So I am definitely writing this more for myself than anymore else, but I’m sure many of you can relate. My track record shows I should not be writing on this topic. I’m not disciplined with my sleep schedule, eating habits, budgeting and spending, and certainly not with consistently working on my music and career goals. Please make me feel better and tell me someone else feels this way too.

Successful people definitely have one thing in common – discipline.  Athletes can’t lay around and expect to work out 2 days before the Olympics and win. It’s the same for artists. You have to be disciplined to work at your craft. Musicians have to focus and repeat until they get it right.   Beyonce is a great example of this. I read an article where she said she made a decision at an early age not to do certain things, “No drugs, no eating disorders, no bad relationships. No breakdowns due to overwhelming pressure. It takes a certain amount of…discipline, I guess.”

“It takes discipline, and it takes focus and I think I’m very fortunate that I’ve had gradual success. It’s not something that happened in one day. It’s something that I’ve worked at and worked at,” she explained.

Another article explains how self-discipline relates to musicians in a really easy way. It stated, ” Self-discipline is the willing mechanism to make yourself improve on whatever it is you are doing. It plays a vital part in your musicianship, and if you are real about wanting to be a good musician, this is the heart and soul of your way to be one. It is the process of making the habit and second nature actions to get you where you want to go. In the case of learning to play the guitar, it is not just about motivation and passion. Although those are very important aspects of practice and improvement, they are completely useless and non-existent without having the self-discipline to stick with it.”  Wow.

Ok, so how do I develop more self-discipline? I did a little research…and basically it boils down to this:

  1. Baby steps.  Write down your goals and what you know you need to do to accomplish them. Make the decision to go forward with those plans.
  2. Learn what motivates you and what your bad triggers are.  If you are trying to lose weight and you know if you see a coke in the fridge you will drink it – don’t buy it.
  3. Make certain behaviors a routine. For me, this is the hardest one. Consistency. Disciplined people always finish what they start. They don’t start new diets every Monday.  They pay all their bills and THEN buy a new purse IF there’s anything left over. They set aside a day to rehearse music and make sure that day and time remains sacred for that activity.
  4. Practice self-denial. Train yourself to do what you know to be right, even if you don’t feel like doing it. Think about consequences. When you practice self – restraint, it helps you develop the habit of keeping things under control.
  5. Visualize the rewards. Picture yourself on stage. Picture yourself thin. Think about the thousands in your bank account you saved and the security you will have.

I hope this helps someone out there besides myself! I am definitely going to put this into practice, and practice I will…..

Sources:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/28/60minutes/main6151266.shtml

http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/self-discipline.html

http://guitarwisdom.wordpress.com/2009/01/01/practice-and-self-discipline/

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