So this post is for you if you feel that you are particularly low on self-discipline and are not at all in control of your life. Things are out of control, and you likely have a lot of people demanding things of you, a lot of last-minute things, and your physical health is not close to what you’d like it to be. Everything is last-minute.
You may find yourself alternative between utter hopelessness “nothing works, nothing helps, this is impossible” and a freaked-out sense of urgency “I need change all this now! I’m running out of time!”
If this is you, I want to offer this simple 5-point plan to help you get your shit together. This won’t get you all the way, but hopefully will represent the 80% of the benefit that you can get by applying just 20% of your effort. If you follow this plan for 14 days, it should bring about a massive shift for you that will make you much more stable, relaxed, and “in the driver’s seat of life.”
1. Commit to yourself, and your life, completely.
So this is something that you can do right now. It’s simple, but of absolute importance.
You should decide now if you are – or are not – able to take control of your life, your behaviour, your future. Do you believe that you can be in the driver’s seat of life? Do you really feel like it’s possible to get your habits in order and be disciplined?
It’s strange, but when asked this question, most of us will answer “Well I hope so” or “Maybe I’ll get there one day” or “I don’t know”. … That’s how you get tripped up.
Will your self-growth take time? Yes. Will you need practice? Yes. Will you fail in your attempts? Likely!
But if you DO fail, are you going to doubt yourself again? Because every time you doubt your ability to grow and gain control, you sloooowwwwww down the entire process. Your evolution is hastened if you continue to believe in your ability even when you fail.
So step one is to commit to yourself utterly. Fully. At the bottommost level. If you feel that you CAN’T commit, then commit to committing. This is doable for you. This is possible. If you keep going, your success is inevitable.
2. Clarify your highest aspiration.
If you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, then you’ll have all the motivation you’ll ever need.
What is it that you want the most? What’s the most important thing? What are you waiting for, looking for, searching for? What is the “main quest” of your life as far as you can tell? Why do you want these things?
Answer those questions to get a composite image what your goals are. If you answer them sincerely, then you have a direction to actually move in that is significant to YOU and not someone else. And because you’ve committed to the belief that it IS possible, then the only thing left is to create a plan.
3. Decide on the most intelligent plan that you can think of.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you can modify it as you go.
Just ask, what is the most direct and intelligent way that I can think of, that would lead me to my highest aspiration? How long might it take? And if I need 2 years to do it, where should I be 1 year from now? And what would be at the 6 month mark? The 1 month mark? The 1 week mark? … What must I do today?
Let your plan show you how your daily actions will lead you toward your highest aspirations.
4. Commit to daily action, no matter how small.
It’s more important to create a track-record of daily action… than doing something massive for 3 days in a row and then stopping. Make a promise every day, and keep that promise every day. Adjust these promises to your own level of ability – if it was too easy today, then make it more challenging tomorrow. Find the exact level of ability that you’re at and operate FROM THERE. Your ability will increase gradually over time, allowing you to take on more.
But for now, just focus on making and keeping those promises. This creates a solid relationship of trust within yourself. It proves to you that you CAN create change for yourself, that you CAN grow. This will instill confidence in you. You will feel satisfaction as you continue growing stronger every week.
5. Release urgency, find a stable mental foundation.
Release all ideas of “I’m too late”, “I’m out of time”, “This isn’t good enough”, “This isn’t quick enough”, “I shouldn’t have done XYZ”. None of that is helpful or especially true.
Instead let where you are be okay. Let your life, as it is now, be acceptable. Make friends with it. Find new ways to enjoy it. Don’t be in such a rush to get into a new life-experience. Remember, “If it were not THIS thing, it would only be the NEXT thing.” There’s nothing so amazing about even the most amazing future that should overshadow your life now. Your deepest fulfillment is only available now. It’s unconditioned – there are no conditions that can create it for you. It’s not earned or won, only allowed by you.
If you do these 5 things over the next 14 days, I guarantee your life and your experience of it will improve dramatically. From there you can make it even better.
Just start from where you are, find stability, let forgiveness flow in all directions.
Clarify your highest aspiration, create a plan, and start moving toward it today.
Know that this is something you can do. Commit to it completely.
Move according to what you’re capable of. Let it be enough.