Aristotle said, ‘You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. If you are a Self-Leader you’ll apply yourself conscientiously to being who you’ve chosen to be and to what you have decided to achieve. If you want to know what choices you have already subconsciously made just look at what you are doing and what you are not doing. It’s simple. You are what you do.

Be clear about what’s important to you

You can only make good decisions if you know what your priorities are.  Take time to work out what your own goals are, and how you want to prioritize. List both your personal and professional goals and work backwards from there.

Work backwards from your goals

Imagine yourself at a time in the future when you have achieved what you want to. What is it like? Who is there? What are they saying? Then work backwards from that point and notice what were the major obstacles you overcame, the key people that helped you.
This exercise can inform you as to where to focus and where some of those difficult decisions might be.

Short term pain vs long term gain

Don't live in the moment and want to enjoy everything now make sacrifices for your future.  For example, the credit card culture has replaced saving up for luxuries, and the media preys on the millennial generation’s desire for instant gratification.
Learn the practice of taking a moment to think before taking action. The short term pain might be worth it.

Self discipline is critical to effective leadership

Practicing self-discipline is a choice. Incorporating self-discipline into your lifestyle starts by developing good habits. Know your personal and professional priorities, know when the short term pain is worth the long term gain, practice the self discipline you have developed, and those who are around you (your team, direct reports, your boss, friends and family) will want to follow.

Set your own standards. It’s said that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Generally this means you come down to the level of others. Choose to rise above it. Choose your attitude and choose your values. Successful people surround themselves with can do, optimistic people and you can do the same. Go find some.

Many people feel that they lack self-discipline in certain areas and they often assume that, “That’s just the way I am.” Are some leaders born with natural qualities and abilities that make self-discipline easy for them? It may be true that there are such things as natural born leaders, however most leaders are made by hard work and self-development.
The fact is that YOU can develop whatever leadership styles and qualities that you consider desirable and necessary. For some people it will be easier, and for others it will take more time and effort. But each person has the inborn ability to shape his or her character and personality in a positive way by being clear about his or her future intent and determined enough to press forward through the difficulties, resistance, and setbacks.

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