“Good habits exist despite circumstances.”
—Rohan Rajiv, a Product Manager at LinkedIn
Image from Unsplash by Nubelson Fernandes
How true is today’s quote for you?
What habits do you stick with regardless of the circumstances?
Consider the areas of family, health, faith and your vocation. What tried-and-true behaviors occur like clockwork even when facing the winds of change?
Just as a sturdy tree can yield and bend with the breeze, our good habits act as roots that keep us upright and grounded regardless of the weather.
Where in your life do external circumstances make keeping your good habits difficult?
How can you shore up these best practices with greater discipline and grit to keep up your forward momentum whatever comes your way?
“Individual willpower is a shallow container from which to draw energy.”
Image from Unsplash by Dose Juice
Most of you know that I am a morning person. It’s the time of day when I have the greatest energy and discipline. On most days I meditate, exercise, and eat my oatmeal on the run before I dash into my schedule.
As the day progresses, I use snacks and a few doses of caffeine to keep up the pace. Lunchtime is often a quick affair, with only modestly healthy choices if I neglect to have something prepared.
By three in the afternoon, I’m pretty pooped and most of my disciplined efforts are nowhere to be found. Happily, an occasional power nap sets things right and I’m good until 10:00 p.m., when I head to bed to fully recharge for the next day.
When do you have the greatest energy and discipline in your days? How can and do you apply this awareness to accomplish your highest priorities and commitments?
“The pleasure of doing a thing in the same way at the same time every day and savoring it should be noted.”
—Arnold Bennett, 20th Century English novelist
Image from Unsplash by Prophsee Journals
To what degree are you a creature of habit? What are the routines and rituals you repeat each day in the same way and time? How many of these behaviors support your health and well-being? How many would you describe as simple pleasures or bring you a sense of pride?
Consider when and why your first developed these habits.
How much discipline and intentionality did it take for you to become the person who acts in this manner?
After savoring this list, examine what new or different habits you’d like to incorporate into the melodies and harmonies of your days.
Feel free to reply to this post with what you discover.
“Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.”
—Roy L. Smith, 20th Century American Clergyman
Image from Unsplash by Samuel Giacomelli
Heat treatment is the process of heating and cooling metals to change their micro-structure and to bring out the physical and mechanical characteristics that make them more desirable.
Before modern metalworking techniques were invented, blacksmiths used heat to make metal more workable in forming them into the shapes they desired and in making them stronger.
Where can and will you apply the fires of greater personal and professional discipline to expand your talents into more masterful abilities?
“All man’s gains are the fruit of venturing.”
—Herodotus, 5th Century BCE Greek Historian
Image from Flickr by Lynn Friedman
As part of my Personal Excellence Coaching program, I often conduct assessments which includes a review of the client’s achievement traits. Among the most important is that of initiative, in which the individual evaluates what needs to be done and ventures forth without being prodded by others to do so.
Beginning new things, solving challenging problems, and pursuing a new goal sure beats waiting and wishing for things to come our way.
Where would an “if it is to be it begins with me” approach have you venturing forth in new ways, to gain more of the sweet fruits of life?
“The essence of self discipline is to do the important thing rather than the urgent thing.”
-Barry Werner, American Sportscaster
When it comes to prioritizing our days and getting things done, most people are familiar with some form of Time Matrix that breaks tasks into four categories:
- Important and Urgent.
- Not Important, and Not Urgent.
- Not Important, but Urgent.
- Important, but Not Urgent.
Virtually everyone would agree that item #1 – Important and Urgent – would be given the highest priority, and item #2 – Not Important and Not Urgent – would be the lowest. The challenge for most people is sorting through the amount of time we devote – or should I say “lose” – by inadvertently slipping into more #3 – Not Important, but Urgent – than #4 – Important, but Not Urgent.
Where would the habit of greater discipline concerning the important matters in your life pay you the highest returns, personally or professionally?
Consider selecting a friend, family member, mentor, or coach to work with in this area as soon as possible.
“Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.”
As I write this post, it is a brisk seven degrees here in Michigan, and yet I am still going to the gym to exercise.
My bed is comfortable, and far warmer than what awaits me outside. What gets me up and going when staying put would be far more pleasant?
Quite simply, I have made exercise a habit that takes far less discipline these days than it did in the past, before it became part of my daily routine.
The factors that lay beneath my exercise habit is the commitment I have made, and the value I attribute to being healthy.
What are the bad habits that no longer serve your professional or personal commitments? How will you embrace any discomfort you might experience by replacing one bad habit with one that will serve you better?
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
– Jim Rohn, entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker
As many of the readers of The Quotable Coach series know, one of my core values is health, and one of my habits is daily exercise.
The other day, I watched a special 3-month-long boot-camp session at my club and saw how the trainer and the participants created a rigorously, supportive and highly-disciplined environment to bridge the gap between each participant’s goal and the accomplishment of real objective results.
What areas of your professional or personal life are lacking the discipline needed to reach your goals?
Hire a coach (or drill sergeant) to support your efforts with a customized “boot-camp” to grow and strengthen your discipline muscle.
An alternative is to find a personal or professional partner and provide support for each other.