Small Disciplines That Make a Huge Difference

Small Disciplines That Make a Huge Difference

Are you practicing productive habits every day? Don’t answer just yet. Think first about what makes a habit productive. A productive habit should be pushing you forward, not just keeping you in the same place.


Most of us lose a lot of hours during the day. Maybe you decided to spend some time watching TV instead of reading a book. And just how many books have you read in the last few weeks? Did you eat any junk food today? Well, this was an opportunity to eat healthy foods and you missed it. And what about exercise? You could have woken up thirty minutes early to take a run.


So, let’s ask again…


Are you practicing productive habits every day?


Success vs. Failure


The difference between success and failure is small, the difference is whether or not you practice small disciplines. The accumulation of bad choices and avoiding small disciplines results in failure. The opposite, practicing small disciplines every single day, results in success. If you want to be successful, you need to start practicing small differences every single day.


5 Small Disciplines to Practice Every Day


1.       Exercise


Exercising daily will not only make you healthier, it’ll make you happier. It’ll also make you smarter.


Try to exercise in the morning right after you wake up. The importance of exercising in the morning is that it will energize you for the rest of the day. Your newfound energy will also help you to complete the rest of the small disciplines. 


You don’t have to exercise as if you are training for a marathon either. Just go for a short run or jog, do some jumping jacks, crunches, planks and pushups. Throw in some burpees if you are feeling up to it. Come up with your own routine. Just remember, the most important thing is that you are doing it every single day.


2.    Reading


New’s flash, you’re not as smart as you think you are. This isn’t just a clever ploy to motivate you, it’s actually true. This phenomenon is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect, named after the psychologists who discovered it. What they also discovered is that we fail to recognize the ability of others as well.


This translates into the fact that you need to learn more, which means reading more. Unless you are reading every single day you are falling behind, and because of your failure to recognize it, you do not even realize it’s happening.


You cannot increase your knowledge just by idly absorbing information. Sure, there are some special people who absorb information more passively and do retain it well, but odds are you are not one of them. So pick up a book and start reading.


If you do not read at all, pick up a good book and read a chapter a day. If you are already an avid reader, good. Just make sure you’re doing this every single day.


3.    Keep a Journal


Journals are not just for teenage girls to keep under their mattresses, people who want to improve their thinking skills also keep journals. A journal will help you to organize your thoughts and allow you to review them. By reviewing your thoughts you’ll be able to view them more objectively and learn from them. You’ll even be able to fine tune them so you can think better in the future.


Sometimes you might surprise yourself at your old insights, other times you must recoil in disgust from the way you thought. Either way, you’ll be learning some important aspects about yourself that you didn’t know had you not kept a journal.


You’ll also find that this activity will help you communicate better with those around you. Even your thoughts will flow more clearly the more you document them. Your clarity of thought will also improve. This is an important small discipline that is avoided only at your own peril.


4.    Thinking


It might sound silly to be told you should start thinking each day. You’re probably thinking right now, “I already do that.” Yes, this is true, but are you really thinking?


Are you really pondering the complexities of life? Are you turning over all the events over the last few days? Are you thinking critically about what’s going on in the world and brainstorming ways of solving some of the world’s most pressing problems?


If you’re being honest with yourself, you’re probably not thinking to the best of your ability. In order to combat this, carve out some time during the day just for thinking. It can even be as little as thirty minutes every day.


If you need help, get a white board and jot down an important topic on the board. Turn the topic over and look at it from every single angle. Ask questions about it and try to answer them. Just get the wheels turning. Over time you’ll find you are better at not only coming up with good topics, but thinking about them as well.


5.    Planning


The last small discipline to implement in your life is that of planning. What this means in this case is planning for tomorrow.


At the end of the day you need to think about what you are going to be doing tomorrow. Come up with a game plan and make sure you stick with it. The next day, do the same thing. Repeat this process every single day.


Good planning leads to good actions. Good actions help move you forward on your path towards success. If you do not plan for the future, you can forget about getting to where you want to go. Not planning ahead is like boarding an airplane without knowing where it’s heading, it’s just foolishness. So plan ahead and actually get to where you want to be.


Small Disciplines, Big Results


Practice these smalls disciplines every day and you will find that they start to add up. Even within a day, you will notice some positive effects. After a few months, you will amaze yourself with how you’ve changed your knowledge, skills, communication, thinking and your life in general. After a year, your small disciplines will start showing some surprising big results you did not, or could not, realistically expect. Success will not only feel obtainable, it will be in your grasp.

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