We all know that discipline is a key to success and happiness.
Think about someone you admire…
Now think about the little things they do to discipline themselves…
Maybe it’s a parent that wakes up at the same time every morning. Even on the weekends.
Maybe it’s a boss that schedules time with each of their employees every month. Even when it seems a little unnecessary, they’re taking the time and energy to keep the routine.
The key to self discipline is the little things.
For some reason, though, humans like to think big. We like to think about big changes we can make to our lives that we think will make improvements. But this can be a form of procrastination. It can lead to us feeling good in the short-term because we proclaim our big goals, but it also provides a nice excuse.
For example, you can make the goal to lose 30 pounds. It sounds good. It is good. But you’re not doing that in a day. You know it and you know that others know it. So you don’t ever lose the 30 pounds and you feel okay about it because you feel like it’s such a big goal that it’s impossible.
The trick with self discipline is doing the little things that can lead to success. Cutting out one snack a day. That’s how you start on the path to success. You don’t focus on the big things like losing 30 pounds. You cut out a snack. Then you build on that.
Successful people are masters at little self discipline items. They go for a walk every morning. Rain, show or hurricane. They write a thoughtful email to the five most important people to them every month. Little things that seem unimportant, but that lead to the type of habits that lead to long-term success.
John Wooden is perhaps the most successful basketball coach of all time. For new players each year on his team he would start by teaching them to tie their shoes. Seems silly on the surface, but he was a stickler about it. He wanted to stress the importance of creating little self discipline tasks in each player.
When you’re good at the little things, the bigger things become easier.