Have you ever set a goal, gotten all excited and motivated, committed to it with every fiber of your being (Yes I WILL lose 20 pounds… Yes I WILL learn to play the guitar this year… Yes I WILL start and grow a profitable blog)… then gave up when the fire died, or it got too hard, or it took too long, or someone told you you couldn’t do it?
Has that happened to you more than once? Does it feel like it keeps happening to you?
If so, I soooo feel you.
I mean, I set SMART goals, plan it all out on paper and put it all into my calendar down to the last nitty-gritty detail.
But then I feel like I have to FIGHT SO HARD to NOT give up on my goals. I go through seasons of total unstoppable fire and then other seasons of feeling tired, bored, lazy and like my goals are silly and I should just watch Netflix instead.
What’s with this?! It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
We really want this thing. Not just kind of, but really really REALLY want it. So why the heck do we keep giving up?!
Turns out, it comes down to one word: DISCIPLINE.
Because the big secret I realized is this: MOTIVATION doesn’t last. I wish it did, because oh mama, doesn’t it feel like you’re on an amazing high when you’re motivated?!
You feel like you can take on the world! You feel like you can make a million bucks! You feel like you can walk into any room and OWN IT.
But then, you wake up the next day after a long night with a sick baby, and out of the corner of your eye you catch the huge pile of laundry staring at you from the open hall closet, and all of a sudden all of your fiery motivation is shot to hell.
Too dramatic? Nah, I think you feel me.
“Yeah, that’s great Candis. Glad you had this epiphany and all”, you’re saying, “but I already know I need to be more disciplined. I’m just… NOT.”
Okay, I hear you. I totally get it. Me neither. But we ain’t dead yet, sister!
What we are not yet, we can still become.
Once upon a time, scientists believed that our brains – and therefore our personalities, traits, habits and preferences – were hard-wired after childhood, unable to grow or change. But in recent decades, scientists and psychologists have discovered that our brains can continue to grow and change throughout our lives as a result of our interactions with our environment.
This concept is called “neuroplasticity”, and in short, it means we can change our habits and traits if we want to! We are not destined to stay in this seemingly endless cycle of motivation-rut-motivation-rut. Studies show that there’s a legitimate trick to getting yourself unstuck:
You need to set up a SYSTEM for your success.
In the eye-opening article “How to Motivate Yourself”, Stanford Behavior Scientist, BJ Fogg, shares that motivation comes in waves. We shouldn’t RELY on motivation alone, but instead leverage it to act right away in setting up a SYSTEM so we can be successful even when it fades:
“We should assume that our “future self” is going to be lazy with no motivation. We need to set up systems to make achieving our goals as easy as possible — even when our motivation is low.” For example, I was trying to form a gym habit. I’d get up in the morning planning to go, but after a few minutes decide not to. I discovered that if I put my gym clothes and my shoes next to my bed, I would put them on first thing and by that point, I “might as well” just go.
And this is what brings me to Shelby.
When I found myself stalling in my new business, constantly trying new strategies halfheartedly and whisking from one new tactic to the next without following through, I turned to my teammate Shelby Putnam.
From the moment I met her, it was clear that Shelby was an insanely disciplined person. Like WHOA disciplined.
She had her health and business goals down and took DAILY action in her business.
Just check out her transformation from our 30-Day Healthy Living program:
Pretty freaking remarkable, right?!
And even though the healthy living program is designed to make weight loss as easy as possible, the plain truth is that not everyone sticks with it. You don’t get these kinds of results unless you are committed and disciplined.
I mean, how many times have you sworn to yourself that you were going to eat healthy only to throw in the towel when hubby brought home Magnum chocolate ice cream bars? Ahem, not that that’s ever happened to me. Okay, maybe it has… moving on.
What’s more, Shelby was swiftly promoted to the next level in the business within months after starting and her business is exploding more and more every time we meet up or chat.
This month, she’s in the TOP 10 on our whole team (among hundreds of people) for personal sales and recruiting! That’s just crazy, y’all. I mean, I’m a California girl born and raised and I just said “y’all”. That’s gotta show you how impressed I am.
I mean, this girl has it figured out.
So a couple weeks ago I reached out to her and begged her to let me in on her secrets! Seriously, I left her an out-of-the-blue voice message on Voxer and was like, “Girl, tell me how you’re so freaking disciplined! Share your hacks, tips and secrets!”
(Well, the actual message was like 5 minutes long because I ramble, but that was the gist.)
And let me tell you! She dropped some knowledge bombs, ah-ha revelations, and tough love straight-talk.
Turns out this powerhouse was a 5x National Champion gymnast on the USA team and had the virtue of discipline instilled in her from a very young age.
Her tips were so helpful to me personally that I asked her if she’d let me share them with all of you! And of course she said yes, because she’s awesome like that (video interview below).
And you wanna know the really crazy thing? All of the 5 discipline hacks she shares lead to the same conclusion that the science shows: if you lack self-discipline, you need to set up a SYSTEM for yourself to succeed.
“Yeah, but how the heck do you DO THAT?? I mean, what, specifically, do you mean by setting up a system?”, you’re asking.
Watch our interview below to hear from Shelby herself. You can also scroll down below the video to get the bullet-points.
Okay, without further ado, get ready for some game-changing life advice!
1. Map it out and Set It Up
For her 30-day healthy living challenge, Shelby wrote out on her physical calendar her entire 30 days of shakes, meals and workouts ahead of time.
She also put out all of the products she needed and set up a meal delivery service for her family so she wouldn’t be tempted at the grocery store or when cooking things she couldn’t eat. This will look different for you depending on your goals, resources and weaknesses, but basically you need to set up your environment for success.
2. Positive Self-Talk
“I am a huge self-talker and I think it makes a huge difference in my discipline. Every morning when I wake up, I tell myself that I love myself, my body is beautiful, I got this, and I can do this. Even if I don’t feel this way, I say it. Because when I say it, it makes me believe it.”
Sound to foo-foo for you? Thing is, we all talk to ourselves whether we like to believe it or not:
“We all hold internal conversations as we go through our days, and sometimes our nights. Psychologists have identified one important type of these inner monologues as “self-talk,” in which you provide opinions and evaluations on what you’re doing as you’re doing it. When this is upbeat and self-validating, the results can boost your productivity. However, when the voice is critical and harsh, the effect can be emotionally crippling.” – Psychology Today
So Shelby’s not the only one who’s discovered the effectiveness of this practice. Psychological studies have shown that constructive self-talk is correlated with higher performance, improved creativity, better leadership and overall improved happiness and self-esteem.
3. Have Visual Cues: Positive Notes and Visual Goals
To keep herself motivated to stick with the healthy living program, Shelby left notes of encouragement for herself around her calendar, work area, mirrors and pretty much all over her house!
To keep herself progressing daily in her business, she has her next-level business goals posted in plain sight, along with her income producing activities for each day.
4. Accountability Partner
“Honestly, one of the biggest things that helped me was that I literally checked in with Jessica (our team leader) every.single.day. I’d Vox her and say, “Hey Jessica! I did this today for my 30 days! I did my 2 teas! I did my shakes! I did this! I did that!”. So I think having that person to check in with every day helped to solidify it in my brain. I knew I’d have to check in and give a report.”
And she’s not wrong. The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to, your chances for success goes up to 95%! Now that’s just downright cray-cray.
(I can attest to this in my own experience as well. My year-long journey to losing 38 pounds after baby #4 only worked because I had an accountability partner to work out with every day until it became a habit. My latest burst in business development and writing consistency? A result of a 21-day accountability challenge a teammate and I agreed on. And this very article you’re reading on my blog only got finished because I had an appointment with Shelby to do the interview and I told her I’d have the outline done before our interview. Accountability is where it’s at!).
5. Make the Decision
“Lastly, when I make up my mind, I make up my mind. When I decide I’m going to do something, I go all in and go for it.”
You might be tempted to dismiss this last one as fluffy, but it’s absolutely essential.
In fact, it’s so important that business and network marketing mogul, Eric Worre, cites this as the #1 “secret” or thing that determines success:
“Success starts with making a decision. A decision that you are going pro, a decision that you are going to the top no matter what. And that decision starts with you and your commitment to becoming a professional. A decision that says “No matter the set backs I might face and no matter the challenge, I am going to the top.”
So make your decision. What will you accomplish? Decide which outcome you want, work your butt off to get it, and keep your promise to yourself every.single.day.
But at the very least, you can use the virtue of discipline in your own life to FINALLY reach your goals, whatever they may be.
So tell me… what’s your current BIG goal? Let me know in the comments below.
Don’t have one yet? Then you MUST watch this 2-minute video… and then read my last 3 sentences below the video.
After watching this, I bet you feel so motivated and fired up for life and big goals and dreams that you feel like you can take on the world!
But you know that won’t last, right? So right now – in this moment – take the 5 tips you learned above on how to become insanely disciplined and go write out your #1 goal, make a plan, and set up a SYSTEM so you can’t lose.
YOU’RE WORTH IT.
P.S. Yes, I joined a Network Marketing company! Adding another stream of income to my blog 😉 LOVE network marketing for us busy mom bloggers, so let me know if you have any questions about it!