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10 Tips to Cultivate Self-Discipline and Good Habits


If there is one concept we can all agree on, it is that our time is finite. The time we have now is gone tomorrow; hence, the importance of making the most of our limited time by developing good habits and instilling self-discipline.

Habits are often traced back to routine and reward. Changing these routines and rewards is a matter of focusing on what is important to you and being mindful of how your actions impact your success. Find what motivates you, use your time productively, get out of your comfort zone – and don’t be scared to take a nap when your body needs it. When we become self-disciplined individuals with good habits, we become more valuable to our team. This is why I put together these steps to help others be more successful, fueled by more than two decades of experience leading teams, and mentoring and guiding our LegalShield associates. Remembering these tips when we find ourselves stuck in rut will help turn our bad habits into good ones and our laziness into self-discipline.

Tip 1: Find motivation.

In order to discover what motivates you, find your “why.” It’s easy to be selfish and make your purpose all about yourself--making more money, buying a car, moving into a bigger home—but satisfaction will come when you make it something that helps others. Helping others takes time and effort, and is often a struggle when we’re lacking those two things.  A purposeful life that helps others is more courageous, more glorious, and more fulfilling for your soul.  Make your “why” someone special in your life: your parents, grandparents, spouse or partner, your children, friends in need, your church, or community. Let them be the home base you come back to when you find yourself lost or insecure. Developing a focus on others is a critical element of finding the self motivation to drive you toward self-discipline.

Tip 2: Appreciate life

Showing gratitude helps you slow down, reflect on life and make better, more rational decisions. As the saying goes, the only constant in life is death and taxes. Our time is finite, and we must act swiftly to make our mark in this world.  So while you are here, show gratitude and appreciate the small things.  You can always make more money, you can always make new friends, but you can’t make more time. Procrastinating, worrying, and stressing over small slights waste our precious time. Cultivate gratitude to focus your thoughts, eliminates the mental baggage and strive to become a more self-disciplined person.

Tip 3: Set goals

Write your goals down and then break them down. Start small. Aim for just one percent improvement every day, if you must. Whatever you hope to be – whether it’s progressing at work, serving more in church, or finding a way to expand your network – you have the power to succeed if you just break that goal up into manageable things you can do. To paraphrase a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.

Tip 4: Hop on the discomfort train

Get out of your comfort zone.  One of the main obstacles to self-discipline is our tendency to run from what is hard. There’s no question; conflict and uncertainty and “hard things” are uncomfortable. Instead of scrolling the internet, flipping through television, or looking through the pantry for comfort, refocus this energy towards activities outside your comfort zone. Do these things quickly in an act of courage. Make the phone call.  Be nice to the annoying coworker. Don’t go in with a specific objective, just get to know people and build relationships.

Tip 5: Be a part of the 20 percent

Twenty percent of an eight hour day is 90 minutes.  If you want to make a change in your life, don’t try to change the whole day, just 90 minutes. Focus on 90 minutes of your day that you can change and then break that 90 minutes down to six 15- minute blocks, and do things that you can really focus on.

Tip 6: Go heavy on HVAs

HVAs are high value activities.  They help you invest in yourself.  A high value activity may be taking some time for prayer and meditation every day, or taking time to write down not only your long term goals, but what you’re going to accomplish that day. Get back into those 15 minute segments, make them a part of your 20 percent. Take a walk, get some exercise.  At work, your HVAs may be touching base with members of your team, talking to your upline, getting some advice and counsel, and making sure you are participating on the team call. Remember, high value activities are money-making activities.

Tip 7: Don’t be afraid to take a nap

Take a 20 minute nap. Einstein took them; Thomas Edison did too. Maybe it’s a moment of reflection or meditation, but simply close your eyes, relax your shoulders, and then come out of it with more energy.

Tip 8: Avoid productivity killers

Successful people understand that it is easy to get distracted by checking your phone all the time and texting, because of the immediacy. You’re seeking human contact.  You are building your business, increasing exposure, going to meetings. Scrolling social media excessively and reading emails provoke random, short-term rewards. They’re not high value activities that keep you focused on accomplishing your tasks and your business.

Tip 9: Seek out the sun

Nourish your mind, body and spirit. We can all benefit from getting outdoors. Take a walk, get some sun, and just remember the wonder of this beautiful world that we live in.

Tip 10: Be organized

Have a tidy workspace; you’re never going to be as happy and successful as you want to be with a messy one. A messy desk is a distraction, so clean things up, get focused, and get dedicated.

Implementing good habits into your life is a huge step in becoming more successful.  Good habits come from self-discipline and motivation. For a company like LegalShield, the vision of our founder Harland Stonecipher, who believed in equal access to legal protection, lead him to pioneer a new way to insure people against legal issues. His vision lives in our hearts and guides our actions. At Legalshield we know that together, truly by being together and supporting and loving each other, we know that the best is yet to come.

Jeff Bell

Written by Jeff Bell

Jeff Bell joined LegalShield in July 2014 as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Bell is recognized as a successful and passionate marketing visionary with an extraordinary corporate leadership portfolio. Since joining LegalShield, membership production is up 15 percent to over 1.612 million. Prior to joining LegalShield, Jeff was a Partner at NCT Ventures LLC, investing and working with start-ups. Mr. Bell also worked for NBCUniversal, launching the all-new, and the “Challenge America” season. Previously, Mr. Bell served as Corporate Vice President, Global Marketing, Interactive Entertainment Business (Xbox), for Microsoft Inc. While with Microsoft, Bell enjoyed tremendous success and industry recognition while launching and marketing video games“Halo 3,” “Gears of War,” and “Rock Band,” to name a few. He also served as Vice President of the Chrysler and Jeep Divisions, launching the Chrylser 300, and Jeep 4-door Wranger Unlimited. Prior to Chrysler and Jeep, Bell served at Ford Motor Company in the United States, England, and Spain. Mr. Bell earned a B.A. degree in history and Spanish from Kenyon College in 1984, a M.A. from Johns Hopkins in 1988, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School in 1989.

Read more posts by Jeff Bell

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