By Leo Babauta

As we move into Week 2 of our Courageous Self-Discipline Challenge â€¦ let’s talk about deepening commitment and focus.

First, ask yourself how things have gone this past week. Then notice what effect this has has on different parts of your life. For example, perhaps things have gone in one of these ways:

As you can see, how you did with this challenge the past week is likely to have effects in all parts of your life. The important thing is not to be judgmental and beat ourselves up, but to see the effects clearly. To be open-eyed about all of it, even as we give ourselves compassion.

If you did anything but the first item above (stuck to the challenge perfectly), I don’t want you to beat yourself up about it. Here’s what you should do instead:

  1. Ask yourself what pattern is getting in the way. Watch the webinar on patterns if you haven’t yet.
  2. Decide that you don’t want to keep doing this pattern, nor do you want to keep having these effects on your life. Again, it’s not about beating yourself up about this, but about resolving not to keep doing this to yourself, or at least try not to (without expecting perfection).
  3. Commit yourself even more. Go deeper into your commitment. How can you be someone who would walk through walls for this? Why is this important to you? Is it worth discomfort? Is it worth putting aside other things until it gets done? Is it worth putting your reputation on the line as you commit publicly to it? Find a way to make it so that you won’t back out. If it doesn’t work, find another way until it does.

I mentioned this on the webinar, but I’ve committed to challenges where a friend promised to throw a pie in my face if I didn’t do it. Something fun like that, but something you want to avoid. You should set it up so that you know there’s no way you’re going to fail.

Feel what it’s like to deepen your commitment, in your heart.

Deepen Your Focus

Once you’re doing the task you’ve committed to doing each day … can you be fully focused as you do it?

If you’ve only been half in it, waiting for the session to end so you can get to the next thing … or switching back and forth between the task and your favorite distractions … it’s a beautiful practice to open up to full focus.

Here’s how you might practice this:

Full focus takes practice. It also takes noticing — what are all the sensations of doing this task? How can I appreciate it more? How can I do this out of love for myself and those I serve?

Practice full focus this week and the rest of this month!