ARE you happy with your productivity? Could you get more out of yourself on a daily basis?

Do you have a system for creating more self-discipline in your life and becoming better at achieving your goals?

People have asked me these questions almost every day in my 30 years as a coach. There is a way to push yourself and focus better without being negative or miserable. You can develop the self-discipline that championship athletes possess and apply that to your work, sport or daily life. Here’s how you can make healthy self-discipline a reality.

How can becoming more self-disciplined help me?

You can achieve more and be more efficient in everything you do. You can reach goals that you never thought possible if you have higher levels of self-discipline. Your self-confidence sky-rockets when you treat yourself right and reach for your dreams.

Some days I just don’t feel like doing what I have to do. How do I get jump-started to get going?

Top achievers remind themselves of a few basic, yet powerful truths they live their lives by, to get going when the old bones don’t want to move. They remember how short life is, they remember that if it is to be, it is up to them. They remember that they made a commitment with themselves and they honour that commitment, because they respect themselves. They call on a higher level of thinking to motivate themselves.

Won’t I stop having fun if I become too self-disciplined?

Many folks think that being self-disciplined means being serious and crotchety. It really just means respecting your commitment to yourself and others and doing what you agree to do. You can have as much fun, and more than ever because you will feel so good about what and how you achieve.

I enjoy “going with the flow” some days, instead of being so rigid about my to-do list. It’s perfectly fine to be flexible and adaptive any time. Being disciplined does not mean staying on course no matter what. You don’t even need a to-do list to be disciplined, as long as you achieve what you have to do.

Will I stifle my creativity if I improve my self-discipline?

You may even improve your ability to be creative. You may find that you open up time for being creative and super-charge your mind so that it works faster and makes connections faster, a major factor in creativity training.

Being self-disciplined means being more focused on tasks, not on being more rigid. You will find your creativity opening up as you learn to focus better.

If I become extremely self-disciplined, won’t I lose my down time, my time to relax and just be me?

Being self-disciplined actually allows you to have more down time as you fine-tune your schedule and intentionally put in regular slots for relaxation, exercise, nutrition, socialising, and all else you purposely want to have in your life.

I’m very disciplined in some phases of my life, and terribly lazy in other areas. What can I do about this?

It depends what you mean by “lazy”. You have to allow yourself some unstructured time to relax and play. Don’t feel guilty about this.

How can I reward myself for improving my self-discipline?

It is vitally important to reward yourself for effort and for results. You should celebrate all successes, no matter how small. High achievers do not withhold self-reward. They use it to launch themselves to the next task and to the next level.

I seem to become negative when I push myself to achieve more and work harder. Is there a way to be more self-disciplined, yet remain focused and stay positive?

Build in some fun, relaxation and down time in your day and take a break when the tension builds. Achievement is exciting, but not 100 per cent stress-free. Know when to back off.

What are your best strategies for building a programme for becoming self-disciplined?

Set goals, write down the reasons for those goals, when you want to achieve them and how. Then make a signed contract with yourself and vow to stick to that agreement. Measure your progress on a daily and weekly basis and make adjustments to goals when needed. Celebrate your successes and enjoy the process!