Welcome to your Friday Field Notes – a short episode delivered each week designed to help you think critically about what it means to be a man.
My goal is to help you become a better leader in your family, your business, and your community.
If you’re interested in getting involved in more discussions like this and want to take charge of your life, I encourage you to check out our elite mastermind, The Iron Council.
This week, I talk about how to build more discipline in your life.
Transcript, Crushing Excuses
Men, what is going on today?! My name is Ryan Michler and I am the host and Founder of Order of Man. Welcome back for those of you who have been here before.
If you haven’t been here before, keep in mind this is a short show we do each and every Friday call Friday Fields Notes. It’s usually about 5-10 minutes of my ramblings for the week. But, we also have a full-length show released each Tuesday where we interview the world’s experts and authorities on the topics of health, finances, relationships, leadership, self-defense, and basically anything else important to you as a man. Make sure you subscribe to our show so you never miss an episode.
I don’t mess around on these shows because I only have a limited amount of time – like I said 5-10 minutes. So, let’s just jump right into this.
Today, I want to talk about discipline. In our closed Facebook Group (which you can find at www.facebook.com/groups/orderofman), I ask the 3900 guys there what their biggest struggles are as men. More often than not I hear self-discipline as being their biggest concern. In other words, their inability to accomplish what they want and what they know they should be doing.
I get it. For a long time, I was very undisciplined. There are certain elements of my life where I still am but it’s a continual process for me.
So today, I want to talk about some key concepts as to why discipline is so important to have and how you can build more of it in your life.
First and foremost, we need to talk about the mindset. The reality is that when we get our minds right about something, it leads to us making some choices, those choices, lead to actions, those actions lead to results.
So, if we want the results in our lives, we need to work on this mindset piece first.
When it comes to discipline and the mindset to have more of it in your life, it’s a matter of commitment. Are you committed? I mean like really committed. Like 100% committed to whatever it is you’re setting out to do. If you’re not, you’re going to continue to give yourself a way out of everything you say you’re going to do.
In order to get committed, you need two things. First, you need to be very clear on what it is you want. Do you want a better relationship? Do you want more money? Do you want to be in better shape? What? What is it that you want?
Without knowing that, it doesn’t really matter what you do throughout your day. If you want a cool resource I personally use to map out my day and what I hope to accomplish, go to www.orderofman.com/weeklyplanner and you can get the exact spreadsheet I use to map out each and every day. I call it my Battle Plan.
Once you know the what, you can focus on the why. This is extremely valuable. If you don’t know why you want it (whatever ‘it’ is in your life), you’ll drift off course.
I’ll give you an example. 3 years ago, I was extremely out of shape. I was fat. I was lazy. I was miserable. And, I could not be fully present for my job, my wife, my kids, or any other area of life.
I remember coming home from work one day and my sons asked me to play. I had to look them in the eye and tell them that I couldn’t. I literally couldn’t. I was exhausted and it all stemmed from my poor habits – really, my lack of habits – over the previous several years.
And that is the moment I committed. I committed to getting back in shape. My why was that I wanted to be fully present for my children and for my wife. Without that why, it would have been very easy for me to revert back to the way things were. I won’t let that happen again because my ‘why’ is strong enough to keep me going to the gym or going running even when I don’t want to.
Alright, so let’s assume you’ve got your head straight about this discipline thing. Let’s assume you know what you want. You’ve got a clear why. Now what?
It’s a matter of building the habits into your day. That’s it. We’ll get more into how to execute in a minute but, for now, just focus on what habits you’re going to be implementing and then, where in your day are you going to be implementing them.
So, if you’re trying to get into better shape, what workouts are you going to do? Are you going to go to the gym? Are you going to go running? What programs are you going to use? What days and times will you be exercising?
If you’re talking about building wealth, what days and time of the day are you going to track your finances? What programs are you going to use to track them? How are you going to invest on a regular basis?
If you’re trying to improve your relationship with your wife, when are you going to take her on a date each week? When are you going to have conversations and connections with her? It sounds strange in this case, but mapping out your week is critical because if you map out what and when you’re going to do something, you’re more likely to do it.
And, once you do it long enough, it’s no longer a matter of discipline, it’s simply a habit. For example, do you think it takes discipline to brush your teeth? I hope not. You’ve been doing it long enough now, it has become a habit. It’s strange and foreign to you if you don’t brush your teeth, right?
If you want a great resource on building habits, check out the book, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It’s a great book.
Alright, now your mind is right, your habits are in place. Now you need to eliminate barriers and obstacles. You do this by planning beforehand and anticipating things that would keep you from accomplishing what you set out to do.
If you don’t plan ahead of time, you will get caught up in the moment and lose your discipline, especially in the early stages of creating new systems and routines in your life.
Prime example – when I was getting back into shape, it was difficult for me to get out of bed when my alarm went off. This was a simple change of moving my alarm away from my nightstand.
When I didn’t know what workout I was going to do when I woke up, I was less likely to go to the gym. The solution was as simple as planning out my workouts the night before.
Whatever you do know to eliminate the barriers and hurdles to accomplish what you want to accomplish, the better off you’ll be.
If you know you need to study or do some reading. Set up a quiet place in your house specifically reserved for reading, have your book already there, and open to the page you’re going to read.
Eliminate the barriers and you’ll be more likely to do it.
Last, understand, that at times in your life you’re going to revert. It’s not the end of the world. It happens to the best of us. Don’t beat yourself up about it but don’t let the problem compound by reverting over and over again.
Dust yourself off, recommit, get your mind right, build out your day, eliminate the barriers and you’ll be set.
So there you have it men, my quick and easy guide to building discipline in your life. Again, it’s commit, figure out your why, build out the habits, eliminate the barriers, and redo if you fall off the horse now and again.
I hope it’s been helpful men. I know that discipline has been a huge part of the success I’ve had in my relationships, and my fitness, and my wealth building and I know it will be a huge part of your success if you build that discipline in your life.
If you want to know more about how to do this, please join me in our elite mastermind, The Iron Council. This is a collection of men working every day to improve in every area of their lives. We have weekly assignments we complete, daily challenges, and a system of accountability to take your life to the next level.
If you feel like you’re at a plateau – you know more is out there – you need to join me and the rest of the men inside The Council and start doing the work to take your life to the next level. You can find all the details at www.orderofman.com/ironcouncil.
Guys, I will look forward to talking with you next week but, until then, build that discipline and you will change your life!