So far we’ve looked at the first five steps to fostering more self-discipline, these being:
- Know your goals and where you are headed
- Don’t pay any attention to enablers
- Set yourself up for success
- Make a commitment
- Breaks and rewards
This week we look at the sixth critical step in developing more self-discipline – measuring our progress.
Step Six – Measure Your Progress
The main way I measure my progress is by reviewing what tasks in my diary I did and didn’t manage to get done for the day. It’s an excellent way to see whether you’re on track. As a general rule, if I manage to get 80% of my tasks done for the day I consider it a success.
When I was on a diet I also made sure to both weigh and measure myself to see whether I’d lost inches and / or pounds (sometimes we lose inches and not weight). If you are exercising why not use an app that tracks your heart rate and calculates how many calories you’ve burnt?
If you’re learning a new skill test yourself every once in a while and assess your progress that way. For example, I’m learning English Grammar at the moment and have also bought an English Grammar exercise book to facilitate and measure my learning.
More recently I’ve taken how I measure my progress to the next level by creating a spreadsheet for the daily habits I want to adopt. It may sound a little over the top, but being able to visually chart my progress is so encouraging, as often we do better than we think.
If I’m not doing as well as I’d hoped my spreadsheet charts highlight that and I can then brainstorm ways to improve. Remember, according to University College London, a new habit takes sixty six days to implement, not the twenty one days people commonly think, so give yourself enough time to let the habit stick! Another good strategy is using a countdown widget on your phone that counts down your sixty six day period, an excellent one is ‘Countdown’.
Like any skill, developing greater self-discipline takes consistent effort, so expect for there to be ups and downs and you won’t give up as easily. Like any muscle, it takes time and perseverance to strengthen it and your self-discipline muscle is no different.
But take heart, once you develop greater self-discipline it is a skill that you will have forever. Your productivity will rocket and your happiness will rise. It is no exaggeration that it will literally transform every area of your life, from your work to realising your goals. And in realising your goals you will ensure you have a life that you love, designed by you and you alone.
Join me in fostering ever increasing levels of self-discipline, once you do you will feel totally in control of your life and on top of the world.
What goals do you need to measure? How do you measure them? Do you have several ways? What are your top tips for measuring your goals and tasks? Please comment below, I’d love to hear from you!
- Brainstorm and write down all the ways you could measure your current goals and habits
- Record and measure the progress you’ve made on your new habits and goals!
‘No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline’ By Brian Tracy