Sunday, February 8, 2009

Self Discipline - Answers

What is the right amount of pressure? What are the right things to either take away/or give when I have accomplished or failed to accomplish my objectives? How do I avoid the thoughts of complacency and procrastination that keep me from choosing something to work on and applying the pain/pleasure principle to it?

These are the questions I set out to answer for myself, again. Isn't it funny that we already know or have known the answers to the questions that seem to give us the most trouble. As I thought about self discipline this week many things came up to answer my questions. I listened to a CD's by Laurie Woodward, Chuck Goetschel and Jerry Harteis. And, all of them gave me some little nugget that helped me get my head back in the game in terms of my own self discipline.

On May 28, 2006 I made a list of 14 things I wanted to change about myself. I remember feeling a little overwhelmed as I looked at the list. I didn't know how to change all of those things at once. So, I prayed about it. I was direct to one thing on my list and felt as though if I changed that one thing many of the others would come into alignment. So, I focused on that one thing and don't really remember coming back to the list to pick the next one. But, as I review it now 3 of the 14 things are habits for me now. The rest are in progress. But, in all 14 of them there has definitely been improvement since 2006.

I have heard this principle more than once. If you take 21 days to focus on one thing that will make it a habit for you. That was the purpose of my list was to take 21 days on each thing. So, I got started this week again. I went right back to the gym thing and I am going to spend the next few weeks firming up that habit and getting it to the level that I want. Then, I am going to move to some other important areas of my life. On her CD Laurie Woodward said you have to focus. She said 'He who begins too much accomplishes nothing'. So, I am going to keep it simple and focus on one thing at a time for three weeks at at time. And, I am going to apply the pain pleasure principle and use rewards to get myself into action. This week my reward was reading one chapter of the Twilight book from Edward's perspective. Next week I'll get to read two. Yea!! How did I choose that? First I thought of rewards that I would have enjoyed but they would hurt my progress in other areas. For example: I wanted to make my mom's biscuits and gravy. But, that would have destroyed my diet goals for the week because I had already used all my extra points. So, I chose something that I really wanted to do but don't generally take time for. And, as soon as I got home from the gym on Saturday I read my chapter. Of course I wanted to just keep reading. But, I am storing that desire to get myself to the gym five times this week. I think that is the answer to almost all of my questions. Find something you really want! That got me over the desire to just stay in bed this week. And, I know that if I can keep finding things that I really want - deep down, truly want - I can leverage that to change myself. I hope this week helps you as much as it has helped me.

Here are some other quotes I have picked up along the way that you might enjoy:

Stay ready so you don't have to get ready. - Will Smith

Success will not come to you on your terms. - Jerry Harteis

Success is directly related to standing out not fitting in. - Joe Gregorski

Success is going from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. - Winston Churchill

When you aim at nothing, you hit it with remarkable accuracy. - Unknown

Monday, February 2, 2009

Self Discipline 2

Not long after writing the last post, I went back into Google Reader and took the time to watch and read a blog by Chuck Goetschel. Click here and check it out!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Self Discipline

I've been giving a lot of thought to this topic lately. It is a funny thing. On one hand, we want great things to happen in our lives. We want to reach our goals and live our dreams. But, who wants to follow a strict pattern and do all the things necessary to achieve them? And even if you want to, who can? And how to they make themselves get it done?

I remember a couple of years back I was struggling with making myself go to the gym. I wanted to go. But, just couldn't make myself go when it was time. So, I decided to use some advice I heard on a cd. I am not sure which one it was exactly because a lot of them gave this advice back then. It was the pain/pleasure principle. Basically, you either deprive yourself of something you want or give yourself a reward in order to get yourself to do something you aren't doing. I decided to apply this to make going to the gym a habit. I decided that I was going to the gym 4 times per week. And, I would have to take a cold shower for every time I didn't go. So, if I only went 3 times, I got one cold shower. It wasn't just a shower lacking in warmth either. I made myself take a cold enough shower that I wouldn't stand in the water except to rinse REALLY fast. It worked. I didn't take many cold showers. And, now I love going to the gym. I am still not the best at getting there. But, I am way better than I was before I followed this pattern.

Now, here's the test of toughness. Have I ever used this technique again? No. Have there been a whole host of things I have wanted to change? Yes. So, I ask myself why not? Why not use a technique that really made a difference?

This opens up a whole new topic. Miles and I are Mona Vie Distributors. And, we are tied into the best group in the industry, Team. So, I listen to a lot of CD's about personal growth. They teach pursuing excellence, doing your best in everything you do and pursuing your goals and dreams. The difference the system (meaning the CD's and books Team provides for personal growth) has made in my life is immeasurable. But, there are things that my little brain struggles with. Like how much pressure to I place upon myself to change? I am notorious for expecting myself to accomplish way more in a day than is even humanly possible. And, then, I am hard on myself when I don't. This drives Miles crazy. He always says, "You always try to put 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag." He's right. And, I have had many a monthly break down because of it. I am doing much better now. I set more reasonable goals and don't place so much pressure on myself if I don't get them done. But, now I fear that I have gone too far the other way.

So, these are my questions. What is the right amount of pressure? What are the right things to either take away/or give when I have accomplished or failed to accomplish my objectives? How do I avoid the thoughts of complacency and procrastination that keep me from choosing something to work on and applying the pain/pleasure principle to it?

I believe that questions are the answers. I believe that as we ask questions our brain and our spirit go to work at finding those answers for us. So, these are the questions I will be pondering this week. I welcome your thoughts...