Your Solution for Self-Discipline (or lack of)

Sometimes, I don’t want to do the things I either should be doing or need to be doing.  Okay, most of the time 😉 


Can you relate? 


I would rather spend money than save it. 


I would rather watch TV than read. 


I would rather work than workout. 


Etc. Etc. Etc. 


The thing is I know, just like you KNOW, the thing you should be doing will lead to a better, happier, more successful life… 


Not to mention, you WILL feel better about yourself once the thing is complete. 


Somedays I can convince myself of this and others I struggle… 


So what’s the solution? 


Solution 1: Take a minute to remind yourself of the pros and cons of doing or not doing the thing.  This works, but not always for things like jumping out of bed in the morning. 


So let’s look at… 


Solution 2: Enroll people close to you or a coach in holding you accountable.  Depending on the level to which people hold you accountable, this one can be VERY effective. 


Yet, it also doesn’t always work, so let’s look at… 


Solution 3: Increase or decrease the “friction” of the environment.  


Example A 


Issue: Your teenage child takes showers that are too long. 


Solution: Turn the hot water off.  I guarantee you will save a lot of water.  


Example B 


I was habitual about flossing my teeth until my toothbrush and floss found themselves in separate bathrooms… 


At which point, I INCREASED the friction to the habit. 


Decreasing my flossing rate to almost 0, because even though it was only a few steps from my bed to grab my floss… 


It was an extra effort, and I had already completed my bedtime routine. 


This went on for several months before my “lightbulb” moment of moving the floss to my toothbrush station… 


What do you know?  


Back to flossing every day like clockwork. Small hinges swing BIG DOORS.  


Self-discipline is excellent, and the more you have of it, the more you will accomplish… 


Yet, why use self-discipline at all if we don’t need to?


Instead, manipulate your environment to your advantage. 


Save your self-discipline for times when you have no other options. ​


Create an environment that forces you to do the things you know you need to do.