"Good people better themselves continuously" - Confucius
Why do some people seem to have more willpower and discipline than others? Those individuals aren't' born with different tools than the rest of us, but rather they have built their willpower the same way a bodybuilder develops his biceps. Willpower is something that you can develop over time and continue to strengthen through exercising it and it's essential to living your best possible life. Remember, the only limit you have in this life, are those you put on yourself.
The first step to building your personal willpower is rising before the sun. The people that start their days before 5:00 am begin each day with a small win they can build momentum from. Most people don't get out of bed that early because it takes commitment and is hard at first but the advantages far exceed the temporary discomfort. You will be amazed at how this single act impacts the day's decisions. It's easier to say yes to the next commitment, like going for a run or passing on the donut for breakfast, because you already have the first win. By getting good at accomplishing small feats, it prepares you for the big ones.
Habit stacking is another trick to building your willpower. If you decide today that it's time to lose that 20 lbs AND to begin a mindfulness practice by starting to meditate twice a day AND write 1,500 words a day in the novel that's on your bucket list, it's going to be easier to fall short, get disappointed and give up. The trick is to build momentum with small wins that feel good and start building discipline. Start by setting your alarm early and just get up without hitting snooze. After a week or two of waking up early, you will already see the benefits in productivity and creative thinking and this will help motivate you to add the next healthy habit to your routine.
My routine is:
4:00 am - Wake up and make coffee
4:05 am - Creative writing
5:05 am - Meditate
5:30 am - Read and watch the sunrise
6:00 am - Cold Shower/Dress
6:15 am - Read/Respond to email (3-2-1-Zero email)
6:45 am - Catch up on days events (newspaper or news)
7:00 am - Review schedule and OAK Journal daily routine
7:10 am - Breakfast/Quality time with family
8:00 am - Begin my workday
With that routine, I can accomplish the most challenging tasks before most people have had their first cup of coffee.
My hardest work is done first thing while I am in the best mental state of the day. From today onward, take complete control of your life. What sets apart highly actualized people that live inspired lives, is they do the things that less developed people don't like doing, even if they might not like doing them either.