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  • Secrets of Self-Discipline: How To Get Yourself To Do What You Need To Do (Especially When You Don’t Feel Like Doing It)

    January 19th, 2013 by Hal Elrod

    Self Discipline is the ability to get yourself to take action—to do what you need to do—regardless of your physical, mental, or emotional state.

    Everything you want in your life—everything you want to have, be, and do depends on your ability to get yourself to take the necessary actions to achieve your goals, whether you feel like it or not, which is why the developing extraordinary self-discipline is arguably the #1 most important commitment you can make to yourself, right now.

    [Quote] Those Who Do What They Feel Like

    That is why, as Iwas designing the curriculum for my brand new V.I.P. Mastermind Coaching program, it didn’t take me more than a minute to decide that Module #1 would be the topic (and title) of this blog post.

    Imagine what you could accomplish if you could simply get yourself to follow through on your best intentions, no matter what. Picture yourself saying to your body, “Body, you’re overweight. I want you to lose 20 pounds.”  Without self-discipline that intention won’t lead to actions. But with sufficient self-discipline, it’s a done deal.

    The pinnacle of self-discipline is when you reach the point that when you make a conscious decision, it’s virtually guaranteed you’ll follow through on it. But how?

    Secret #1: Start Small, Stay Consistent

    In my new book, I talked extensively about one of the primary causes of mediocrity, which robs us of our self-discipline: Isolating Incidents. We do this when we mistakenly assume that each choice we make, and each individual action we take, is only affecting that particular moment, or circumstance.

    We must realize that the real impact and consequence of each of our choices and actions—and even our thoughts—is monumental, because every single thought, choice, and action is determining who we are becoming, which will ultimately determine the quality of our lives.  As T. Harv Ecker said in his best-selling book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

    Every time you choose to do the easy thing, instead of the right thing, you are shaping your identity, becoming the type of person who does what’s easy, rather than what’s right.

    On the other hand, when you do choose to do the right thing and follow through with your commitments—especially when you don’t feel like it—you are developing the extraordinary self-discipline (which most people never develop) necessary for creating extraordinary results in your life.

    Start small, stay consistent. Choose just ONE activity that you haven’t been being self-disciplined with (waking up on time, going to the gym, calling prospects, etc.) and make the commitment to simply do it consistently (i.e. everyday) for the next 30 days. Keep reminding yourself that everything that you do affects who you’re becoming, which is determining the life that you will ultimately create and live.

    When you see the big picture you start to take the alarm clock more seriously. When the buzzer goes off in the morning and you’re tempted to snooze, you start thinking, “Wait—this is not who I want to become—someone who doesn’t even have enough self-discipline to get out of bed in the morning! I’m getting up now, because I am committed to developing the discipline I need to be to create the life I want.”

    Always remember that who you’re becoming is far more important than what you’re doing, and yet it is what you’re doing that is determining who you’re becoming.

    Question: Which area(s) of your life or work are you already exceptionally self-disciplined in? Which area(s) are you committed to improving? You can leave a comment below, and I’ll be sure to respond…

    Share this with a friend or colleague:


    This entry was posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2013 at 7:17 am and is filed under Blogs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    • jaskie1505

      Great article with excellent advise.

    • Conrad Deas

      Hal, you’re right on! I like to tell myself, it’s DO-power. I forgot who said it, I think it was some philosopher, but “do the thing and have the power” is what this reminds me of. Right now I’m specifically working on getting up earlier to do my MM. I’ve had the self-discipline and its become a habit to wake up and do the MM, but now I need/want more time to do more things in the morning. So I’m working on waking up even earlier. Thank you for the reminder that its about who I’m becoming when I can make a decision to get up earlier and DO it. One of my favorite and most impactful quotes from you is “Always remember that who you’re becoming is far more important than what you’re doing, and yet it is what you’re doing that is determining who you’re becoming.” Thank you for the reminder!

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Thanks jaskie1505! (if that’s even your real name… :^)

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod


      Thank you for not only your thoughtful comments, but for also contributing your added-value insights.

      With gratitude,
      – Hal

    • Tina Blessing

      Love how you always state the obvious, while initially not obvious to me, in a way that makes an impact in my life. Your straight-talk gets me motivated and going in a life changing direction. Than you!

    • shaun

      Great article. Sometimes when I don’t have the will power to wake up as early as I want too. I just need to think of the person I need to become ad have a little bit of discomfort for the big picture and a level 10 life. Thanks Hal.

    • Ryan Reynolds

      You have the most impeccable timing. This morning I started implementing the Miracle Morning into my daily routine and my number one focus before I try to improve anything else is to improve my self-discipline since it’s always been something I’ve had immeasurable trouble with. I’m about two thirds done your book and and I’m committed to disciplining myself so that I can become someone who can follow through with my goals. Thanks for everything Hal, you’re awesome.

    • Ryan Snow

      The isolating incidents was one of the things in your new book that really resonated with me. I find that for the most part I make good choices and follow my plan, but frequently I will find that I fall just short of my goal. When I trace back what caused me to fall off track slightly, it always goes back to these five or six silly little decisions I made throughout the year to do something other than what I should be doing. Those things break the pattern of positive results and often have a larger ripple effect. Thanks for the reminder!

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      You’re welcome, Tina! :^)

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Ryan, you’re very welcome for the reminder, and thank YOU for your thoughtful response. I’m glad you mentioned the “ripple effect” that results from those “silly little decisions” which we perceive as insignificant at the time, but truly compound to create make-or-break results.

      Keep up the great work!

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Thanks Shaun. I think your perspective/self-awareness is spot on!

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Ryan, glad to hear my timing was impeccable!

      I’m also very glad to hear you started implementing The Miracle Morning into your daily routine today.

      You’re very welcome, and thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      With sincere gratitude,

      “Yo Pal” Hal :^)

    • Sidonie Foadey

      Thanks, Hal for the reminder! Even though I’m totally in favour of self-discipline, I believe “easy does it” too!!! as being gentle with myself is paramount… Whatever feels right and joyful is bound to bring satisfying results and lead to fulfilment, as long as I stick to my intention!

      Keep up the great work! Love & blessings, xxx

    • Jules Small

      Your timing is amazing! I was just thinking about doing the easy thing and leaving off sending an email which needs to be sent off tonight and actually I need to do the right thing and have the self discipline to just do it! Thank you for keeping me on track! 17 days into the MM and all going great!

    • Brittany Lloyd

      You truly are inspiring Hal. I hope one day to be as disciplined as you are. I always have good intentions at heart, but then the time comes and it is way to easy just to think it is only affecting that one moment. I never feel like I have enough time in the day to do all the things i want to do with my life and it makes it even more difficult. I am trying very hard to find a balance with a new change in my life that has been very difficult. I do believe God sent Ryan Whiten to Steven and I with your books. They are a source of inspiration everyday now. And now anytime I feel a little negative or am about to make a poor decision Steven says, “What would Hal do Brittany.” And with that, you cannot make a bad decision. :) I hope to meet you some day, I want to Thank you for everything.

    • Al Smith

      I am always promising myself to do some new prospect calling, but always find an excuse not to do it. So I targeting myself to do at least 10 calls a day for the next 30 days!!

    • Krasandra Marie Polhans

      I have issues with pacing myself and I tend to overwhelm myself with too much at once. This is my solution to fixing that issue.

    • Alan Boyer

      well here I go. I’m at my small business typing this, and it’s 6:30 Am. I normally get here after my team opens, around 8-8:30. I’m going to scare them. I got my coffee and started reading Pavlina’s and Hal’s Blog. I have a great family and a successful small business that can only get better. I have every reason in the world to get up early. I never subscribe to or post on blogs, some serious firsts here. I starting reading Hal’s book this weekend if you have not guessed by now.

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod


      You’re very welcome! And I agree with you regarding being “gentle” with ourselves, finding the joy in every single moment.

      I do believe though that we can find a harmonious balance where exercising self-discipline actually gives us more TIME and FREEDOM to rest, relax, and experience joy because our responsibilities are taken care of.

      Thank YOU so much for your thoughtful insights. :^)

      With love and gratitude,
      – Hal

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Thanks Brittany, I hope to meet YOU and Steven too! I was so grateful when Ryan shared yours and Steven’s experience as a result of reading The Miracle Morning. I can’t help buy smile reading your comments here. It won’t be long before your friends and family are holding each other to higher standards as a result of YOUR example! They’ll be saying, “Now, what would Brittany do?” :^)

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Nice Al! Please check in and let us know what results you generate by following through with your commitment to make 10 calls a day for the next 30 days. I believe in YOU and KNOW you can follow through!

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Thanks for sharing, Krasandra! :^)

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Alan, great to hear from you! Thank you for your thoughtful comments posted here, and congratulations on your “firsts” that will no doubt add value to your life. I’m looking forward to it…

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Jules, I’m so glad OUR timing was in sync!

      Good luck on that email! :^)

    • Nick Palkowski

      Excellent post. Realizing that the is a bigger effect to every choice we make is a challenge. Your new coaching program has helped me recognize the danger of isolation thinking and helped me make the right choice in the moment

    • “Yo Pal” Hal Elrod

      Thanks Nick, I’m grateful to have you in the Miracle Morning V.I.P. Mastermind Coaching program! Thank you for your comment.

    • Pingback: How To Get (& Stay) MOTIVATED | The Miracle Morning

    • Pingback: How To Get (& Stay) MOTIVATED | Hal Elrod

    • mohawk.marshall

      I just began reading your book and blog. To be honest, it’s a scary prospect to get up early; heck, even to get up at all some days. I know I should get up earlier. I also should keep a clean house, and call my mom more. I haven’t been able to do any of this and am afraid to set even a 30 day goal for fear of quitting. Doesn’t anyone out there feel as I do?