Motivation is fleeting, inconsistent at best. Most experts talk instead about discipline, but without much insight on where to find it. The real key to discipline is consistency.
Success isn’t an accident. Successful people craft and apply a strategy to attain results. They continuously monitor, adjust, and act, with consistency.
This article redefines success, examines consistency as a key ingredient to success, and offers a plan to enhance mental toughness, introspection, and repetition.
What is Success?
To the casual observer, success appears to happen suddenly. An unknown business becomes an overnight success. A news story goes viral. The un-drafted athlete comes off the bench to lead their team to victory. This perception is almost certainly wrong. Success is rarely a point-in-time event. It is not a giant, singular leap from start to finish.
The inside story, known to those who were there making it happen, putting in the hard work in obscurity and to those willing to dig deeper to learn know that success is most often, if not always, best understood and viewed as a process…a journey…a path – like the journey toward Mastery. That path is assuredly a winding trail of peaks, valleys, long plateaus, and unexpected surprises. One primary mission of this Mastery community, blog, and podcast is to engage and study the gritty story and ugly truth of the process behind success.
Discipline is much more reliable than motivation, which comes and goes. Discipline is the product of consistency and consistency is forged through repetition and routine. This 7 day routine asks for just 1 minute of each day, repeated for a week – a very short, daily routine run for a week straight. Sounds easy? Perhaps even too easy to be worth trying? Would you be willing to wager 7 of your next 10,080 minutes on the possibility that this plan will challenge you in ways you don’t expect, that you’ll find ways to forge new mental toughness and resolve, that you’ll learn at least one new thing about yourself, and that the next week will form a useful platform from which to carry on?
One of the biggest barriers to consistency over any duration is the tricky game our minds like to play.
Your mind is not you and you are more than just your mind. You mind is part of you but not your whole. In this 7 day exercise you’ll have a chance to observe this distinction. You may observe, perhaps for the first time, that the mind is a work horse that loves to stay busy. If you don’t take charge and keep it working on something productive it may pass the time taking charge of you instead by way of constant distraction – A song playing over and over in your head as you try to fall asleep…that urgency to check your cell phone yet again for some breaking world news that may have just come through text, email, or social media…maybe that job offer or client contract has just come through – never mind that it’s 1 A.M…better check. I’ll definitely work out this morning, right after I make sure nothing urgent is going on. Sound familiar? Distraction.
For purposes of this article and acting on just 7 minutes of your next 7 days, let’s try something. You could continue to accept that your mind is 100% and always accurate, truthful, complete, and has productivity and your best interests in mind. Or, you could entertain the consideration that there are times when your mind is wandering, idle but unable to sit quietly…that it may just be wasting time or that it may be outright lying to you and itself. If you’re open to this perspective that there may be another truth, we will use the next 7 days to, in part, observe the mind. We will get in tune consciously to realize what it’s saying, to question it, to challenge it, and to ponder an alternate path. Read on and act. Try it and see what happens or what comes next.
Once you request and receive the 7 Day Discipline plan, you’ll notice a few basic facets to the approach – repetition, daily introspection, and observation of what is going on and going well or not in your mind. One minute of movement isn’t going to get you fit. It’s a great start towards something bigger, but this isn’t “7 minute abs” or “lose 7 pounds in 7 days!” The physical is a tool for the mental and what we can learn about resolve.
Repetition, Introspection & Mental Toughness
Start. Be consistent. Build day-over-day. Take notes before, during, and after your one-minute movement.
ACTIVITY – As you’ll see in the worksheet, pick a daily physical exercise or movement that is within bounds for your health, fitness level, and safety. Ideally it will be one which will elevate your heart rate and for sake of a challenge might be one that you really don’t love. Burpees is always a great choice! One minute, max burpees.
OBSERVATIONS – Our brains got us this far as a species by being wired for survival and preservation. Pain and discomfort are signals of danger to be avoided. Although, these days, those of us fortunate to be living in the comfort of first world countries rarely experience real pain or mortal danger. Faced with physical discomfort, until trained, our minds will manifest physical and mental reasons to stop or avoid altogether.
I could probably fill the page with avoidance rationalizations my mind has tried out on me recently – It’s too early/late, hot/cold, my spouse/child needs me right now, it’s early and this only takes one minute so I can easily get it done later, the phone is ringing, I’ll just check email/Instagram feed really quickly first, it feels like I’m coming down with a cold so maybe I shouldn’t get my heart-rate up, my back is hurting have I ruptured a disc or impinged a nerve again?
The list goes on. Limitations and injuries are real things, but usually lie beyond where the first defensive salvos of our minds believe.
As you move through this week, question the push-back and rationalization you’ve given yourself. Make note of where you gave in or overcame and in hindsight what you learned from doing so. You’ll find the same things going on during your movement as you do beforehand. By writing down all of the excuses your mind invented, you make them very visible and may find that not many hold up to objective scrutiny.
Questions you can ask yourself:
- Before the daily routine, observe if you are energized, ready, loose, pumped up, and feeling good? Are you hungry, tried, cold, sore, or stiff?
- Is your mind clear and calm or are you facing stress, anxiety, or distraction?
- What were you doing directly before and after? What was the family up to? What were you wearing? Where were you? Were you prepared or did getting prepared stand in your way? What sort of preparation was really necessary for one minute of movement? Were distractions real or allowed?
- Immediately afterward, drink water. Breath. Write down what was going through your head during the one minute of movement and then how you feel after completing it. What objections arose and how did you react? Were you able to separate yourself from the thoughts, acknowledge them, but set them aside and continue?
- Also make sure to note any other feelings or thoughts for the remainder of the day. Do you feel any different? Fuel or hydrate the same or differently? Feel a sense of achievement and accomplishment? You should – well done! Keep it up.
TIME & DATE – In addition to date-stamping your notes to look back upon in the future, I recommend recording the time of day as well. You may learn something about differences in yourself across the early morning, midday, and evening.
STATUS – If you miss a day, don’t start over. Write down what caused you to skip that one minute and examine whether it was a valid reason or how to overcome or work around it next time.
Embrace failure, note it, learn from it, and move forward. Those who reach the success to which they aspire very likely failed many times along the way. Failure is not to be feared. Failure in itself is not a bad thing, unless it is allowed to stop you. Used as a tool from which to learn or adjust, redirect, and carry on, it is a great teacher.
Discipline through consistency, repetition, in spite of failure, and mental toughness for consistency – Ingredients for success.
Discipline in the form of daily, consistent action can compound into incredible results. Repetition and mental toughness, in spite of failure – ingredients for success. That’s where the 7 Day Discipline plan comes in. Hit the link below to get an email with free attachment. Take action. Start now. Get after it.