Wednesday, January 28, 2009

7 Steps in The Practice of Discipline

If you're going to upgrade your personal brand this year, you'll have to discipline yourself to do what you know needs to be done.

Perhaps the best definition of self-discipline comes from Brian Tracy:
"Self discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not."

He reminds us that it's easy to do something when you feel like it but it's when you don't feel like it and you force yourself to do it anyway that you move your life and career onto the fast track.

What decisions do you need to make today in order to start moving toward being world-class in our field? Whatever it is, make a decision today and then get started. This single act alone can change the whole direction of your life.

Here are seven steps to success shared with me in a recent note from Brian Tracy.

It's a powerful 7-step formula that you can use to set and achieve your goals for the rest of your life. Every single successful person uses this formula or some variation of this formula to achieve vastly more than the average person. And so can you. Here it is:

1. Decide What You Want
Decide exactly what it is you want in each part of your life. Become a "meaningful specific" rather than a "wandering generality."

2. Write it Down
Write it clearly and in detail. Always think on paper. A goal that is not in writing is not a goal at all. It is merely a wish and it has no energy behind it.

3. Set A Deadline
A deadline acts as a "forcing system" in your subconscious mind. It motivates you to do the things necessary to make your goal come true. If it is a big enough goal, set sub-deadlines as well. Don't leave this to chance.

4. Make A List
Include everything you can think of that you are going to have to do to achieve your goal. When you think of new tasks and activities, write them on your list until your list is complete.

5. Organize Your List
Turn your list into a plan. Decide what you will have to do first and what you will have to do second. Decide what is more important and what is less important. And then write out your plan on paper, the same way you would develop a blueprint to build your dream house.

6. Take Action
Do something. Do anything. But get busy. Get going.

7. Do Something Every Day
Move in the direction of your most important goal every day. Develop the discipline of doing something 365 days each year that is moving you forward. You will be absolutely astonished at how much you accomplish when you utilize this formula in your life every single day.

Here are two Action Exercises you can do to put these ideas into action immediately.

First, decide exactly what you want, write it down with a deadline, make a plan and take action - on at least one goal - today!

Second, determine the price you will have to pay to achieve this goal and then get busy paying that price - whatever it is.

When you develop the habits of self-discipline, you will accomplish more in a month than most people accomplish in a year. If you would like to learn more on this topic from Brian Tracy, who has been empowering business professionals by sharing his knowledge all over the world, check out his audiobook, The Miracle of Self-Discipline.

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