5 WAYS OF LOOKING AT SELF-DISCIPLINE April 4, 2019 | Business Tips | time management , motivation By Stepha Vesper Let’s talk about discipline. Self-discipline is a major factor in running a successful small business, but most of us have the wrong idea about it. And no, it’s not that we’re too lax on the concept. In reality, lots of widespread beliefs about discipline are too strict. So strict, in fact, as to be demotivating—we simply try to do and be too much until we shut down and accomplish less than we’re capable of. As you strive to hone your day-to-day business operations, keep these things in mind: 1. Self-discipline isn’t the only ingredient for success. While it’s undeniable that self-discipline is pretty important for achieving success, it’s not going to get you far unless you pair it with that all-important driving force, motivation. You can be the most self-disciplined person in the world, but without clearly defined goals, you’re just going to spin your wheels. To accomplish something big, you need to identify an objective and work diligently toward it through—you guessed it—self-discipline. 2. Discipline and willpower are not one and the same. Self-discipline and willpower are so entwined, it can be difficult to distinguish the two. But taking the time to understand the key differences might just help you work smarter and succeed in the long-run. Think of it this way: self-discipline can be described as the act of forming healthy habits that help you achieve your goals. Willpower, however, involves the mindful act of being aware of your choices and how those choices either support or undermine your healthy habits. Willpower is what takes commitment, energy and determination, and with enough practice, it will converge with self-discipline to become one and the same. 3. Even with mindful self-discipline, you can welcome, and even enjoy, breaks. We tend to be hard on ourselves. We think we could always work longer hours, do without and squeeze in one more obligation instead of taking time to ourselves. But excessive discipline will just set you up for failure—it’s simply not realistic. It’s okay to take time off or to slip up every now and again. Looking after your own wellbeing will only ramp up your success over time because it’ll help keep your energy levels up, which is always a win. 4. Being self-disciplined does not mean gaining control. There’s a chance that gaining control of your immediate environment is a driving force behind your quest for self-discipline. You’re only human, after all! But hear us out: there’s no way you’ll ever gain control of the world around you; you can only ever really have control over yourself and your own actions. The good news is that exercising self-control will likely vastly improve your business practices, your spending habits, your health and your relationships over time, so being in control over yourself is never a wasted effort. 5. Self-discipline is actually easy - with the right mindset. There’s no denying that striving for self-discipline is a challenge. If it wasn’t, we might all behave a little more like robots. Self-discipline is tough because it’s about not succumbing to easy choices in the short-term. But not making poor choices in moments of weakness becomes significantly easier when you picture the long-term consequences. It’s much easier to learn how to manage your cash flow, for example, than it is to deal with the months- or years-long aftermath of a string of large, impulsive business purchases you think you need. With this mindset, having self-discipline actually becomes the easy road to take. Interested in starting your own property inspection business? Check out npifranchise.com or give our corporate headquarters a call at 1-800-333-9807. About the Author Stepha Vesper, Marketing Communications Specialist Stepha has more than five years’ experience in marketing, content creation, SEO and copywriting. Her favorite part of her job is assisting franchisees with their digital marketing strategies so they reach their goals that much faster. When she isn’t at work, Stepha is going on adventures with her basset hound, Frank, and husband, Zach, perusing used bookstores, reading or writing.