Why Didn’t I Do It?
By: David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Are there things that you know you should do, but just don’t? Are there changes you would like to make in your life, but you are just not able to make them stick? If so, is it possible the reason is merely a lack of self-discipline? In my life, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. I don’t have enough self-discipline. For some time, this realization has been hanging over my head like a dark cloud waiting to just dump on me. How could I be so undisciplined?

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” Wow. Clearly, I am not the only one battling a lack of follow through. So, what can we do? Are we supposed to just give in and live in mediocrity? Not at all. We can drastically improve our self-discipline. Let’s get intentional about self-discipline and take a look at some proactive steps we can take to help us improve.

  1. Develop your “Why” statement about the goal. Do you know why you want to accomplish the goal? Write down your why statement and keep it visible. Make it part of your vision board. Visit what your default future looks like if you don’t achieve the goal.
  2. Get going even if you don’t feel like it. Too often we wait to do something until we feel like it. Realistically speaking we may never feel like doing certain things. Take exercise for example. I don’t mind skiing, but it’s difficult for me to get excited about sit-ups or running on the treadmill. It’s just not something that I am going to feel like doing. But, as Nike says, “Just Do It.” That’s right, simply commit to doing it even if you don’t feel like it. Once you get into the habit of doing something daily, you’ll actually look forward to it.
  3. Find an accountability partner. Growth is accelerated in an accountability environment so find someone who will hold you accountable. Commit to your goal publicly. This gives you added accountability. You won’t want to look like a quitter, so you just do it.
  4. Don’t overpromise. Keep your focus short term. Focus on daily activities not committing to do something every day for a year. I can easily commit to staying intentional today. When I wake up in the morning, I commit to another day. Do not underestimate the power of little steps – they add up to substantial progress.

In just a brief time we’ve covered several tactics we can use to improve our self-discipline. This topic has been at the forefront of my thinking lately. If you would like to hear what else I’ve discovered, please join Marisa and me on episode 50 of The Next Page podcast where we discuss many more tools for improving self-discipline.

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