal is to build the habit (aka, discipline) to show up to the race every day, not to finish it ;)
- Create an Accountability System: It's much easier to be successful when you know there are consequences for not being so. Create a system that works for you (this might take some trial and error). Share your goal with a partner, friend or mentor so they can help hold you accountable. If you don't feel comfortable sharing your goal with others, hold yourself accountable by taking away something you look forward to in your day if you don't complete your challenge (e.g., dessert, your favorite TV show, a latte). Tip: Whatever it is, it has to be something you really look forward to enjoying every day, or it won't work!
- Just Keep Doing. Allow yourself time to build the new habit and resist getting lost in how well you are meditating or how far you jogged. Simply keep doing what you chose as your goal every day. The rest will fall into place once the habit is established. Tip: It takes 28 days to build a new habit, so don't lose hope!
- Release the Yeah-Buts! As humans, we have a tendency to be overly critical of ourselves and others. Even when we accomplish something great, that little voice in our heads wants to focus on the one thing we didn't do to perfection. It wasn't until this month that I was able to stop doing this to myself. Every day, I would end my work day feeling unaccomplished because there was always something I couldn't get to. I may have worked a 16-hour day and knocked a hefty chunk off of my to-do list, but my mind couldn't resist: 'Yeah but I still have inventory to do,' 'Yeah but I didn't write that blog post,' 'Yeah but I forgot to follow up with so and so.' It's never-ending and so unfair! So be good to yourself by allowing yourself to feel good about what you accomplish in your day, no matter how minor or major. Tip: If we don't cheer for ourselves, then it will be a constant uphill battle which can be utterly defeating! Which leads me to our next tip👇🏽
- Celebrate the Little Things. Remind yourself that no victory is too small because each step gets you closer to finishing the race. Nobody starts out being able to complete an Iron Man or even a 5K. You have to work your way up to it. Without the small wins, there is no victory. Tip: Do you think Michael Jordan or Picasso or even Mozart started out being what we celebrate them for? Definitely not! Remember this the next time you're tempted to be hard on yourself.
- And last, but certainly not least, Be Patient + Trust the Process. True change takes time. Discipline improves with practice. So remember to be patient and gentle with yourself in the process, and trust that if you show up every day (or even most days) then you're on the path to success!
As Always, Love + Light,