Struggling with self-discipline? Not sure how to build it? What if I told you that it’s easier than you think? In fact, you can build it in less than a week- yes really! Read my complete guide on how to build self- discipline for scratch (plus get my FREE downloadable goal planner that you can download down below.
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What is Self-Discipline?
Do you ever start a book but don’t even go beyond the first chapter? Or start a project but abandon it halfway? Do you enroll in the gym but stop going after a few weeks? Ever wonder why this happens?
Let us look at it from a different perspective. Tom gets up very early every morning and goes for his morning run. He then prepares his breakfast and gets ready for work. Tom then makes his way to the office. He is a corporate lawyer. After work, Tom directs a support group at his church for army vets. So, how does Tom get so much done, consistently without losing motivation?
Part of the answer to these questions is self-discipline. It is self-discipline that enables people to achieve success in their careers and personally. Lack of self-discipline on the other hand often means that we don’t accomplish the goals that we set out to do.
Simply put, self-discipline is the ability to control your desires, habits, feelings, or action to improve yourself. It often means putting off immediate comforts for success in the long term.
Self-discipline drives you to get things done. Be it meeting deadlines, sticking to a new healthier meal plan, getting up early every morning, or being punctual to work meetings.
Why is Self-Discipline Important?
So, why is learning self-discipline so important? Self-discipline:
- Helps you achieve your short-term and long-term goals.
- Helps you remain focused and motivated even when results aren’t forthcoming.
- Teaches you perseverance and self-control.
- Boosts your confidence and you will generally be happier and proud of yourself.
One of my favorite quotes by Plato is “The first and best victory is to conquer self .” That is precisely what self-discipline is about. You have to take control of your actions, habits or emotions or they will sabotage you.
How Do You Develop Self-Discipline?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It will take you some time to develop this important value. The more you practice, the better you will get. Here are a few tips to help you cultivate self-discipline.
1.Develop Your Will Power
Developing your willpower may seem abstract but it isn’t. Willpower is the ability to control yourself and strong determination that allows you to do something. If you are entirely convinced that you can’t pass that job interview then who is to say that you can?
You need to believe that you have unlimited willpower and that you can move mountains if you set out to do so. Your perception of willpower and self-control largely influence how self-disciplined you are.
So, don’t allow yourself to despair. Don’t underestimate yourself. You are up to the task. Embrace the challenge and give it all you’ve got.
2.Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is crucial when trying to learn self-discipline. Your weaknesses can be anything from procrastination to being short-tempered or having unending cravings for fried foods or social media obsession.
Then there are things you are good at. Could be picking up new skills very fast, planning events, or organizing things. You need to learn how to use your strengths for your benefit.
The art of self-awareness can be challenging to master. It needs constant evaluation of your habits and actions, both positive and negative ones, healthy and unhealthy ones.
Once you identify your flaws then you can work on overcoming them. Knowing what you are good at means you can maximize these skills for your benefit.
3.Get Rid of Temptations
This is one of the practical ways to improve self-discipline. Removing temptations can significantly impact your chances of success. Trying to ignore the temptations might work at first but eventually, it becomes impossible to resist something you crave if it is within your reach. So, it’s best to completely remove anything that might tempt you.
For instance, if you can’t stop eating salty snacks it is best not to buy them in bulk and store them in your pantry as you normally would.
4.Set Clear Goals And Have Deadlines For Them
It’s easy to not get anything done when you don’t have definite plans. Not planning sets you up for failure. You need to know exactly what you want to achieve if you are to achieve self-discipline. You also need to define what success means to you.
Remember to set goals that are smart, achievable, and realistic. Ambition is a good thing but don’t be too ambitious. For example, don’t expect to learn pottery in under a week. 8 weeks however should be enough to learn the basics of pottery.
Set clear deadlines. You can use your phone to set reminders. Make sure you adhere to these deadlines because what is the point of setting them if you won’t? Make sure you allocate suitable timelines.
5.Have An Accountability Partner
Just like a gym partner helps you stay motivated an accountability partner will help you stay on track. If you intend to complete an online certificate program, an accountability partner can help you keep on your toes by reminding you about assignment and project deadlines.
You’ve probably heard this statement over and over again. Well, it is fundamental. You need to adopt new habits gradually.
For example, if you want to exercise more, start by exercising for 15 minutes only every day. Gradually you can exercise for longer periods. You can also graduate from beginner workouts to intermediate and advanced workouts.
7.Always Do The Hard Tasks First
You may find it helpful, to begin with, the more complicated tasks that require a lot of concentration and are generally more exhausting. This allows you to perform these tasks in the best possible way as your attention and focus are still high.
After completing the more complex tasks, you can then get to the simpler ones. This means that before you begin, you have to categorize your tasks according to their complexity.
In Psychology, Operant Conditioning is a common way of learning. It is a method in which humans learn to behave in such a manner to obtain a reward or punishment.
So, after each milestone, ensure you reward yourself. If you have managed to stay consistent for as little as a week, you can treat yourself to your favorite ice cream, get takeout from that restaurant you like, take a bubble bath or watch your favorite TV show.
9.Develop Self-Discipline As a Habit
There’s a simple 21-day rule that is worldwide accepted. In summary, if you commit to doing something for 21 days in a row, then it should become a habit.
You can try the same with self-discipline. Pick up a book and read it every day for one hour for 21 days. Go out for a morning run for 3 weeks straight. Once you can follow through with your goals, then you can confidently say that you are on the way to mastering self-discipline.
Building self-discipline may take time but it is worthwhile in the long run. Be patient with yourself. Always keep in mind that it’s the little steps that count. Don’t punish yourself for making mistakes. Learn from them. Each time you slip, start over, Don’t worry. In time you will master the art of self-discipline. Godspeed!
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