As a coach, I just love to watch other people achieve their goals. Unfortunately, I do not see nearly enough of this. Instead, I see the vast majority of the population floundering in mediocrity and despair. This is painful to watch, especially when I know what it takes to make your dreams come true.
What gets in the way? Why is it that most people dream of great things but very few ever achieve them?
No doubt you already know this, but let me remind you in case you have forgotten. Absolutely the only way to achieve greatness in any endeavor is to consistently apply yourself. No athlete ever became an Olympic champion, or any kind of champion for that matter, without investing tens of thousands of hours in training. No entrepreneur ever became a major player without paying their dues along the way. No spiritual master ever achieved inner peace without years of dedicated practice. And no one ever created financial independence without learning how to both earn and manage money. Everything you want is available to you, but the ball is in your court. It is up to you to go out and make it happen.
Chances are that you already know what you want. You probably even know, more or less, what you need to do to get there. If you are like most people, the place where things fall apart is the follow-through. You lack the self-discipline and willpower to do the things you know you need to do.
If you want to increase your self-discipline there are two approaches you can take. I personally recommend you work on both of them simultaneously.
The first solution is to increase your motivation. The more compelling your reason to take action, the easier it will be to get out of your easy chair and follow through. If growing your business, getting out of debt or losing 10 pounds suddenly became a matter of life and death instead of a "wish list" item, you would probably take action on it pretty quickly.
Fortunately a life and death situation is not the only way to get motivated. A burning desire to achieve a compelling vision will also provide the necessary fuel for self-discipline. Do you remember the movie "Rocky"? In that movie, and in every other "underdog" story, the hero is motivated by an unshakable vision. When your desire becomes that strong, doing what it takes to succeed will simply not be an issue!
One way to strengthen your motivation and develop a burning desire is to read inspiring books like Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" or "Unstoppable" by Cynthia Kersey. The latter contains 45 amazing stories of people who were motivated by powerful visions to achieve incredible results. Movies can be another source of inspiration. Watch "Rocky", "Coach Carter" or "Saint Ralph", a touching movie about a fourteen year-old boy who decides that the only way to get what he most wants in life is to win the Boston Marathon.
If you are serious about increasing your motivation, one solution is to get out of your comfort zone and set a goal that truly inspires you. Instead of resolving to lose 10 pounds, how about entering a marathon or joining a karate club? When you commit to a goal worth achieving it can take your life to a whole new level. At that point the 10 pounds becomes a non-issue.
Increasing your motivation is one way to make follow-through easier. The other is to find ways to reduce the amount of willpower required to achieve your goal. Since self-discipline is entirely about making choices, you can intentionally set up strategies that make it easier for you to do the "right" thing and more difficult to do the "wrong" thing. Here are some suggestions:
||Create an environment that makes it as easy as possible to discipline yourself. For example, if snacking is a problem, get rid of all the junk food in the house and make sure you have plenty of healthy alternatives on hand. If credit card debt is an issue, cancel your credit cards - or at least leave them at home. Spend time with people who share the same goals you have. This will ensure your environment is encouraging and provide you with a support network.
||Follow a structure or system. It is far easier to stick to an established diet program than it is to lose weight without following a proven methodology. Likewise, you are more likely to run regularly if you join a running club. The ProCoach Success System provides a structure that ensures our members consistently move forward on their business goals each week. Even creating and following your own system will dramatically increase your chances of following through.
||Set short term, measurable goals or milestones to keep yourself moving towards your long term objectives. For example, suppose you aspire to be a powerful motivational speaker. Commit to speak to your local Chamber of Commerce or another local group in the coming year. The experience will get your adrenalin pumping and give you a taste of what your future as a speaker will be like.
One way to describe self-discipline is, "doing the things you don't want to do today in order to have the things you want to have at a later date." It may sound painful and it certainly does require some sacrifices. But think of the alternative. If you don't discipline yourself to do what needs to be done, you have no hope of achieving your dreams and aspirations. The choice is up to you.
To your Success!
Master Certified Coach
NOTE: Last month some of our readers had difficulty accessing the audio recordings below. The problem has been corrected and we have included them again for those who wish to listen to this material.
Member Success Story
Real Estate Investor Winnielee Chuus has used the ProCoach Success System to achieve incredible results in the past two years. Click below to listen as she shares the amazing story of how she almost lost the biggest deal of her life.
The ProCoach on "Website Strategies"
Do you have a website, or are you thinking of setting one up? Either way, The ProCoach has a rather unique perspective on website strategy. Click below to listen to a short audio recording made at a recent members seminar where Andrew explained the only 3 reasons for having a website.
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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