I spent 7 years in the military with a kind of rigid discipline that modern productivity gurus promote as the answer to all our problems.
But treating everything as a battle with yourself doesn't lead to a happy and sustainable life. It certainly didn't do it for me.
That's why I came up with the soft discipline method.
It's a way to quickly build up flexible and sustainable habits that don't collapse the moment the pressure is off (or on).
✅ A morning or night routine ✅ Regular exercise or diet ✅ Consistent work, studying or writing ✅ Procrastination or online addiction ✅ Anything else!
This initial plan may work. Or it might not work, because of some friction or resistance you encounter. We'll work through your limiting thoughts, emotions and beliefs that prevent you from becoming your best self.
You'll tell me how it went with as much honesty as you can muster. We will then discuss your challenges and try a different approach tomorrow.
The best habits are flexible enough to deal with changing moods, states of health and cirucmstances. We'll work with all of those to find a way that works for you consistently and without fail.
✅ I will personally work with you via daily emails. ✅ I will read and reflect on everything you write, however long it is. ✅ I will offer guidance, advice and insights to help you find your own gentle way.
I'm currently running this program in trial mode, free of charge.
If you want to do this, DM me on Twitter @finereli and tell me a bit about the habit you'd like to build.
🚀 "This process was great. It was really helpful in finding why I cannot keep a consistent study habit going. There has been less resistance towards studying compared to a week ago. It feels easier to get on with studying and continue studying." — Tiki
🚀 "I've barely procrastinated at all this week! This is a big result for me, and I have a feeling that I did manage to uncover the underlying emotional turmoil around this recent bout of procrastinatory activity." — Alex
🚀 "I'm starting to get used to it, it's feeling like a routine now. My productivity is increasing and I've written more than I have ever before in a week." — Musa
🚀 "Wow! This has been an amazing journey! Initially, I felt as if procrastination would always lurk around the corner from me. However, after speaking with you I’ve come to realize that my “procrastination” works completely off of my emotional state. And my ability to not sink in my dark place but rather to remain mindful and stick with optimism translated into an easier time working." — Sade
"This idea of flexibility is so simple yet seems like a revelation to me. For so long I wanted to do things perfectly or not at all. I can now see how that was a contributing factor to as to why I, while never failing, never got the chance to do things and fail. Thanks again!"
Why discipline isn't the answer to procrastinationWhat my time in the military taught me about discipline16 ideas that will change how you set up habitsWhy we can't stick to habits, and how to fix thatWhy good habits might not work for youA mental model for dealing with emotional slumps
I was born in Soviet Russia and my dad was (and still is) a very disciplined guy. He worked out like clockwork and did whatever he set out to do with minimal fuss or emotional discomfort. Unfortunately for the both of us, I was nothing like him.
It took me almost 40 years to figure out that I had powerful emotions and a tendency for depression that I couldn't supress on command. Over the years I realized that I needed a completely different approach if I ever wanted to be successful.
Through therapy, life coaching, and an ungodly amount of introspection I eventually came up with a set of techniques that allow me to take on large projects and see them through.
I now help other sensitive people like me find their own way to a rich and sustainable life.
I live with my wife and two kids in Nelson, BC, Canada.