Commitment and discipline; repetition…they seem like two sides of the same coin. And such is the debate or question of discipline or habits. How often have you heard the idea that you just need to work harder and be more disciplined? If you can just be more disciplined then you would succeed?

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Not too long ago, I listened to the 10X Talk Podcast, hosted by Joe Polish and Dan Sullivan titled The Difference Between Discipline and Habits. Click here to listen. Granted I was somewhat biased going into the Podcast because I have great discipline in some areas of my life and not so great discipline in others. I highly recommend listening to the Podcast but one big takeaway for me is that we are all very highly disciplined to our habits. Some habits are “good” and others aren’t so good – but regardless, we do not lack discipline…we lack the formation of habits that reinforce what we want to be, how we want to contribute and where we want to go.

It’s creating the good habits that is the challenge – but at their core, they are habits and we have great discipline for our habits. 

Sometimes it’s challenging to think about our habits so I’d like to share some ones I have with you to get the juices flowing.

  • I work out 6 days a week whether it’s walking, running, riding a bike, using an elliptical. I also like to incorporate some yoga, stretching and lifting weights into my routine. Exercise is a habit I know my mind and body cannot live without.
  • I have the habit of getting a cup of coffee in the morning. Science is mixed on whether or not it’s good for me but it makes me feel good and it’s a habit I like. It is part of starting my day.
  • On a more personal note, my husband and I have a challenge going on to drink less wine during the week. That’s a tough one because I was in the habit of having one glass a night. I was in the habit of pouring the wine, holding the glass – and the feeling I would get after the first couple of sips. Something about the whole habit, routine was relaxing. So, it’s been a hard one for me and I’m not there yet but I am down to 3 nights a week – which is better than the 7.
  • Another habit is telling my boys I love them every day and that I’m proud of them. Instilling my love and strength into them.
  • One more habit I will share with you is my writing. I write at least 2,000 words every day whether through a Blog post or a chapter or section for my upcoming book or just journaling. But it’s a habit.

So, you see, whether I classify a habit as a good one or a bad one (and yes, there is a lot of perspective there), I am very disciplined in my habits.

Why all the talk of discipline versus habits? Well, I like to use Sundays as Strategy days for the week. And if you are up for it, I have a challenge for you this week – and it’s one I’m going to be doing myself. Think of a good habit that you have and think of a not-so-good habit that you have. Now think of one good habit you would like to have.

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Now, here comes the challenge:

  • Remember your positive habit? Your good habit? Think about and write down what it is, what you do to keep it a habit and why it matters to you.
  • Now, think of a habit you don’t want AND a habit you want to start forming and using your positive mindset from the writing exercise you just went through, write down some things you can do that will more your towards your positive habit.

None of this is rocket science but it does take time and effort. We have all been told about the aged-old idea of discipline and then get into our “negative spin cycles” of feeling like we either aren’t doing enough or are failures. Instead, flip those thoughts to your positive spin cycle and realize that our daily actions result from habits – and we are all highly disciplined to our own habits.

There may be some discipline in forming the habit – but it’s not discipline that gets you across the finish line, it’s forming the habits you need to get you there that count the most.