The more disciplined you become, the easier life gets. Or said in the words of the extreme navy seal, Jacko Willink, "self-discipline is the root quality that will improve every aspect of your life."
In looking at discipline, it's logical that resisting temptation will lead to preferable long term circumstances. Few people would debate this, however, developing the discipline muscle is far from easy.
How does a real estate agent build discipline in a world that has numerous demands on our time and pulls us in many different directions?
Follow the steps below to find your bliss-ipline (happiness out of discipline).
Before jumping into the steps, let's first unpack the concept of discipline being a limited resource. Some of us may have been warned not to use too much willpower as it will run out. This means resisting the unhealthy breakfast may lead to improper choices later in the day. Many studies are supporting this. However, numerous studies are indicating your willpower and discipline are like a muscle and can be grown with deliberate practice.
1. Positive impact
Without a committed goal and a focus on the positive impact, you will fail. By definition, discipline is doing things you do not "feel" like doing, therefore, if you are not committed to your goal, you can't succeed. Start by writing down the positive impact you are looking to create. Perhaps that includes more clients, more balance in your business, or a healthier lifestyle so you can better serve your customers, etc.
2. Self-knowledge and conscious behaviour
Once you have determined why you are building your discipline, you must understand where you will falter. If you are like most people, you will be at your weakest in the afternoon and evening. This might be due to an empty willpower tank, but it is also tied to your natural hormone fluctuations. If you hit the wall at 3 PM, then it would be in your best interest to handle your disciplined tasks before 3 PM. If you must do your activities after 3 PM, then write a reminder and a reason why you wish to push through.
There are two parts to simplification. First, handle 1-3 disciplines at a time. Most of us can work on our health while also focusing on prospecting, but few of us can build this muscle with an emphasis on a handful of other disciplines. Second, cut out the distractions that will challenge you unnecessarily. Put your prospecting in your calendar. Fill your fridge with healthy food. Make it easy on yourself!
4. Self Coach
Use the power of your internal dialogue to stretch in times of difficulty. When you feel like quitting and at the end of your rope, remind yourself internally why you are on this path. Take a moment to reset and refocus.
5. Celebrate the wins and reward yourself
Use the power of psychology and pair a positive result with the work you just put in. You have finished your prospecting, so now you can read that article. You worked out all week, so now you can take Sunday off. Celebrating your wins has shown to improve your motivation and continues to fan the flame as you push forward.
6. Discomfort training
Know that no matter what your discipline is, it will be uncomfortable. This is tied to the elastic analogy. Stretch yourself on a daily basis without snapping the discipline elastic. Calling 10 clients every day is much more manageable than blocking off 8 hours to call 100. Understand that you are building discipline and not just being disciplined in an isolated case.
7. Bounce back from failure
Failure will occur. You will skip a day here and there. The main question is how do you respond when you have dropped the ball? Are you going to give up on the day or are you going to dust yourself off, watch an inspiring video on YouTube and get moving? This is truly where your discipline will grow. We can all be motivated for a period, but when we fail, we feel our discipline drops with our hope. Focus not on the black/white idea of discipline but instead shades of grey - just shoot for a dark shade of grey. Skipping a day of prospecting won't make you a poor real estate agent, but skipping a month will. When a failure occurs, acknowledge it, release it, and pick it back up!
Discipline as a real estate agent is crucial. You do not have a boss telling you what to do that day, so you have to craft your own schedule. This can consist of a disciplined structure, or you can be in reactive mode. Discipline is a habit, and a muscle, so train that muscle like you would anything else.
Bonus: if you need some additional motivation around discipline, check out Jacko Willink and David Goggins!