How to become more disciplined

You already know all the things that you need to do to become better. Even the most fucked up person does. We all do.

We also have Bezos-free version of Alexa in our heads. She gives us life-changing advice that we seldom listen to.

Sleep on time.

Stop scrolling through the gram.

Don't eat that samosa. Don't eat that third samosa.

Don't go out drinking today. No shots, it's Tuesday.

Sleep on time. Don't watch a second episode.

Wake up on time. Wake up in 15 minutes.

Complete your workout.

The difference with disciplined people is that they listen to their Alexas. They say "No" to it fewer times than we do. So how can you become more disciplined? Simple.

Say fewer 'NOs' on each day.

Start by making a list of daily actions that you need to perform every day to achieve your ideal life. Here's my list of daily actions that will help me achieve my ideal life.

As you can see, I've got 11 NOs on the second column of my table. I need to turn one of them into a YES over 2 weeks. Just one.

It's time for you to make your own list. You already know what your version of a "good routine" looks like. It does not have to look anything like mine. I need you to make your list. Once you're done, add a second column next to your list. Give it the heading "Yes/No".

Stop reading. Really, just make that list now. It doesn't have to cover everything. Please do it now - you won't do it later. Do it now. You can get back to reading once you've made the list. Add at least 5 items to the list. It takes 15 seconds.

Once you've made your list

Done? So now you know what your ideal daily routine looks like. Good job! This is a huge step. Massive step. Trust me.

You're probably saying NO to most of the daily actions on your list. So pick one action that you're going to say YES to from tomorrow.

For example, I've decided to start meditating for 30 minutes after work. And I'm going to keep it up from Monday to Friday for 2 weeks.

Isn't two weeks too slow?

Why 2 weeks? Why should you do it so slowly? Because slow and steady is much more effective than fast and erratic. Removing one NO at a time leads to more successful habit formation (since it is easier for you to be consistent). Consistency is key, everything else is pee. Remember that time when you tried making radical changes to your life overnight? It didn't work, right? It didn't last for more than a few days? It seldom does.

Final Pointers

  • Don't be tempted to add a new 'YES' to your routine faster than 2 weeks. Slow down. Slow is good. Slow is underrated. We need to 'make slow great again' (I'm not a Trump supporter, I don't follow American politics, and I don't have an opinion). Not everyone is going to become a millionaire at 21. Most will do it at 31 or 41 or 51. And that's normal. Slow is beautiful, it is long-lasting.
  • Go for the easy ones on your list first. If you can manage to add 3 new YESs to your routine in 6 weeks, that is a massive achievement. You're automatically ahead of most of the human race. You will feel incredibly satisfied and motivated. The accomplishment will leave you smiling and motivated. It will prepare you to tackle some of the bigger NOs in your desired routine. "Daily Learning for 30 mins" or "Meditate for 30 mins" are the easy ones on my list. They're easy to stick to and yield incredibly powerful benefits very quickly. Once you master those, go for the tougher ones, like 'going to bed on time'.
  • Focus on one YES at a time, do not do multiple things. You will fail.
  • Remember, "Slow and steady" is better than "fast and erratic". We've all tried to become a better person overnight - it just doesn't work. Slow and steady is easier and more sustainable. Slow is beautiful. Slow works.
  • Start as soon as you can. This article has you motivated and inspired a little? Great, use it. Register some easy wins. Build momentum. Be better. Good luck!