What are your good intentions? Do you have enough discipline to sustain them? Or are your good intentions being kicked to the curb because you lack discipline? Discipline ensures that high performers get more out of their day, every day and therefore more out of their lives.
In order to become more disciplined, I have listed 7 recommendations below that every high performer applies to stay in their flow on a daily basis.
Why is discipline so important?
Social media, phone calls, emails, friends and so on, constantly distract you during the day. If you do not create habits and routines for yourself, you spend a large part of your day on activities that do not bring you closer towards your goals. It is always the small interruptions that cause the most time to be lost. Did you know that after every distraction you need at least 10 minutes to get back into your flow? Not so handy for your productivity.
You need 10 minutes after each distraction to get back in your flow.
With discipline, you go to bed feeling satisfied at the end of each day and you get more out of your life.
Ready for more discipline? Let’s go!
Discipline # 1: Emotional connection with your dream
What do you do every morning when you wake up? Is it a routine of showering, eating and checking social media? Or does your morning look different? I have a fixed morning routine that includes visualization and affirmation.
Visualization and affirmations are extremely important if you want to experience more discipline during the day. Why? When you start visualizing, you start dreaming about what you want your life to look like. Everything is possible during a visualization, but what most people don’t believe is that everything in life is possible. Therefore, dream about the goals that you want to achieve and the experiences that you want to create in your life. Think about:
- where do you see yourself in your ideal world?
- where do you live?
- what kind of work do you do?
- what people do you have around you?
- what do you look like?
Take time for yourself to get this clear and then start visualizing. You can do this while standing, sitting or lying down. You can move with your body if you prefer to visualize whilst exercising. I always put a smile on my face whilst I am visualizing so that my emotions can also play a role in this beautiful experience.
You can complete your visualization with an affirmation. With an affirmation every morning you put into words what kind of person you want to be and what your dreams, wishes, and goals are. SAY THESE WORDS IN THE PRESENT TENSE AS IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THEM. I AM IS SO POWERFUL. Your brain does not know the difference between thought and reality so if you say the affirmation/s out loud your subconscious mind will get to work at making it a reality for you. If you don’t understand or believe this then look up The Law Of Attraction.
By starting each day with visualization and affirmations you emotionally involve yourself with what your life’s purpose is. If you continue to do this, you will absolutely experience an enormous positive improvement in your discipline to do what you need to do in order to reach your goals and dreams.
Important: with visualization and affirmation it is always important to believe in yourself and the Universe and to pretend that it has already happened. A trap that you may fall into is that you do not believe your affirmation or can’t see it actually ever happening. If you let this state of mind take over then you will end up focusing on the lack of that which you don’t have. Let’s say for example you want to lose weight and get fit… you may be visualizing and affirming to yourself every morning about how slim and fit you want to be, but if you don’t believe it can or will happen or you focus on what you want to get rid of you will go into your day thinking of how much weight you need to lose and unfit you currently are. Focusing on the negatives even though you want to change them will not bring fast results.
E.G> I need to lose this fat. I’m so unfit I must get better. My clothes don’t fit. = negative thoughts
I am so excited to have the body I have always wanted! I can feel what it will feel like when I can run all that way without having to stop. My body is getting leaner and fitter every day. I already know what I’m going to wear when I have reached my goal. = positive thoughts = will attract positivity.
See the difference?
Discipline # 2: Plan your day
High performers are fully aware of life. They know that every new day is an opportunity to make strides towards their dreams and goals. A high performer, therefore, always starts the day in a disciplined manner.
I can’t emphasize enough how important planning is. I personally plan my month in a rough outline and then every week in detail. Every morning I use my high-performance planner and I go through my day and activities. By doing this every day, I know that I will have a great day.
Therefore: always plan your day in advance, otherwise you will live in a state of response and reaction instead of deliberate creation. You will also find yourself taking care of the needs of others before your own if you haven’t planned.
Discipline # 3: Do your own work first
Many people are unaware of the positive influence of a good morning routine. Most average people start their day as follows:
- Snooze 5x and get out of bed
- check social media
- check social media
- eating + checking social media
- read news
- respond to emails
- pick up activities from those emails
- getting started with work
In my opinion, this is the morning routine of an average person. What can we see from this? This morning routine is 100% focused on the outside world and not on the person himself.
Mornings are yours. You always want to start with your own important activities in the morning. A more productive and beneficial morning routine is:
- wake up
- ask myself, what am I looking forward to today?
- a hot shower followed by an ice-cold shower
- 2 glasses of water followed by coffee + MCT oil
- yoga / meditation / breathing exercises
- read book
- planner / visualization / affirmation
- walk outside / exercise
- your one important thing that must get done today
- then get started according to the planner for your customers
This is, in a nutshell, is my morning routine. As you can see, this routine is 100% focused on me. I take care of my mindset, health, energy and my own important “one-thing”.
This is possible for me because I get my ass out of bed at 5:00 every morning. The beauty is that it is also possible for people with children or a busy schedule. You must decide and make choices to what is most important to you so you can prioritize your day.
So I advise you: start your day with a good morning routine that suits you. This will enable you to start your day in a disciplined planned manner instead of “chaos”, which will give you the feeling that you are in control of your life.
If you start your day unconsciously then accept the fact that the day is leading you, you’re not leading the day!
Discipline # 4: Know your intentions
What are your intentions today? Did you consciously opt for your intentions today or did you look at this question with surprise and confusion?
Intentions are part of my morning routine and are also part of my fully conscious life. They make me focus on the things that are important in my life.
Discipline can, for example, be one of your intentions. What would that look like for you? Can you imagine what you and your day would look like if you were disciplined?
When you can, my advice is to grab 1 minute each morning for the activity below:
- consider the intentions that are important to you (for example, discipline)
- close your eyes and imagine how you will be when you are a disciplined person
- experience it, feel it and see it
- then open your eyes and get started.
This short exercise is a great way to determine your intentions for the day. At that moment of visualisation, you are consciously imagining your perfect day and you performing at your best. Doing this gives you a boost in your self-discipline.
Discipline # 5: Block your times through the day
This tip is very similar to #2, plan your day. Applying #2 does not mean that you actually accomplish the agreements you made with yourself. That is why this article is also about discipline and putting your planning into action.
As a business coach/high-performance coach I always have a number of fixed activities on certain days. For example, I block a period every day from 5:00 AM to 9:30 AM. In this block, nobody can plan anything in my agenda because 5:00 am to 8:30 am is my regular routine time for me. I usually use the hour from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for my one-thing. Even my online agenda that I often use to make appointments with clients is blocked until 8:30 a.m.
My advice to you is to organize fixed activities at set times. By doing this, you ensure that you can always carry out these activities, no matter what.
Discipline # 6: Reward yourself
When I look at my life as an entrepreneur I didn’t reward myself enough in the beginning. I have now learnt that it is so important to reflect and celebrate all of your achievements no matter how small, throughout your journey.
When you are working hard and doing the right things each day, take the time to acknowledge this. It doesn’t have to be that you buy something new or treat yourself to a holiday, it can be something small and as simple as complimenting yourself, just chilling on the couch and listening to music or something else that makes you happy.
You must celebrate success! Reward yourself for your results and your achievements. Reward yourself for your efforts… even if you haven’t accomplished what you really wanted to in the day but you tried your hardest and did everything you could to get you there, make sure you acknowledge this too! If you do not do this, you will become less disciplined as time goes on. Us humans need acknowledgements and ‘a pat on the back’ because it makes us feel heard, even if the acknowledgement comes from ourselves.
Your achievements and dreams seem meaningless if you don’t stop to think about it. Therefore, consider the moments, be thankful, celebrate it and then continue again.
Discipline # 7: Who needs you?
I will end this article with a powerful tip. In English, we also say “Who needs me on my A-game”?
“Who needs me on my A-game?
I personally find this very strong and powerful and I always think about my girlfriend. She is a very passionate woman who is busy building her own business as a mindset and a holistic nutrition coach.
She chose to give up her secure career in England and come to the Netherlands to be with me. Now we have to make sure that there is enough money in the pot. This is always an extra motivation for me! Because I want us to keep living our wonderfully beautiful life and I also want us to have the space to develop further and to achieve and experience more in life.
That’s why I always put my girlfriend on my A-game list. If I lose my discipline, I think of my girlfriend and our shared dreams, and that ensures that I quickly pick up my discipline again.
If you have difficulty maintaining discipline after the first 6 tips, ask yourself every moment that you are not disciplined: Who needs me on my A-game?
Discipline requires discipline
The tips in this article require discipline to create discipline within yourself! You always have to work continuously on your discipline to stay disciplined.
Therefore, do not just consume these tips, but apply them directly and put them into practice. Look carefully for how and when you can apply these tips (in your morning routine, etc.) and believe in them.
Good luck with building discipline!