People with a higher degree of self-control spend less time debating whether to indulge in behaviors that are detrimental to their health, and are able to make positive decisions more easily. They don’t let impulses or feelings dictate their choices. Instead, they make level-headed decisions. As a result, they tend to feel more satisfied with their lives.
Here’s how top entrepreneurs mastered the self-discipline to break their worst habits and set themselves up for success.
1. Pay the price today
Writing for The Oracles has kept me focused on breaking bad habits. I’m a creative guy, so I never used to enjoy looking at financial reports — it felt like getting a root canal. But finally, I forced myself to understand them. Break the bad habit mindset of “as long as I love what I do, the money will follow.” Bullcrap. Now I live and die by the numbers, which has made me much more creative.
It’s hard doing the right thing all the time, but you can always be more honest with yourself by asking: Will this action take me toward my goal? Do the hard stuff first and get it out of the way. Otherwise, you’ll always pay the price eventually.
2. Community drives achievement
We all know that all progress starts with telling the truth. But when we share the truth publicly with a person or group — who can hold us accountable to do better — that’s when we start seeing breakthrough success.
I struggled with an irregular and unhealthy sleep-wake schedule for years until I started an accountability group daily call for 5 a.m. The 5AM Club changed my life by giving me the anchor I needed every morning, and today, we have hundreds of committed people on that call to start their days off right. Change happens in groups.
3. Prime your proactive mindset
It’s super important to get yourself into a proactive mindset instead of a reactive mindset. So often people wake up and start reacting to their day. When you’re reacting, it’s very easy to slip out of good habits and become less aware of what you’re doing, especially if you are trying to build a new, better habit.
For me, I take 15 to 30 minutes to myself in the morning to focus on my mindset and my goals. As I live on the beach, I like to take a walk, watch the sunrise with some good music on and visualize what I want to achieve that day and in general.
4. Take action
If your habit is truly is truly hindering your health, relationships, or success, get off your ass and do something about it! When quitting any habit or issue you deal with, remember: it gets easier every day that goes by. Be patient the first few weeks, and take mental control of the devil on your shoulder telling you the habit is necessary; it’s not necessary.
The main thing to remember is this: 100 percent of bad habits are controlled by your mind. You will survive. Get professional help, read up on your habit, and know that you can master your mind to break it. This may take multiple attempts, but don’t give up, you can do it!
5. Plan for better ones
At 15 years old, I was huffing and puffing just to get through a one-mile run. It was years before I decided to adopt better eating and exercise habits. I started saying no to social activities that distracted me from exercise. I started saying yes to nutritious foods like lean proteins and vitamin-packed vegetables. Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line of my first half marathon.
This principle of planning better habits applies equally in business. When I work with new startups, I precisely map out the plan for victory. Then comes the hard part: follow through. To stay hyper-focused, I isolate myself from distractions during specific times. I switch my phone to “airplane mode.” I only follow up on pressing matters. I focus on my plan. Adopt an unstoppable attitude, put one foot in front of the other, and keep going until you reach your goals!
6. Find certainty
Bad habits always originate from a lack of focus. Any bad habit I’ve created stemmed from being unclear of my objectives and intentions.
Once I became certain of who I am and what I wanted, everything else materialized. My biggest tool to gain clarity is my journal. I emphatically track my progress daily, weekly and monthly for each personal and professional goal; this allows me to tailor each day based on the area of focus and my daily priorities.
It’s tough to develop bad habits when you’re continuously monitoring and analyzing your progress. Consistent success requires routines and checkpoints to maintain your purpose in business, health, personal finances and relationships. The key is to discover which habits allow you to build momentum.
7. Quit wasting weekends
I made a change at age 25 that transformed my life forever. I quit doing weekends like 99 percent of society. I stopped spending money I didn’t have. I stopped drinking. I stopped smoking. I stopped trying to impress people. I stopped making excuses. Most importantly, I stopped lying to myself and operating below my potential.
Instead of partying, relaxing, and kicking back, I got my hustle on and worked. This one habit saved me millions of dollars. I’m not saying you have to work every weekend. There are times and places for relaxation, but wasting every weekend was self-defeating.
To break my bad habits, I simply made the decision that I wanted success more than temporary fun. So, keep your eye on the outcome: what will you gain by breaking this bad habit? When you decide to let go of your own worst habit, I promise you, it will change everything.
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