We are all entrepreneurs. In that role, the critical trait we all must have, and execute well, is self-discipline. No matter if it is in our personal life or trying to make sure your travel business stays on the right track, self-discipline is critical.
It is the key to leading a healthier, happier, and more successful life. But, often times, it is elusive. I know it is for me; and I am reminded of that every time I stare blankly at a computer screen for what seems like hours with nothing to show.
I asked some colleagues what keeps them focused. Here are their thoughts. Do you agree?
You need a place to work and it needs to be organized. All famous writers have had a desk where they sat at and wrote. No need to search for pens, USB drives, pads, or post-it notes. They are all organized in your work space.
Manage Your Time
Of course self-discipline is lined to time management. Utilize the time you have to your advantage. Get the most important tasks done first to free up the day and give you a sense of accomplishment. Also, take inventory of when you are most productive and expand on that. If you are a morning person, maybe get up an hour earlier to take advantage of your “on” time.
They tell me a healthy body leads to a health mind. An active lifestyle means lower stress levels and increased dopamine—all critical for a sharp mind. It took me a while to get in this habit, but after buying a Fitbit two years ago, I find that exercise is a critical part of my day—I am not going crazy, but try to walk 6 miles a day at a brisk pace and throw in a few days of cardio or weights at my local rec center. You may run, swim, or participate in a team sport—no matter what it is, just do it.
Make sure you reward yourself for a job well done. It will keep you focused and looking forward (to the next reward). Forgoing a reward makes it much easier to succumb to a moment of weakness. Think about a diet… you methodically work to lose weight and occasionally treat yourself to a Hershey bar. That’s ok. But by forgoing the reward, you are much more likely to eat three of them at 2am. At least I am!
Build a Support System
No man is an island. You need to have your supporters. It might be your spouse, a co-worker, a significant other, or I suppose you could even have Siri or Alexa cheer you on. Set your goals and share them with your cheerleaders and you can both hold yourself accountable.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Groups fall through. Mistakes happen. Goals are missed. It happens and failure is a fact of life. Learn from them and move on. Accept your mistakes!
You do not begin a marathon training by running a 10K. You build up to it. I was so out of shape, I started to walk a mile a day. I gradually built it up to 6 miles a day. Implement your self-discipline routines and try to improve upon them a little bit each day. You will be surprised at the results.
Exercise your willpower
Willpower and self-discipline go hand in hand. There will be times when you have had enough and just want to quit. Remind yourself of the end goal, or the Hershey bar, and put temporary distraction to the side and move on towards your goal.
You can attend all the seminars and listen to all the webinars you like. You can have meeting after meeting with your BDMs; but without some self-discipline and the drive to make your travel business succeed, you will always fall short of your goals. Your goals do not need to be ridiculous goals. When I had my retail agencies, we were selling just about $20MM a year. Now as a down-scaled, home-based, fueled-by-independent-contractors agency, I am thrilled to sell $2.5MM a year and am making a lot more money with a lot less stress. More is not better. But the self-discipline to succeed and achieve the goals is the same!