Self discipline is not everyone's super power, and even those who have it, don't always have it consistently. Sometimes there's a blockage when it comes to just one specific goal you may have. We know this is true just by witnessing the parking lots of health clubs during the months of January, February and March. There are many cars there shortly after January 1st when all the New Year resolutions have been made, and a rapid decline over the following weeks as will power and self discipline declines.
So how do you get through those barriers that are preventing you from following through? Know yourself first. Are you strong enough to talk back to the little voices inside that keep you from succeeding? If so, great! Do that. But if that's true for you, then this post probably isn't telling you anything new.
Sometimes we need to play games with ourselves, talking back and treating those inner voices like little children. Getting up early in the morning to work out when your inner child is screaming to stay in bed, hidden under the covers is very much like trying to get a child to wake up to go to school. Psychologically we can have a miniature adult on one shoulder who throws the covers back on the little child on the other shoulder, encouraging them that there's something wonderful waiting for them today, but they need to rise in order to get it. Rewards often work better than chiding in this case. Know what type of rewards you can offer yourself that will motivate you, without causing further harm. For instance, if your goal is to get to the gym to work out so you can lose weight, don't promise yourself a huge cinnamon roll for breakfast after you work out. Instead, promise yourself time in the hot tub or sauna afterward if that motivates you. You'll feel marvelous and it doesn't undo the work you've just done toward accomplishing your dream.
But what if you aren't able to stay on track with self-talk? Consider a buddy system. Find someone who has goals as well and would be interested in partnering up with you. Your goals don't have to be the same, but your dedication to checking in with each other does need to be strong. Each of you states your goals, what measurable and time-sensitive steps you're going to take to achieve it, and then you are responsible for reporting to each other how you're progressing. Each encourages the other, and when there are obstacles, the other can act as a sounding board to help you work through them. This usually works as long as each of you holds the other accountable and doesn't allow for continued meetings where one hasn't been working effectively toward their goals.
For some, there needs to be an additional incentive, and perhaps a different level of accountability. Establishing a professional accountability relationship with someone may be the answer for you. This is someone who's vested interest is in seeing you succeed, because that's what drives additional clients to them. Yes, you compensate them for their time, which can be an additional motivator for you. The tough part is in sticking to this relationship when the push-back comes if you're not progressing, or start to regress. Trust is necessary that this accountability coach is doing their part to break you through the barriers that have kept you from succeeding before.
Whether you choose to be accountable to yourself, a friend, mentor or professional is up to you, and only you can determine which will work for you. In the end, your dreams are yours to own, to strive to achieve, and when you do, the success and reward of achieving them is yours alone as well.
Ronnie Roll has started several businesses from the "I Have An Idea" stage to grand openings and beyond. Her passion is helping others achieve their dreams, and her art mediums are business modeling and food.