How do you actually do the habits you know will get you to where you want to be… if you hate doing them?
We constantly hear stories about the great athletes, olympians, business magnates and writers forcing themselves to grind things out day after day, but have you ever wondered if there’s another way?
The Discipline Trifecta
The Myth Of Grinding It Out
I’ve been a student of success for a while now, and the thing that interests me most (like I profiled in my book Master The Day), is how learning a few success habits apply to not only getting fitter and healthier, but also to achieving anything you really want.
And it’s interesting, when you model people like Richard Branson, Michael Phelps, Stephen King and others, whether they’re business moguls, writers, or athletes, the same tends to be true.
We’re dumped with this myth that the only way to get from where you are, to where you want to be is one thing: pain and torture.
I’ve talked a lot here about how there’s a less painful way to be disciplined and consistent, like:
- Using the habit pyramid to figure out what your core habits should be
- The consistency trifecta: 3 things to do every day to stay the course
- Why all diets fail and why you don’t need a diet to lose weight
But today I want to introduce you to something new: the discipline trifecta.
Introducing The Discipline Trifecta
In my own personal life, and when working with clients, there are three awesome ways I typically work on helping them overcome the game of not having enough discipline or self control to stay the course.
Those three things come down to:
- The Vision: Why Do You REALLY Want it? (No, Seriously, Why?)
- Intrinsic Motivation: The Rolls Royce Philosophy
- Micro Habits: Going Smaller
#1 Vision – The Bigger Dream
So many of the greats of the past had a massive vision they were working towards every day, and here’s the key thing: The vision was bigger than just them.
Whether you want to think of Ghandi, Oprah, or Martin Luther King, they didn’t wake up and think, “Okay, I want to lose a few pounds or inspire a couple people” they had visions of changing entire countries or continents.
Ghandi famously said that it’s not the man that makes the vision, it’s the vision that makes the man. His vision was to promote non violence, community development, simple living and high thinking.
Martin Luther king, who we have immortalized forever, saw a non-segregated world where blacks, whites and every race inbetween had the same opportunities.
Oprah told the story of what she didn’t want as a kid:
“I vividly remember standing on my grandmother’s small screened-in back porch, churning butter while she boiled clothes in a big black cast-iron pot in the yard. As she pulled the steaming clothes from the pot to hang on the line to dry, she called to me, “Oprah Gail, you better watch me now, ’cause one day you gon’ have to know how to do this for yourself.”
I did what she told me. I watched carefully as she pulled the clothespins from her apron, held them two at a time between her lips, and placed one and then the other on opposite ends of the sheets and towels and shirts and dresses she hung on the line.
A still, small voice inside me, really more a feeling than a voice, said, “This will not be your life. Your life will be more than hanging clothes on a line.”
These are MASSIVE visions that inspire them on a daily basis to get to where they want to be.
So the first thing is your vision, why do you really want to lose weight and get fitter? Seriously think about that. What’s the reason behind wanting to actually do that?
If it’s just “I want to look great,” then it’s probably not something that’ll get you up in the morning, right?
#2 – Intrinsic Motivation: The Rolls Royce Story
I’ve told the story of Frederic Henry Royce before here, but I’ll share it again. The story of how the rolls royce came to be was that Frederick Henry Royce was so obsessed with creating the finest car that the world had ever seen that (rumor has it) he wouldn’t eat for several days at a time.
He was so obsessed and fixated on creating the perfect machine that he wouldn’t eat.
In fact, his malnutrition was so severe that they had to hire a young boy to follow him around with milk and bread to make sure he ate.
What’s more, this went on for so long that his malnutrition played a role in his death.
The reason I love the story is because the Rolls Royce brand is now a household name, and you never hear much about Mr. Royce grinding it out or forcing him to do things he hated, rather, he was just in love with his craft, so flow appeared to happen with much less effort.
So how do I get motivated? Well, you don’t, you do things that already motivate you and inspire you to do them.
So think about how you can re-arrange your habits or your schedule so that it’s filled with more things you actually enjoy (or find easy), rather than trying to give yourself a pep talk every day.
#3 – Micro Habits: Go Smaller
Okay. Indulge me for a minute here.
Think about if you told yourself that you’re going to work out 2 hours a day, versus 20 minutes a day.
How do those internally feel?
Telling yourself you’re going to do a two hour workout today probably feels like it takes a lot of energy, while the 20 minute workout probably feels easy.
Here’s a little thing I’ve realized: the more resistance we feel towards any habit, the less likely we’re actually going to be successful.
So if you have a hard time getting yourself to really do that meditation, to really do that workout, to really make that meal, or really go for that walk, there are a few ways you can make it easier.
- Chunk it up. The first thing you can do is just break it down and make it easier. Don’t do an hour workout then or an half hour of meditation, do a 20 minute workout and a five minute meditation. It’ll immediately seem like there’s a whole lot less mentally you need to do.
- Lower the activation inertia. There’s another way here around this, which is by making the habit easier. This is the entire idea behind putting your shoes next to your bed, so that you can get into those gym shoes ASAP when you wake up, or the idea of putting water on your bedside to encourage yourself to drink more water throughout the day. How can you lower the activation inertia for the habit?
Your Tiny Habit For Today
Struggling to get yourself disciplined and motivated enough to keep going on the road ahead?
Just follow the discipline trifecta:
- Revisit the vision of what you want (and if it’s not working, create a new one)
- Follow the Rolls Royce idea of intrinsic motivation
- Go smaller and lower the activation inertia
What about you? Share below.
Have You Read My New Book Yet?
Read more about this in my book Master The Day. You’ll learn the nine daily success habits I learned interviewing people that lost 100+ pounds and kept it off in a healthy way – by changing their habits. Plus, you’ll get a free $100 bonus video course if you show me your receipt.