The Power of Self Discipline

Take Charge on 02.01.12
Guest Contributor bio | twitter

Photo: familymwr/Creative Commons

"Just do it." When you hear those words, what do you think of? I think of that famous Nike ad campaign with a bunch of really great athletes in really great shape. Working out, sweating and smiling while they're just doing it.

A somewhat different version of the same concept is my husband of 18 years. He's a businessman, working on his own now, after years of someone else's daily grind. He gets up at the same time everyday, makes breakfast for the kids then tackles the agenda he has laid out for himself the night before. Though he doesn't sweat like the afore-mentioned athletes, he does seem to smile while he's working, more often than not. Through challenges, ups, and quite a few downs, he has amazed me with his steady focus.

This is so not me. I'm a creative person who lives in the moment.  Whether it's working out, writing books, blogging, or any number of other undertakings, the mood has to hit me just right; I need to be inspired. You can see where the problem is here, right? I never know when or where that inspiration will come from.

After thinking about it today and watching my husband over the past several weeks, I think I hit upon a sure fire way to get it done, whatever it is: You just do it.

Hear me out. Working out, working for yourself, writing, they all have to become habits, right? And how are habits formed? From a committment -- and that comes when you have a clear goal in mind. For athletes, that goal is crossing  the finish line before anyone else. For my husband, the goal (at least in the short-term) is his daily agenda; his long-term goal is successfully staying out of debtors' prison.

So my goal is to learn how to just do it, even when I don't feel like it. I'm going to start viewing discipline as a muscle that gets stronger with more exercise. That means it's time for me to stop waiting for the inspiration to hit and make a little bit of my own.

What's your secret for powering through the stuff you don't want to do?

Top Articles On Self Discipline
10 News Year's Resolutions to Make as a Family

How To Recover Your Routine When It Gets Really Out of Whack

The 3 Mental, Spiritual and Emotional Resolutions I Can't Afford to Break