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The No BS Ultimate Self-Discipline Guide

Self-discipline is the ultimate life “hack.” Without it, you have no chance or hope of reaching any worthwhile goal. But with it, the world—along with its many possibilities—opens up to you. Many online sources claim to have the “ultimate self-discipline guide.”

But when you read through them, you realize it’s filled with fluff, lacking concrete steps you can take to actually develop discipline.

They use flowery language like “accept yourself” or “show yourself compassion” and other platitudes to placate you.

You won’t find that here…

Instead, I will give the ultimate guide to self-discipline! After reading this guide, you will know the practical steps for developing long-lasting, unwavering self-discipline.

But before we get into the ‘meat’ of the content, it’s essential you know that…

There’s a War Going on…

ultimate self-discipline guide

A war is waging in all that you do. And every action you take is either moving you closer to victory or closer to defeat in this war. Moreover (and this may not be what you want to hear), this is a war you will fight every day for the remainder of your life.

What happens when you don’t fight for your good health? Illness takes its place.

What’s the result of not grappling with your finances? Poverty becomes the default.

What takes the place of education and intelligence? Ignorance and stupidity.

And these examples are by no means exhaustive. This war blankets every area of your life: Your job or career, your relationships, your mental health, your spirituality, etc.

If you are not constantly fighting back to keep illness, poverty, ignorance, and the like, at bay through self-discipline… then you are losing the war; self-discipline is the light in the darkness; it is the life raft on the sinking ship; it is the one and only thing you can truly rely on to gain ground in this battle.

And now, the question I have for you is…

Are You Winning the War?

You’re either gaining ground or losing ground in your life. There is no mid-way compromise; it’s one or the other.

You’re winning the war if you are:

  • Organized
  • Consistent
  • Exercising daily
  • Saving and investing money
  • Reading every day
  • Focused on (and making progress toward) your goals
  • Eating healthy
  • Sure of where you’re going in life
  • Feeling a general sense of happiness and momentum, etc

You’re losing the war if you are:

  • Unsure of your plans for the future
  • Lacking goals and ambition
  • Engaging in bad habits (too much TV, social media, junk food, alcohol etc)
  • Feeling lost, cynical, and directionless
  • Wasting your time away
  • Not taking any personal responsibility
  • Not staying on top of things (your health, finances, relationships, etc)
  • Becoming nihilistic
  • Consumed by laziness or negativity

Check yourself by these criteria. Carefully. Your results will determine your current level of self-discipline and your trajectory in life. If you fall on the positive side, you’re winning the war. If you fall o,n the negative side, you’re being dominated and as a result, losing the war.

The category in which you fall is a direct result of your discipline (or lack thereof). This notion perfectly illustrates how essential self-control is in your life.

And now that you’re aware of the necessity of discipline, you’re ready to learn…

The Ultimate Self-Discipline Guide

Tom Bilyeu (entrepreneur, businessman, Impact Theory host, and co-founder of the billion-dollar enterprise Quest Nutrition) said, “Discipline is a natural byproduct of desire and identity.”

Therefore, unwavering self-discipline comes from A) Your own hunger and determination and B) The way you view yourself and your capabilities.

But how do you develop a strong desire and the identity of a disciplined person?

Simple: One action, one day at a time.

Like anything in life, becoming disciplined takes time and practice. But it’s a skill anyone can learn. Moreover, your habits compound and snowball over time, transforming both you and your life.

In his book, The Compound Effect, author, speaker, and business advisor Darren Hardy explains this concept in detail.

You start with the smallest, easiest of practices, and you commit to those—day in and day out. Eventually, the accumulative effect builds momentum. And this has an astounding, almost staggering impact on you if you stick to the program.

Where Do You Need More Discipline?

You become disciplined when you add more consistency to your life. So ask yourself:

  • Where do I need more self-control?
  • What areas of my life are not where I want them to be?
  • How can I begin making progress?
  • What habits do I need to adopt to start improving?
  • What habits do I need to quit to start improving?

You must gain clarity and then decide what you’ll take action on. Initially, you want to start with one area (and one habit) at a time.

Patience is the Name of the Game

It’s at this juncture you’ll require some humility.

Very few people can make drastic life changes in small time frames. It’s not impossible, it’s just hard. You have so much programming geared toward your old way of living. Therefore, you must slowly undo and overwrite that old programming with a better blueprint.

This takes time…

For this reason, you want to start slow and build your way up to the changes you’re trying to make. That’s why I always recommend—at least initially—you make success easy for yourself.

Here are some practical examples of how you can apply this principle to certain areas in your life:

  • Nutrition: Eat an apple a day
  • Fitness: Go for a 5-minute walk around your block every day
  • Money and finance: Save $50 every month
  • Knowledge and intelligence: Read a page a day from a non-fiction book
  • Skill development: Spend 10 minutes practicing a new skill every day

In whatever you do, you want to make success easy by going for the low-hanging fruit. This concept is designed to do two things:

  1. Give you little wins
  2. Influence your self-perception

Now, you may wonder what either of these things has to do with self-control and why they belong in this ultimate self-discipline guide. Truthfully, they have everything to do with self-control.

Let me explain…

The Little Wins

This concept is essential for building discipline.

Many people hold the notion that it’s the big, momentous occasions that tip the scale in creating positive changes. That’s not entirely true. Yes, those moments are important and can be quite impactful; however, it’s what happens in between them that really counts.

It’s the small, seemingly insignificant wins, compounded over time, that truly move the needle. These tiny victories build momentum and establish a strong foundation for bigger successes to occur down the line.

It’s going to the gym when it’s minus 20 outside, and you had a horrible sleep the previous night…

It’s saving that $20 in an investment account when you’re really craving your favourite fast food…

And it’s sending that last cold email pitch email even though you haven’t heard anything back from the last 20 pitches, etc.

These are the little wins you need to look for and stack up as much as you can! And the best part?

Over time, those tiny victories tend to…

Influence Your Self-Perception

Tony Robbins (author, speaker, and the world’s most successful life coach) says the strongest force in the human psyche is our need to act consistently with who we believe we are, whether that view is accurate or not.

Your identity determines what you do and how you live your life.

And each action you take, large or small, influences how you perceive yourself. And how you perceive yourself then determines how you present and conduct yourself in the world and with other people.

Both of these concepts (Getting little wins and the influence of your self-perception) feed into one another.

The more little wins you accumulate, the more it strengthens your self-perception, and the stronger your self-perception, the more wins you tend to accumulate. It becomes a positive feedback loop.

As a result, you begin building momentum because everything is starting to spiral upward. At this point in your journey, things begin getting interesting as…

Self-Discipline Becomes a Lifestyle

The goal with the ultimate self-discipline guide is to eventually get you to this point. You want discipline and self-control to become a lifestyle.

A big misconception many people have about self-discipline is it’s always hard. Yes, developing self-control is challenging at first. But it doesn’t stay that way. In fact, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

It ties back to your identity.

Do you think an active gym goer contemplates working out? Do you think an artist has to think about whether they should paint?

Not a chance.

There’s no internal conflict among such people regarding the activities they identify with. They just act, regardless if they feel like it or not. Why? Because it’s such an ingrained part of their lifestyle.

They can’t help but do it.

This is what you should strive for with self-discipline.

Establishing a Relationship with Discipline

Discipline doesn’t require much.

It begins with the smallest of acts. And your goal when starting out is to choose one habit, one action. A simple, single behaviour you can implement today to start the process.

All it takes is one step in a positive direction for you to establish a relationship with discipline. And when that event takes place, you have begun the process of self-improvement.

However, even the smallest and “easiest” of habits can prove difficult at times. This point is especially true on your down days (which will come).

So how can you hold yourself accountable? Here are…

4 Simple Tips to Stay Accountable to Your New Disciplines

Let these tips be your “guardrails” that bolster you on your journey. When making improvements, you will feel tempted to resort back to your old ways from time to time. Why? It’s what’s comfortable and familiar.

But you must hold the line until your changes become your new standard. And these 4 tips will help you get there.

1. Habit Tracker

Download a habit tracker on your phone today if you don’t already have one. Seriously. Do it. This tool is invaluable; it will help you structure your daily activities and provide a better framework for your routine. Numerous habit tracker apps are available. Pick one and get started.

2. Accountability Partner

Accountability partners can be invaluable for developing self-discipline. No one wants to look like a failure in front of others, especially if those people are your close friends.

The value of accountability partners is evident.

You have someone else to answer to other than your own conscious. And this can keep you on the path when you feel like slipping. But it’s important you find the right person (or people) to fill this role.

Here are some qualities to look for in an accountability partner:

  • Integrity: You want someone who has character and operates from a strong moral code.
  • Supportiveness: You’re going to have moments of weakness. It happens. Your accountability partner should be there to give you that swift, metaphorical kick in the ass when you need it.
  • No-nonsense attitude: The purpose of an accountability partner is, you guessed it… accountability. Therefore, you want someone who will tell it like it is, hold you responsible for your actions, and not sugarcoat the truth.

3. Willpower

Let’s face it.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts with habit trackers, accountability partners, and so on, you’re going to have to rely on your own willpower. That is the essence of self-discipline.

The aforementioned tips can help.

But at the end of the day, if you’re unable to exercise your own willpower, accomplishing your goals will become impossible. Don’t lose hope on this though. Because like anything else, your willpower can be strengthened through time and practice. However, the obvious question is:

How do you strengthen your willpower? That leads us to the final tip, which is…

4. Live by a to-do List

My ultimate guide to self-discipline is based on simplicity. I want things to be as simple as possible for you so you can more easily adopt these qualities as your own. You may think living by a to-do list is so simple, basic, and elementary that you’re beyond it.

You’re not…

A to-do list gives your day structure; it puts your priorities front and centre. But more than that, it bolsters your willpower and strengthens your own personal integrity.

Think of each item or task on your list as a mini-promise you’ve made to yourself.

And every time you cross off a task, you are strengthening both your willpower and self-trust. Over time, this process can lead to staggering results. It has the potential to build an incredible amount of confidence within yourself and your abilities.

Why? Because your to-do list becomes a track record of ALL the times you’ve followed through. You now have “evidence” that you can keep your word and commitments to yourself.

Consequently, this newly established self-belief becomes the bedrock, the foundation from which you operate in every undertaking or endeavour you tackle. This affects you in ways you can’t even understand until you actually do it.

The reason is that…

Self-Belief Promotes Self-Discipline

You will never stick to anything long-term if you don’t believe in your capacity for success. Self-belief is essential. And how do you believe in yourself? By demonstrating—through your actions—that you can follow through.

This is why keeping your word is crucial.

Every action you take (or fail to take) is leaving an impression on you. And whether you realize it or not, that impression influences your self-image and as a result, your actions. And this is where it all ties together.

You keep your word in all that you say (big or small) by following through.

Your follow-through then influences your identity.

And your identity controls your actions.

And the best part about the ultimate self-discipline guide? When you develop self-control in one area of your life, it spreads to the other areas almost without you having to try.

Starting an exercise program encourages healthy eating…

Healthy eating leads to more energy…

More energy fosters a stronger work ethic…

A stronger work ethic results in more opportunities, a sharper skill set, increased intelligence, etc.

Everything in your life takes on a new colour and texture as you build momentum in this upward trajectory.

Next Step: Apply the Ultimate Self-Discipline Guide to Your Life

The ultimate self-discipline guide is your self-improvement manual. It sets a solid foundation for you to build on. But as comprehensive as it is, there is only so much I can fit into a single article. That’s why I’ve written an ebook to help fill in the gap. If you want to build long-lasting sustainable self-discipline, ensure you grab a copy of my ebook, The Discipline Mind.

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