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4 Self-Discipline Hacks to Master Life

Ditch the New Year’s Resolutions Once and For All

If you’re like millions of people around the world, you’re already planning your annual New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’re planning on going to the gym more often, quit smoking or quit your job so you can finally start that business.

Whatever it is you’re planning for your resolutions, odds are you’ve planned them before. How many years has it been? How many more Mondays will it take?

Listen, the truth is that most of us know why we do this to ourselves. Why we set ourselves up for failure. Somewhere inside, we know why we feel screwed up, broken or lost most of the time. But what we can’t seem to figure out, is how to stop it. And how to create lasting change in our lives beyond January and the New Year’s resolution.

Over a dozen years of working with businesses, entrepreneurs and leaders across the globe — plus my own roller coaster life and career — has taught me exactly what truly creates lasting change in human beings: self-discipline.

Of course, like anything else, we must decide. We have to decide that we are done with the old ways. And we must commit to the new way we want to create. But that’s easier than it sounds, right? How and where do you find that jump-start AND the cement for the changes you want?

1) Track your habits daily.

Leaders, winners, athletes, all successful people know and understand that we are the sum of our daily habits. What are you doing with your time? Who are you spending it with? What are you spending it on? Track your habits for 3–4 days and pay attention. Then ask yourself these questions. Nine out of ten times, you will find where you’re wasting time, energy and focus.

Notice the habits that are preventing you from being who you want to be and having what you want to have. Then ask yourself what habits are the polar-opposite? What new habits will contribute to your goals instead of take you away from them.

2) Say NO more often.

The road to happiness, success, passion — is paved in NOs. Why? Because if it isn’t moving you towards your goals, it’s either keeping you stuck or moving you away from them. Once you’ve tracked your habits, it should be easy to identify what requires a NO from now on.

To have what you want, you have to say no to what you really don’t want. And trust me, it’s like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger and easier it gets. Ask yourself? What do I need to say no to, so I can say yes to what I really want?

3) Schedule everything.

Ever wonder why you always feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Like you could and should be doing something more every day? That’s because instead of focusing on the most important things you want to accomplish that day, we focus on all of the little details we think we need to get us there.

The rule: If it’s a priority. If it’s important. If it’s non-negotiable. Schedule it!

Then take another look at your calendar and notice how much free time you have left in the day to do more of the things you want to do.

4) Keep going.

Something will always be there to tempt you, distract you, derail you. You are not alone in this. Everybody feels the spark die when something comes at you from left field. But remembering that giving up is a choice, should be our daily rude awakening.

There is a substantial difference between failing and giving up. Do you know it?

All of the successful, motivation, inspiration people in your life? Yep, they all failed. Multiple times. But what sets them apart from the people still trying to make it is that they kept going. It’s not really failing, if you get back up and keep trying. You only truly fail, when you give up.

Vanessa Rende is the host of The Vanessa Rende Podcast, a Speaker, Writer, Entrepreneur, and Consultant. She was formerly a risk and management consultant in the mortgage-backed securities industry, working closely with private, public entities across the globe, and US Government agencies such as the FDIC and Federal Reserve. For the past 12 years, she has helped hundreds of businesses find and fix what’s not working, and increase performance and productivity in their personal and professional lives. Connect with her on Facebook. To find out more go to




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