I created the List: Daily Checklist system because there were things I wanted to accomplish, things that were lofty and difficult. However, due to a lack of discipline and consistency, I failed to stick with any course of action long enough to see results. To remedy this I adopted the idea that success comes from performing small, seemingly insignificant actions every day. Those small actions compound over time resulting in huge success. This idea is what List embodies. List allows you to choose what those actions are, then reminds you and tracks your results.
Over several years of using List I’ve realized a simple strategy that helps build long term discipline and consistency. This strategy is especially important for new users and useful for long term users as well.
The strategy can be summed up into three parts:
- Start small
- Practice and develop consistency
- Build slowly
When you start using List it is best to start small. This means not adding every action you think you should or want to take all at once. Unless you already have rock solid discipline it could be demoralizing if you fail to complete actions on a consistent basis.
Start small by adding just a few actions that are not particularly difficult. These actions should be ones you know you can easily complete without much resistance (i.e. Make the bed, floss at night, etc). Starting small also means to limit the number of actions to between 5 and 7.
With this list of small relatively easy actions make it your mission to complete them daily. Each day you are successful at completing all your actions you are rewarded with a check mark on the Historical Calendar. The idea here is to build consistency by getting that check mark each and every day no matter what. Make getting that check mark a reward for you exercising your consistency and discipline muscles.
Do this for about two weeks. Make getting a check mark a must do every day. Make it a habit. Once you are committed to completing all your actions and getting a check mark each and every day you can move on to the next step.
You are now consistently getting a completion check mark on your calendar every day! It has become something that you just do daily. You look forward to getting that check at the end of the day. Great! Getting that check is a habit.
At this point you can add other actions to your List. Add new actions carefully and deliberately. Only add new actions that you truly intend to complete on it’s assigned day. This List of actions should be treated with respect. If you are using List to accomplish something important in your life, then the actions you have listed are important. Only put actions that reflect this importance. If it is on your List it gets done!
Don’t make the mistake I’ve seen other users make. Don’t put on, or leave on, your List actions you are not completing on a daily basis. If you begin to develop a string of X’s due to certain actions not being completed then either start completing them or take them off your List. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty because you know you SHOULD be taking a particular action but you just aren’t hitting it. You think you would feel bad if you removed it from your list. Don’t! If, this is happening frequently your should go back to the “Start Slowly” section.
If building discipline is important to you keep the integrity of List by only putting and keeping actions you are committed to doing.
So there you have it, my three point plan for achieving discipline and consistency using the List: Daily Checklist system as a tool to help you accomplish your goals. I would love to hear from you. What strategies do you use to build and maintain discipline and consistency? Let us know in the comments below.
And, as always,
To your continued success,