Discipline In Business

vs. self-indulgence

Choosing behaviors to help me reach my goals

To practice Discipline I will:

  • set my own limits
  • not act impulsively
  • walk away from things that aren’t right
  • not equate desires with rights
  • choose to build good habits

    “Atomic Habits”
    -Jill Tomey

    Discipline is all about making the right decision in the moment. Should you order the salad or the burger? Go to the gym or binge-watch a TV show? According to James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, when we build habits around the decisions we face, it will be easier to make the better decision. He has 5 steps that he uses to teach others how to build strong habits.

    The first step is to start small. He uses the 2-Minute Rule to scale down the desired habit into a 2-minute task. If your goal is to run every day, the start small task might be to put on your running shoes every day. It’s much easier to muster the Discipline for a small task than a larger one. The key to the first step is to master the art of showing up to establish the habit.

    Once you have created the baseline habit the next step is to increase your habit in small ways. He likes to say get 1% better every day. He likens it to compound interest on a savings account. These small steps are not huge but over time they will add up. For the running habit example, a 1% increase may look like starting with short walks and building to running longer distances.

    At some point, your 1% better will become too much of a stretch. He employs the Goldilocks rule to determine when you have reached your peak. You want the effort to be just right – not too hard and not too easy. That just-right point is where you experience the peak motivation to stay with your goal.

    All of us experience slip-ups and many times a single slip up derails our motivation. His suggestion for handling a single miss is the rule of Never Miss Twice. Forgive yourself for the slip but build the habit of not letting it stop your forward progress. If you never miss twice, your slip-ups become a blip on the radar.

    His last step is to practice Patience. He tells the story of a stonecutter who hits a stone with his hammer 99 times, but nothing happens. On the 100th hit, the stone breaks. It wasn’t just the 100th hit that split the stone but the accumulation of the 99 strikes before it. See success along the way with building the habit in the beginning so that you stay on track until you get results.

    This month, use Discipline to build small habits that will grow to feed and strengthen your Discipline.