I will give you 18 techniques, to develop an iron discipline. Use the one you feel most comfortable with. Or make a mix of the ones that can help you.
Here are 18 proven methods to exercise more, produce more, eat healthier, or concentrate 3 hours until finishing the important task of the month.
“The Green Button,” “The 4-20-4 Technique,” “The Resisted Minute,” “The Old Affirmations,” “Substituting,” “The Movies,” or “Recovering Successes,” can be your ticket to succeed.
And perhaps you only need one to boost your progress.
Most people focus on the outcome they don´t want.
They think on the people they don´t like and the bad results they will have.
But they would achieve much more thinking in dreams and preferred friends.
But they simply don´t do it…
So to gain any skill, think about what you want, never about the results you don´t want. Or do you search on a map the cities you don´t want to go? Do you also go to the food you don´t need in the supermarket?
So to win discipline don´t focus on your old bad habits. Focus on your desired skills. It’s the only way to make your brain work. Successful entrepreneurs, designers, lawyers, writers, or whatever profession, know where to go. They never lose focus with what they don´t want. 14 daily hours thinking in their goal is better than 10.
Most people complain that they don´t see alternatives. And they obviously don’t see alternatives if they focus on what they dislike.
So don’t look at the devil. Look at the solution.
The most vital thing you do to survive is not eating or drinking.
But in our daily chaos we forget to breathe deeply.
So now breathe one time profoundly.
And now breathe profoundly a second time.
How was it?
When you breathe deeply your change. Oxygen goes to all your cells. You kill toxins and feel immediately better. You are prepared for big tasks.
With something so simple as this you don’t even need long relaxation exercises. Simply take deep breaths. It’s the doorway to feel better and be more productive.
Smokers feel relaxed with their cigarette not because of the tobacco, as they think. It’s the deep breath they take with their first puff. That profound oxygen makes them feel better (even when they are destroying their lungs).
But now let’s expand this technique to gain more energy. Try the 4-20-4 Technique. Do the following:
Do it now.
Believe me: you will feel superbly so. Not only physically, you will also think faster. Try to repeat this 3 times in a row. It’s instantaneous. You will take off. You will win at least two hours of energy and fast thinking.
And you can repeat it so much as you need it during the day.
You always have two permanent advisors. One devil on your shoulder says “Give up” and an angel in the other who says “Persevere.” It’s like the movies. The devil says “Don’t care about your health, keep smoking” and the angel says “Stop smoking.”
It´s also the same scenario when pursuing new habits. One part of you wants to improve while other hold on to your old habits no matter how bad your situation. It’s like choosing between a green button that will solve your life and a red one who will explode the bomb.
How many times do you press the green button?
If you look at complainers you will see they hit the red button. “It’s only today.” But they don’t realize that short-term well-being is a devil´s trap. Because this will stress them more in the long term.
So choose better a hard second pressing the best option: the Green Button. So always be prepared. There will be every day a difficult moment where you have to choose.
So choose right.
From now on watch movies differently. Think you are the main character. But substitute the hero´s mission with your current targets. You are like Sigourney Weaver in Alien and have the cool responses of James Bond.
Use the movies to build yourself a powerful image. You are Indiana Jones or whatever your favorite hero is. You never give up. So if you want a new habit, you take the argument of the movie as your same situation.
This new way of seeing cinema will help you. You can use it to attack your daily challenges or to plan your career.
So think different about that old movie that touched you. Repeat it mentally and visualize as if it were you. Now it’s you facing your current biggest challenge. Adapt the scene to your new I-can sensation.
From now on always think you are the one on the screen. See the movies adapting them to your own case.
How would others opinions affect you?
What new skills would you work on?
How would your confidence rise?
When I began to research about self-improvement I was skeptic. I saw a lot of solutions in self-talk. In every course or book, affirmations where one of the best ways to solve your life.
No! It couldn’t be so easy!
But I tried…
And then I was shocked about my first results getting up earlier and quitting my chocolate addiction.
So it was true: you become what you think about.
Your life depends on what you say to yourself. Success or failure? Good or bad?
It depends only on you. Circumstances have nothing to do.
The bad news is that we received (and still receive) permanently a negative self-talk. When you grew up you heard things like:
If you want to be a pilot it will be too hard…
Success is only for the elected ones…
This is impossible…
And you absorbed it as if it were right. Since it came from your parents who wanted to protect you, it had to be true. But despite their good intentions, they didn´t know about success.
Your parents were good people, but like many, they didn’t know the power of negative words. And so you adopted an overprotective thinking. “I won’t try because I can fail” was the rule to follow. And this got reinforced with friends and teachers. TV and newspapers also made their job warning about inexistent problems and terrible future disasters. That’s why today behavioral researchers affirm that 77% of what we think is negative and works against us.
So the solution is easy: change your affirmations.
Repeat the following sentences as much as you can and adapt them to your case.
“I’m a productivity genius.”
“I finish 2 studies in 3 months.”
“Every day I feel better and better.”
“I will save 20% more next months.”
“I design a plan to win 9.000$ monthly.”
“I like not to drink beer during labor days.”
“I´m good at solving challenges where others escape.”
“From 8.00 to 11.00 o’clock I concentrate on my marketing project.”
There are complete books written about auto affirmations. But changing your life is as easy as choosing three affirmations you like. One for your career, one for your relations and another one for your spiritual life.
And then repeat them so much as you can.
Every minute you resist with discipline is a triumph. Praise yourself even if it were only 30 seconds. Even if you later run to a cigarette or accepted an interruption instead of continuing working concentrated. Because every minute fighting temptation is a victory. You will absorb the energy of the moment.
Tough minutes are part of the script, so use them to gain self-discipline. Because this power goes into you. So in the middle of a crisis say: “I will resist minute by minute.” And each resisted second you will learn a lot. You will internalize that strength for the rest of your life. So be happy whenever you fight something. Even if it’s only some seconds. Because this power will go to you forever.
The only truth is that there will be always tough moments. For you and for me, there will be always moments where we will have to fight. We will want to quit, but we must resist. One minute more. So simply think that every resisted second is pure gold. One minute of exercise or one more try is gold.
It’s what you learn in those difficult moments what makes you stronger. So if you want better habits, think in accumulating minutes. Play with temptations, because the bigger they are, the more you grow.
There are 3 types of people:
The bad ones. They try and try but never achieve anything.
Then there are the good ones. Good results for them.
And then there are the outstanding ones.
What’s the difference between them?
Each group works hard, even the first group. But the difference is that outstanding people eliminate completely bad experiences from their mind. They visualize only past and future successes.
Outstanding people filter. It’s not a question of trying more. It’s not about buying more tickets. It’s about using the right technique.
Whether in art, business or sport, you need to work on your mind. And that minority who insists in analyzing how they did well and how they can repeat it in the future, will always win. Because this is what will help them to build any discipline to achieve what they want.
You will always be attacked by interruptions, so is life. No matter your age or position, there will be always someone trying to steal your time. Especially in your most brilliant moment. So therefore have a war cry “Enough. Back to my goals!”
Cutting interruptions will boost your productivity. And more productivity means more money. So have always the weapon “Enough. Back to my goals,” at hand. Remember that each time you resist temptation you grow. Even if it’s only one minute.
So use constantly your war cry. Because whenever you accept an interruption you lose two times. First, the time of work. And second, the time to recover concentration. And this one is much more time than you think.
So next time a coffee break, Internet news or someone to speak about yesterday football match arrives, say: “Enough. Back to my goals.” And you follow your way of investing your time in what gives you 80% of results.
Last month one friend wanted to quit coffee. “But I don’t have willpower!”
Yet 10 coffees per day were killing him. To do anything of value he needed a coffee first. He was addicted.
He also told me he tried everything to quit coffee. He even managed one complete day without coffee. But the next day it was impossible to continue. “How can I do this? I’m not sure I can get rid of this addiction.”
Since I was also addicted to coffee I said to him: “Do you remember when you achieved something in your past?”
“Well, I remember in my 20s passing the entrance test to my first job. It was a difficult test, but the previous days I studied with a special energy. And something also pushed me to run three daily miles to be in form.”
“Okay then repeat those scenes again,” I said. “What do you saw those days? How did you manage your timetable? What news were on the newspaper? Feel the same!”
And so he did. He had nothing to lose. So he thought about how free he felt despite tension. How clear his mind after running 3 miles. And he also remembered playing with the old dog of his parents.
And it worked.
After some days he reduced coffee to 5 daily cups. And after a month he quitted coffee. Not even a cup with his work colleagues in the morning. Not even a tea.
Are you surrounded with people who constantly speak about problems? Or better said: do you feel well with your current friends?
You need solutions oriented friends. Your time is too valuable to spend it with the ones where you only think of escaping.
So first detect the negative people in your life. And then change the ratio. Spend all your time with the right ones, and if possible zero seconds with the rest. Hello, how are you? And then you go away.
You need good influences to progress. You need a good team. Changing your habits is only possible with them. And since you will have low moments you need nice friends to help you. Because enthusiasm is contagious. Be with the productive ones and you will be more productive. Be with a creative one and will be more creative. We are programmed to copy what we see.
Are you a video player of past experiences? Most people repeat their old movements over and over like a video player. And they think: “This time I will have better results!”
But then results are the same. Nothing changes in their life.
You can’t condition your life to repeat the past and expect change. To succeed you must recognize first damaging practices. It’s not easy because one of your brain’s main functions is repeating patterns. Life is easier so. You think you take shortcuts repeating past behaviors and then you hope different results. “How clever I am, I won’t make a special effort because this time I will really succeed.“ And that’s what most people think. So they say the same words, speak with the same people, and manage their time as they always managed it.
But first: they don’t achieve better results.
And second: they fool themselves.
People cry about their luck in life. But they don’t understand that they follow conditioned movements. And you don’t need to be Einstein to note that repeating the same movements will bring you the same results. The same bad results.
Some conditioned moves are necessary, of course. You won´t progress driving differently or taking showers differently. If it rains you take an umbrella and if you see a red light you stop. It’s perfect so. But it’s in the bigger strategies where you must act. If you continue smoking you must take a closer look to what triggers smoking. If you don’t have friends perhaps you must take a closer look at your character. Only then you will see results.
So first observe you. But use the Buddhist strategy:
Look at you from the outer side. What do you need to change your self-confidence, self-control, and willpower?
But don’t answer now.
Observe yourself first during three days.
Most people want to live fast. They want everything.
But so they don´t use the power of detachment.
their inner self. They don’t want to look inside. This scares them.
Yet they don’t know that looking at the inside will bring them better results. The pain of looking at something they don’t like is nothing compared to the new energy they will gain.
Technological advances won’t change your life. They are welcome, but no matter how much they help you, your goals will keep walking away if you don’t work your mind.
And the key to looking inside and achieve better results is detaching yourself.
You have time to be with you. Quit TV, quit office politics and quit news. Quit everything.
Because you don’t need anything.
The moment you detach yourself 2 things will happen:
1st.: You will see you can live happier without nothing.
2nd.: Achieving what you can achieve now will be easier, because you don’t have the pressure of needing it desperately.
So if you detach yourself from the people you need in your life, and also detach yourself from the thoughts you need to think, you will always win.
It’s a curious thing, but the less you need something the easier it will be to achieve.
One way to gain self-discipline is thinking that everything will help you.
Looking at the bright side sounds naïve, but it works. So stop fighting. Everything is a conspiracy to help you. It’s the winner’s mindset. So whenever you see something negative think it’s there to help you. Because, by the way, it’s true. Obstacles are there to separate you from the rest. So better commit errors faster than others.
It’s a mental trick. Everything is like you think it’s meant to be. If you see “helping” conspirators, they are helping you. So don’t fight. You will release tension and see things you wouldn’t see otherwise.
And you will also enjoy the trip. Instead of saying “I work hard without results,” think it´s the best that could happen. “I´m taking a free MBA. I’m getting smarter. I know things that my competitors won’t ever know.” You will get rid of stress, and then you will react faster to make the necessary changes. It’s not an obstacle, it´s something saying you where to go.
-Thanks to being stuck in a traffic jam, you heard an advice in an audio program that changed your career. Without that traffic jam you wouldn’t have heard that audio course, it wasn’t programmed. So being late for that meeting was nothing compared to the change in your career.
-Your PC broke and you had to buy a new one. You wanted to wait one year. But thanks to buying a new PC your performance skyrocketed. Saving money, you would lose hours and days of progress with a slower PC.
-You surpassed an important deadline. But now reworking everything and speaking with your boss, you saw you could eliminate some actions and finish faster. So you saved days of work.
Laughing is a weapon. Because if you disrespect something you win.
If you turn something into an idiot, you are superior and are free to move. So try to laugh about what you want to change. Laugh about your bad time management, your predilection for fast food or your chronic procrastination. If you lose respect for a bad habit, you will transform it easier.
Laughing is underutilized. No one thinks in laughing at indiscipline. But this new point of view will change you. So be creative remembering how pathetic you are accepting interruptions. Laugh about the chaos in your career when you don’t isolate chunks of time to forget urgencies.
So laugh at your enemies. Disrespect the ones who disrespect you.
I always remember a friend’s baby trying to climb stairs. She even couldn’t walk, but she tried to climb the stairs. We tried to help her, but she began to cry. Let me alone. I want to do this by myself.
Wow! What a winning mindset!
So be like a baby. Copy the winning mindset when you once said to yourself you would walk or die.
There aren’t negative babies. They instinctively know they will win if they try it enough. So do the same. Try it over and over.
Use emotions in your favor. Feelings can hurt but also help. So use your emotions. The negative and the positive ones. You need them to program your subconscious. So take those 2 steps:
1st: Imagine the outcome you don’t want
Sit relaxed and think during 5 minutes about the bad consequences of your actual indiscipline. See what you don’t want. Feel the pain. Magnify the consequences. Is this really the life you want?
Think that if you don’t take action you won´t recover the lost time. It will be too late.
2nd Step: Imagine the outcome you want… and that you will have
Once you saw the misery of indiscipline continue calmed. Now visualize what you want during another 5 minutes. How will be your new lifestyle? How much more will you earn?
Imagine holidays in Bali, imagine a deep pocket, or imagine captivating others. Think big. Repeat the scene with colors and details. You will be there.
Combine negative with positive emotions to program your mind. The old carrot and stick law works. Negative emotions will help you to reinforce discipline, and positive ones will be like a guide to do the right moves.
Many people are reluctant to forgive themselves. They believe that if they commit an error, feeling bad is the right thing. If they feel bad the universe will forgive them. And so they don’t have to make an effort. So they can continue living in their comfort zone. Something or somebody will save them. So it was during 2000 years of religious obscurantism.
But this doesn’t have sense. You will go nowhere so.
So first think that life isn’t a serious place without joy. You have enough time to forget past errors and begin again. But therefore forgive yourself. So this time you will be much more productive. Now you will reopen your old big project.
So don’t think of past errors. Not forgiving yourself it’s the direct way to social isolation if not to increase your addictions.
Watch out because perhaps you attack yourself more than you think.
Perhaps you spent many years thinking on what others did to you and now you do it without thinking. But once you forget and forgive, everything changes.
Don’t worry about past attacks, we all have them. You have billions of cells in your brain. The same as Picasso or Michelangelo. You have the tools. You can solve problems like a genius. Now you are smarter. So forget other persons. The major influence in your results is you. The others are peripheral opponents, like successful LA Laker´s coach Pat Riley called to the rivals, journalists and ex-spouses of his players.
And he knew something about winning.
I hope you enjoyed these 18 ways to change your life. Pick the one that fits better in your lifestyle or combine them.
Perhaps simply one advice can change your life.