I can't tell you how important it is to build routines that work for you. This is not the same thing as self-discipline. Sheer internal push is almost never enough.
Ask yourself, how are those New Year’s resolutions going?
I admit - you do see people we would describe as self-disciplined - you know the ones; they go to the gym regularly, they get up and read every morning before work, they save 30% of their salary every month -- yeah, those people.
When you dig beneath the surface, you find that people with that elusive quality “self-discipline” are driven by something different, something personal to them. Success is gained by having a reason based on your values, not based on the societal pressures of those around you.
If you want to be successful:
1. Don’t let your goal be driven by “should.” Identify an authentic gift you want to give yourself (not just at the end of the process, but during it as well).
I’m a bit rebellious. If I’m working on a goal because I should, I generally find a way to eventually say “to heck with it.”
2. Find champions and accountability partners.
It’s hard to stay in bed if you’ve agreed to meet a walking partner. I’ve often been pulled out of bed because I told someone I would.
3. See yourself in partnership with others.
Sign up for a class. Make plans with a friend. And of course, I’ll mention - hire a coach.
4. Create the routines based on your strengths and resources.
I’m a night person, so I don’t even try to get up at 6 a.m. to exercise. I do it right after work (which gives me more energy to enjoy the evening). I also don’t want to spend money on a gym, so I dance to YouTube videos or walk at the park.
5. When you get stuck, get curious.
What are the obstacles? Would a different time of day work? Don’t give up on the goal; find out what obstacle is making it hard.
So, give yourself a gift.