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Discipline is the foundation for success. You probably don’t need me to tell you that. You’re probably well-aware that a consistent, deliberate routine of hard work and focus are key to achieving your goals. But if you’re like a lot of people, you’ve already dismissed “discipline” as a trait you just don’t have. You were born without it. After all, if you were a naturally driven person, wouldn’t you have reached your goals by now?

Here’s what’s wrong with that reasoning: Discipline is something you learn. It’s not an inherent trait; it is a habit you cultivate over time. Now, learning this skill isn’t easy, and it isn’t always comfortable, but it can change your life.
So, how do you get started?
First, understand what we are talking about when we talk about discipline.
When we think of someone who is disciplined, we tend to think of the most intimidating examples . . . soldiers who sleep four hours a night and push themselves to physical extremes during the day. Or Olympic athletes who have spent every free moment practicing their sport since the age of four.
While images like these serve as very inspiring examples of commitment and drive, all you need to consider right now is this definition: Discipline is about committing to a routine that helps you direct your energy toward the goal that matters most to you.
That’s it.
So, how do you determine the steps you need to take to achieve your goals?
Tony Robins often says that “Success leaves clues.” In other words, look to those who have already accomplished the things you’d like to accomplish. Examine how they got where they are.
Let’s say you want to be an actor. When you research the most successful actors, you find that their path to success included things like:
  • Studying role models in their field.
  • Access to an inspiring mentor.
  • A regular training routine.
  • Relationships with other professionals who could help them out.
So, what do you do? You commit to a plan that includes:
  • Studying the work of remarkable actors.
  • Connecting with a great mentor.
  • Creating and committing to a training schedule.
  • Networking and attending events that allow you to build relationships that could lead to new opportunities.
Seems easy, right? So why do so many of us struggle with discipline?
Cultivating discipline begins with changing your mentality.
Most likely, you grew up learning how to fit in. In school, you were taught to pass tests and repeat the answers you were taught. At home, you probably observed that your parents made do with whatever financial and emotional circumstances they were faced with, rather than pushing for more. Ultimately, you were handed a specific definition of reality, and your job was to do your best within that box.
Discipline is difficult because your mind has been trained to make the most of what is, and discipline requires you to commit to what could be. It means betting on your vision for the future, and that’s an incredibly difficult shift to make! A change like that requires courage, strategy, and faith in yourself.
So don’t beat yourself up for not being a “disciplined person.” But don’t settle, either. Reinvent your mindset so you can create the life you deserve. Here’s how:
Start small and set yourself up for success.
First, take a moment to realize what you want for your life and what steps you need to take in order to get there.
Second—and this is important—don’t launch into accomplishing all these steps immediately. It’s too much. Even if you feel inspired and charged up today, you cannot cultivate the discipline of a soldier overnight. If you try, you’ll fail, and once again you’ll convince yourself that you are inherently undisciplined.
Instead, start developing self-discipline by establishing simple, easy-to-follow rules for yourself. Things like:
  • Going to bed at a certain time.
  • Waking up at a certain time.
  • Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning.
If you’re eager to change your life, these miniscule changes may feel pointless. What does drinking water have to do with your entrepreneurial ambitions?
A lot more than you might think. These small steps train your mind. They work that all-important commitment muscle. You eventually discover a snowball effect. Each new rule becomes easier and quicker to adopt, and before you know it, you’re all-in on the steps you need to take to make your dreams come true.
So, how do you decide which small rules to start with?
I encourage you to ask yourself two questions.
  1. What three small things can I do every day to put myself in a great mood? Your attitude has a huge influence on your ability to focus and commit to your goals.
When I wake up every morning, I spend 30 seconds in appreciation before I even get out of bed. I give myself a moment to lie still and think about the things I am grateful for, the things in my life and work that are going well. By starting the day on a note of appreciation, I position myself in a positive mentality and remind myself that the work I’ve done to improve my life is already paying off.
What similar routine can you create for yourself?

2. What three small things can I do every day to get closer to where I want to be?

One of the biggest mistakes you can make while working towards your goals is to try going from 0-100 . . . making major changes right away that are bound to fail because you’re not ready to sustain that new routine.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
I do a lot of mentoring and coaching for my franchisees. One of their biggest priorities is to build up their professional relationships. I advise them to do this by spending ten minutes on LinkedIn every day connecting with professionals that have the potential to help them grow their business. That’s it. Just ten minutes a day. Will they see huge results in the first month? Probably not. But after six months, they will have developed several new relationships and discovered new opportunities because they created a sustainable system for growing their network.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with one big change. Stack smaller changes.
You can be a disciplined person.
You can. Not only does the potential exist within you, but it’s also easier than ever to develop any skill. We live in a world of unlimited tools and information. You can learn almost anything for free.
You are not limited by access to resources. You are not limited by your own potential. The only thing that limits you is your mentality.
Begin re-training your mind today and watch your life change for the better.
Idan Shpizear
CEO, 911 Restoration