I would wager to bet that you may not be the best at discipline or making new habits. I’m not. I feel like for most people, this isn’t something that comes super easily. Sure it may come easier for some people compared to others, but it still takes work. A couple weeks I started a new habit. Waking up bright and early (around 5:15am) and heading to the gym. I was excited about this new habit for about two days. Then it got hard. Each morning that my alarm goes off, I have lots of internal debates about whether or not I need to go that day. I try to convince myself that I can go later. That it won’t matter if I skip today. I try to talk myself out of it. But most days, I go. And if I miss my early wake-up, I try my hardest to go later in the day. Because I know part of this habit is becoming healthier, but another large part is doing this to be disciplined.
Now these strategies apply to more than just personal development, they can also apply to your business. Some examples of habits you may want to create for yourself in your business:
- Write a weekly newsletter
- Schedule out your social media in advance
- Actually obey your office hours
- Consistently have analog weekends
- Regularly invest (whether with time or money) in education to develop your skills
- Using Pomodoro time blocking on a daily basis
- Not waking up and immediately hoping on social media
- Regularly scheduling coffee dates to get to know other entrepreneurs and small business owners
- Only checking your email twice daily
- Tracking your time
New habits require consistency and discipline.
A friend recently reminded me that habits are formed through being consistent. Being consistent means you have to have discipline. Visually seeing our progress can help us stay consistent. I created a chart, hung it on my fridge, and put a check mark on each day I make it to the gym. Feel free to use the chart below to record your progress! Elise from Elise Joy also shared a cool progress tracker for 2017.
Discipline means doing it even when you don’t want to.
Likely, you won’t want to do something every day. It’ll be hard. But show up anyways and give it your best shot. Part of building discipline is being disciplined. Which clearly is hard. But you’re working on establishing a routine and a rhythm that will help you in the long run.
Focus on one habit at a time.
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Sure on day one or two you may have all the ideas of new things you want to try to do. That’s great! But choose one. Focus on it for at least two months (or until it feels routine for you – it may take longer and that is more than ok!). Focus all your energy on one thing and do it well. By focusing on one thing, you’ll help yourself to not become burned out down the road. If you have five habits you’re trying to create, on a super busy day, two weeks in, trying to accomplish all 5 things may just be too much. And on that note,
Give yourself grace.
Just as in exercise, it’s important to have rest days. Be patient with yourself. Don’t expect to be perfect when you’re starting. If you’re trying to write a weekly newsletter (and previously didn’t have one), you may spend all day trying to think of a topic (oh hey, I’ve done that!). Allow yourself to make mistakes without falling off the train. It’s never too late to start up again. If you have one off day, that’s ok. Try again tomorrow (or even later in the day!). Give yourself permission to learn and make mistakes during this process.
Acknowledge your accomplishments.
Show off that calendar that shows how many days you worked on your habit. Compare yourself and your work from day one to where you are now. Celebrate in someway big or small. And then keep going.
What habit are you working on forming right now? Or what is one that you want to try to build?