I am starting to get things organized in my life and my mind. In order to keep things moving along nicely, I have to make a few notes about the three phrases in the title.
These are self-discipline, goal setting, and time management. Why? Because everything else is going to run smoothly when you first have an established set of rules about these three things.
To begin, you need to understand what I am referring to when I say rules. These are a combined set of principles that cover your beliefs, values, and morals.
They will be completely different(or should be) than anyone else s. The point of having them is so that you will start to weed out the good from the bad. Then you will also have a quick list you can look at to remind you until you get familiar with them.
One of the problems that you may encounter is a state of disbelief. That means you are confused and uncertain about what to do. This is the reason I want you to be able to look at your rules and immediately be able to say ah, now I see.
In order to get started, I need to show you a few things that will be helpful so that you can come up with your rules.
What is self-discipline?
It’s the way that you control your time and your actions right now so that you can benefit more in the future. For example, if you decided to spend 1 hour less time watching TV now so that you can write your goals out.
This benefits you because it’s time better spent which is otherwise used to just relax and not do anything productive. It’s also where you disregard your emotions and feelings because you know what you will be doing isn’t as much fun as the other thing.
You can make up a schedule, a set of rules, or make quick decisions whenever the need arises to choose between a good action or a poor action. That is only when you establish a value about what your time is worth per minute, per hour, etc.
Another way to say this is that when you lack self-discipline you will keep your bad habits or avoid doing certain things that can improve your life. It also involves some false beliefs because people lie to themselves about how productive they are at certain times instead of doing the work.
This means you do the work when it’s on the schedule and not when you feel like it. So it’s a way to test the strength of your character and to improve your endurance.
Don’t mistake self-discipline from sacrifice, saying I will put something off now and do it later is self-discipline and it’s not a sacrifice. What sacrifice means is that you deny yourself the pleasure without scheduling time for it in the future.
So that it’s just a simple trade-off, and it’s often a mindset that you choose to have. The bottom line is you really need to understand how badly you want to do something and be more than willing to make sacrifices to get them done.
Self-discipline than means that you are willing to make the sacrifices that it takes, but to also know there will be time later in your life to make up for the sacrifices you take now.
Being productive is one of the most important factors in the present because you condition yourself to work. You will challenge yourself to ignore the worst feelings and become focused regardless of what stress it brings.
Take advantage of visualizations and story writing
One great way to help yourself practice self-discipline is to visualize areas of your life that you have overcome. This helps you to gain more confidence in the present and will make sacrifices a little easier to tolerate.
It happens this way because you aren’t needing to use up a lot of energy or effort to practice doing something. Instead, you just get better and better at visualizing all the things you want to become fantastic at.
Because your mind also likes to see the full details while you are planning the future, what better way than to write it out so you will be able to repeat the exact same thing thousands of times down to the tiniest details.
But there is a problem with visualizations, people don’t do them the right way. Instead, they confuse daydreams with visualizations and that is just a waste of time.
This is why I am saying you want to be able to focus on every detail so that you aren’t just drifting along without any purpose. One other thing you can do besides writing out a story of your future is to place images all around your daily activities.
The more you can see the images of the things you want to achieve, the quicker your mind will realize that you are trying to do this and help you out instead of sending you all those emotions that will try to break your concentration.
Make sure you are also flexible
No, I don’t mean physically flexible, although it may help you if you’re an athlete and that is part of the future you envision. What I am talking about is the ability to change what you are doing to something else without any loss of time or loss of focus.
Being flexible is also very useful when you are trying to solve problems because as soon as you hit a roadblock your mind needs to be able to bounce to the next idea quickly.
When we get into the goal setting part of this article you will understand more about this need. But just realize that it will help you stick to a schedule without delaying or sacrificing too much of the time you spend jumping between different tasks.
It will be useful when you start to get confused about something you are doing which will mean you need to change the way you are dealing with the issue.
Being able to be flexible will save you from a lot of uncertainty and can mean the difference between you succeeding and failing. There is always another way to do something so keep this in mind all the time and you won’t be held up for long.
Goal setting is your vision of your future
What is the process you need to learn so that you can set up your plans or goals for the future? I like many others use smart goals to turn my vision or dreams of the future into a list of steps that you can work on with self-discipline to make them happen.
I am not going to take the time to write out what smart stands for, instead, you can look at the graphics and get the idea from it. Before you start to stress out, I will give you some of the best tips to help you to use it to get going on your goals.
Remember the idea behind This is going to be to make things much simpler for you to see what needs to be done each day. But to really understand your plans in the next few years and up to a decade or more, you will want to dream big.
The bigger the better so that you can even make adjustments as you need to. Here are a couple of questions that you can ask yourself to find out what you really want to achieve.
What is something that will completely change your life for the better if you obtained it? What is something you think you really need that will help you realize your life purpose?
What will make you the happiest person alive if you were to gain it? Take your time, visualize, create your future story, or do whatever you need to do to come up with the answers to these three questions.
Remember to follow the smart goal guidelines so that you don’t have any questions about when you reach it or when you are starting to get close to reaching it.
One other tip is that you don’t need any of the resources that you are planning on having in the future. This is because a part of the goal setting process will be to acquire every single resource that you will use.
This way your entire plan will be possible and you won’t have to worry about how you are gonna get to where you want to get, because you will have a goal for everything set up already.
The entire process of goal setting is to give you the motivation to keep going forward. There is no such thing as impossible unless you try to reach for goals that make no sense.
Plan for things in a way so that you have alternatives, you know that you should make a plan B just in case something were to change drastically like a horrible natural disaster that you couldn’t predict.
When you start to see how things are going you can always adjust your goals, so there is no reason to panic in the case that you are coming up empty right now. Just allow yourself to continue visualizing what you think is important and that you may want in the future.
What does this mean to you? One of the greatest steps to take is to learn how to make use of your time so that you don’t skip a beat going from one task to another. This means you want to account for your breaks, your meals, your every action or behavior so that you have it covered.
Just like setting your goals there are lots of useful tips that you can learn which will help you get the most out of your time. The main reason I am writing this post is so that you and I both have a cheat sheet to follow whenever there is a question about goals or time.
So there isn’t a real concern if you aren’t at one hundred percent efficiency early one. These are steps that will continue to gain strength the longer you use them.
Never be afraid to challenge yourself to do a little extra, but listen to your body and don’t overdo things if it’s not essential. You don’t want to damage anything while you’re testing your limits, but you can realistically come pretty close and it’s always good to understand that about yourself.
First, you will want to keep track of all the activities you have to do in a week, month, or day. This will allow you to pencil in your rough guess about how much time you think is necessary.
When you have everything ready you will prioritize the tasks with a number. One is the most important and you can go up as high as you want or stick to a ten point system. Ten being the most flexible one that you really don’t need to do as soon as any others.
What are the issues that come up with time management?
- Lack of motivation(you don’t feel up to the action right now)
- Lack of faith in time management(false belief about it not being useful, bad experience with it before)
- Unexpected events(phone calls, illnesses, family emergencies)
- Over-ambitious(doing too much in too little time, not scheduling breaks, and not getting proper rest.)
- Distractions(not working in a quiet environment, having kids around, multi-tasking)
- Lack of knowledge(having to look things up often, not realizing your mistakes, self-doubts)
Anytime you want to commit to an activity you need to be focused on why you’re doing it. Keeping a list of your beliefs, values, goals, and visuals will help you quickly snap back into the purpose.
Don’t expect things to go without any kind of bumps in the road when you can learn how to utilize your time you can make the proper schedule.
Setting up the right schedule for your activities
Now that you are getting to a point where you understand what’s important and why it’s that way, you will need a plan to actually do it. This is when you need to start setting up a rough schedule and test things out to see how it goes.
By being aware of the problems from above, you can realistically start to find the best times to get stuff done.
Here is a useful list of steps you can take to optimize your schedule:
- Dedicated areas – Break up your day into three or more sets of time. For instance, mine is morning, noon, evening, this way I can break each of those down into 20-minute segments and allow for 5-10 minute breaks in between each activity.
- Priorities first – Once you have your areas you can start to plan how often you will do the most important tasks. For instance, I have writing scheduled for one hour every day, Monday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. After that, you do the second most important, third, fourth etc…
- Free time or open blocks of time – Make sure you include times where you don’t put any activities that way you can use that time however you want. It’s also a good idea for when you don’t feel like doing one activity so that you can schedule it at another time.
- Weekly schedule – Schedule time for yourself to plan for the next week, I do mine on Sunday evenings. Don’t just wing it or try to do it day by day, hour by hour. The schedule needs to have a clear and realistic goal to it so that you know ahead of time when you are to be doing what.
- Allow yourself to be flexible – Make any changes as soon as you need to but don’t be afraid to change things as you need to. It’s another way to increase your skill of becoming more flexible when you are needing to adjust to everyday changes that will happen.
- Keep your priorities list up-to-date – The more new information you learn the more likely you will need to make a few changes. Don’t limit yourself to doing anything that isn’t necessary or that skips something which is better.
- Keep track of how well you’re doing – One great way to build your motivation is to use the schedule as a reward system. Follow the schedule for a week, give yourself something you love. Keep the chain going for a month, give yourself something bigger and better for each milestone you get to.
- Keep track of time saved – When you follow the schedule you will undoubtedly start getting more things done in your day. When that happens write that time figure down and add up the total to show yourself just how well you’re doing.
The more you can start seeing how wonderful you are doing, the easier it will be to keep working hard and doing more. The more time you save can be the difference in your long-term goal taking 5 years instead of 10 or 20 years.
What Kind Of Rules Should You Come Up With?
When you want to understand if you should listen to another person you need to quickly check your belief about what they are saying. This will let you know whether they can be trusted or if you should just ignore any advice you get from them.
Based on what we have covered here and what you learned previously, it’s time to write down a few rules to live by.
- Rule one – Always do your own research instead of taking somebody at their word!
- Rule two – Make sure you look for evidence that supports the beliefs you want as a part of your belief system.
- Rule three – Pay special attention to your self-talk so that you can watch out for false beliefs.
- Rule four – Take your time whenever you can in order to choose your best option.
- Rule five – Mistakes will actually make you better, so be sure not to worry when you make them.
- Rule six – Self-discipline means you work regardless of how you feel at that time.
- Rule seven – Set Smart Goals so that you have a purpose and are moving in the direction you want to go.
- Rule eight – Create a schedule so that you have the ability to get everything that is important done.
- Rule nine – Have a plan B because you need to be flexible and it allows you to quickly adapt to any new situation.
- Rule ten – Practice everything you want to be good at because you have to make it a priority or you won’t get as far as you would with lots of it.
- Rule eleven – Learn about psychology and human nature if you want to understand the way people act and behave.
- Rule twelve – Take yourself seriously, but give yourself plenty of room for improvements. This will allow you to learn everything that your mind needs you to learn.
Like I mentioned above, you are going to have your own specific sets of rules that you follow. These are twelve that I just came up with for myself.
In closing, this is a wonderful way for you to start to get your life on the path that will help you the most. Figure out what is going to be your main goal and start to work things backward from there.
The more you can get done in the available time that you have, the quicker you will start to see results. This is not only important for you to gain confidence but also for your motivation.
Self-discipline, goal setting, and time management are very important areas that you will need to learn. The sooner you can adapt and get these in place the better you will be able to operate.
Come back anytime you need more help in coming up with the right plans for you. And look for a new post shortly that will cover what you need to do to create your plan B.