My friends and clients have long referred to me as “The World’s Most Disciplined Man.”
But, as much as my ego wants to accept this title, the truth is…I am not the most disciplined man in the world (or even my city!).
Left to my own devices, I would spend my days stuffing my face with chocolate cake, chugging Red Bulls, and watching football until my eyes were red.
But in my early 20s, I realized that I want success, fulfillment, and freedom more than I want chocolate cake or energy drinks.
So I made the decision to do whatever was required to eradicate my lazy and undisciplined tendencies and build the life I want.
And I can say without any reservations this was the most important decision I ever made.
But here’s the thing…
Despite what you’ve heard from other gurus and “experts”, discipline doesn’t need to be hard! And it doesn’t take years of focused effort to become more disciplined than you are today.
In fact, if you follow the right strategy, you can double your discipline in 7 days or less.
And today, I’m going to give you a simple but counterintuitive “discipline boot camp” to help you become more disciplined this week.
Day One: Make a Promise to Yourself and Keep It
Discipline is, first and foremost, about integrity. It’s about doing the things you tell yourself you’re going to do because you said you would do them.
So the first thing you’re going to do this week is to make a promise to yourself and keep it.
Think back to this morning when you woke up. What was the first thing you did? What is one small action that would have made you feel better about how you started this day?
Is it drinking a big glass of water with a squeeze of lemon? Doing some light calisthenics? NOT checking your email or social media? Writing a note of gratitude to your spouse? Using my “Farm Boy Morning Miracle” and getting to work right away?
Whatever it is, pick ONE small thing that will make your mornings better and make a promise to yourself right now that you’re going to keep that promise tomorrow no matter what.
When you make and keep this promise, it’s like knocking down the proverbial dominoes in your life.
Let’s say you make the goal not to hit the snooze button because when you do, you feel like you’ve already lost. You’re behind before you even start.
When you lose first thing in the morning, it’s a domino effect, and it crushes your day. But if you beat the snooze button and wake up… you win and get an immediate victory.
This is key to changing your habits and becoming more disciplined. When you get a victory first thing in the morning, you build immediate momentum in your day. It gives you the motivation to come back again stronger, to stay on track, and to have another great day tomorrow.
So make a promise to yourself right now.
Keep that promise tomorrow morning.
And that’s ALL you have to do for day one.
Day Two: The Anti-Discipline Approach
When most people hear of a seven-day discipline challenge, they imagine they’re going to have to do cold showers, run for 3 miles in the freezing rain, wake up at 5 am, and crush heavy weights for hours on end…which is exactly why most discipline challenges fail.
You can’t live your life in hard challenges all the time. Pro athletes are not in play-off mode all the time, and you can’t be either.
So instead of giving you a contrived challenge that’s a one-way road to burnout, I encourage you to focus on discipline through subtraction.
Look at your life and think about the distractions that are holding you back.
Is it the snooze button? Early morning social media? $10/hour tasks that don’t serve you or your big goals?
What is ONE thing you can remove from your life today to make discipline easier?
Like I said, left to my own devices I am incredibly undisciplined.
Which is why I am ruthless in the elimination, automation, and delegation of temptations and distractions.
When I wanted to stop drinking, I removed alcohol from my home, stopped going to bars, and “broke up” with my binge drinking friends.
When I wanted to beat my Instagram addiction, I hired a new team member to upload my morning stories and keep me out of the social media rabbit hole.
When I wanted to get more done and write my first book, I stopped agreeing to early morning phone calls that diluted my focus and distracted me from my most important work.
I knew I couldn’t be disciplined in an environment that didn’t serve me.
And neither can you.
To be MORE disciplined, start by subtracting what isn’t working instead of trying to use willpower to make it through.
Identify the obstacles in your path and remove them.
Subtract just ONE thing from your life today that’s making you less disciplined and you’ll be amazed by the domino effect it creates in your life.
Day 3: Start Waking Up 5 Minutes Earlier
Everyone wants to wake up earlier. But 99% of the population tries to do it all wrong.
Maybe you’ve done this before and said something like…
“I get up at 7 o’clock now, but I’m gonna jump on board to the 5 a.m. club. tomorrow!”
How did that work out for you? If you’re like most people, you made it for a day, maybe two…but then, exhaustion set in and you found yourself hitting snooze until well past 7 am.
So this week, I challenge you to try a different approach.
Whatever time you’re waking up right now and whatever time you want to wake up, commit to waking up only 5 minutes earlier every day for the rest of the week.
That’s it. Not 30… not 15… 5 minutes.
If you will do this every week for the entire year, you can wake up more than 4 hours earlier than you do right now.
And the best part? You’ll barely even notice it as it happens.
Day 4: Toss the “Energetic Temptations”
On day four of your “Double Your Discipline” challenge, you’re going to do something similar to day two, but with a slight twist.
Instead of focusing on the distractions in your life (things like social media, the snooze button, or administrative tasks), you’re going to eliminate the “energetic” temptations holding you back from being your best self.
Discipline is, more than anything else, about energy.
When you’re sleep-deprived, drunk, high, or hungry…when your energy levels aren’t serving you…it’s much harder to keep your promises to yourself and maintain discipline.
Just think about the last time you had a horrible night of sleep. What types of decisions did you make from that low energy state?
Did you eat fast foods to get a quick hit of energy? Chug caffeine until you were jittery and anxious just to stay awake? Quit work early to binge watch Netflix or play your favorite video game?
To be disciplined, you must protect your energy with your life.
So today, I want you to identify the “energetic temptations” that are standing in your way.
Whether it’s alcohol (like it was for me), marijuana, sugar, donuts, cigarettes, or soda…toss the temptation and remove the “energy vampire” from your life.
By eliminating the energetic temptations from your life, not only will you be less likely to cave into the negative habit of eating, smoking, or drinking things that don’t serve you…but you’ll make it easier to be disciplined in every other area of your life because your energy level will be so high.
Pick one temptation and toss it right now. I promise the results will surprise you.
Day 5: Get Public Accountability
Accountability is a secret ingredient to success in any area of life.
Breaking a promise to yourself is relatively easy. But breaking a promise to someone you deeply don’t want to disappoint? That’s hard.
So, for day five of your one-week discipline challenge, I want you to find someone in your network that you admire, reach out, and share the habits you’re attempting to make or break.
Ask them to hold you accountable to your promises and put some sort of consequence in place to ensure you follow up.
To make this strategy even more powerful, I encourage you to leverage public accountability.
Being held accountable to anybody will help you make massive strides, but when you have public accountability…you unlock a whole new level of performance.
This could mean going to your Facebook page or your Instagram and letting your friends know about what you’re doing.
Hosting a daily Skype call at 5 am (like my friend Sharran Srivatsaa) to ensure you get out of bed on time.
Or texting your five closest friends and giving them permission to publically humiliate you (in a loving way of course) if you fail to follow through.
I used this strategy in my own life back in 2011, when I decided to stop swearing and I can say with no reservations that, if I hadn’t made my decision public, I’d still be swearing like a sailor to this day.
When you tell the world you’re going to do something, you have no choice but to do it. Hypocrisy is one of the greatest sins you can commit and when you leverage public accountability, you’ll do everything in your power not to be a hypocrite.
Day 6: Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
No matter what time you’re waking up by day 6, I want you to commit today…to never hit the snooze button again.
This can be a combination of the promise you make to yourself, subtracting something negative from your life, getting up 5 minutes earlier, and tossing the temptation of going to bed too late. You can also let the world know that you don’t hit the snooze button anywhere.
All of these pieces together set up a positive domino.
The extra five or ten minutes of sleep you get when you hit the snooze button isn’t high quality sleep anyway.
In fact, it actually makes you more tired because you fall back into a sleep cycle only to have it disrupted five minutes later.
When you hit the snooze button, you set yourself back for the rest of the day.
Maybe you don’t have time for breakfast, so you stop for a greasy pastry in the lobby at work. Your mood is already destroyed because you’re stressed from rushing around to start your day on time. Your less productive at work because of your mood and because of the lack of energy.
When you stop hitting the snooze button, you get an immediate win first thing in the morning. You make time to work on what you want the most, whether it’s building your business, writing a book, or creating a new course. You get to engage in the self-care practices you know you need. You can eat a nutritious breakfast, maybe spend time with your spouse and kids, and get out of the door without hyperventilating.
Trust me…this small change will help you make massive strides in your life. Just do it and watch the positive changes happen in your life.
Day 7: Know Yourself and Where You Want to Be
The last step to becoming more disciplined is to create a road map and vision for who you want to become. Whether that means meditating, visualizing, or creating a vision board, make sure you have a clear picture of what you want and where you want to be.
When you say to yourself every day that you want to be a well-respected business owner, best-selling author, happily married, great parent, and someone who’s in shape, your brain will get on board.
By creating massive clarity about who you want to be, where you want to go, and how you want to live, you’ll make discipline automatic.
When you have a vivid and compelling vision pulling you toward the right habits and routines, everything else becomes easier.
You won’t have to ‘think’ about ordering a late night pizza or watching another episode of Billions. You’ll know that, to achieve your vision and the goals you’ve set, you need to eat clean, get to bed on time, and wake up early so you can attack your day.
When you have your big vision in place, discipline is no longer something you ‘do’, it’s a part of who you are.
Right now, I want you to take some time to get clear on your big vision.
More importantly, I want you to get clear on what MUST happen and what MUST be true in your life for this vision to be achieved.
If you set the vision to lost 20 lbs of body fat and have visible abs by summertime, you know that eating 2 cheeseburgers and drinking 3 rounds of beer isn’t going to get you to your vision…so you won’t even have to think about it.
You’ll do the right thing every time because your vision is so powerful that it forces you to do the right things.
This challenge might be simple…but it works.
Becoming more disciplined is all about building integrity and stacking small wins so you can build momentum and make success automatic.
And if you will take action on this 7-day challenge, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the unstoppably disciplined Operator you’ve always wanted to be.
Give it a try and let me know your results in the comments below.
And if you want my help…
Becoming more disciplined…getting clarity on your big vision…eliminating your temptations…and building your Operator’s Mindset
There are a few spots left in my Q1 “Millionaire Accelerator Case Study” coaching program.
To qualify, you need to control your own income (you either own a business or are self employed), be making at least 6-figures, and be willing to do the work, listen to criticism, and take massive action on the strategies I’ll share with you.
Tell me a little bit about your business, goals, and challenges and we’ll talk more to see if you’re a good fit for the program