Different studies have proved people with self-discipline are happier and healthier. This is because they are sure of their priorities and focus on positive things. When you become more self-disciplined in life, you become more level headed. This gives you the wisdom to not allow your actions to lead by impulsive decisions. So, disciplined people have barely any chance to regret their actions.
The good thing is, you don’t need to possess certain genetic qualities or something hereditary to become more self-disciplined. just a skill that can be learned and cultivated over time.
1) Be Mentally Prepared
Now that you have started reading this article, meaning you want to be more self-disciplined in life. No one is born self-disciplined. Although it might be affected by one’s temperament, circumstances, and upbringing, it’s primarily an attitude of learned-activity. Like every other skill, it requires strong will power dedication, and daily practice – and yes, repetition. You have to be conscious of your actions. And remember, developing it is the key. The bigger the challenge we set for ourselves, the more diligence needed to tackle it.
2) Be Sincere to Yourself about Your Weaknesses
Probably the first step towards being disciplined is to identify your weaknesses. Almost all of us have the tendency to overlook our flaws because we want to make ourselves feel good. If you have identified a problem within you, then you certainly have to accept the challenge of solving it. You must look inward and ask yourself important questions, so you can assess those specific areas of your life that require self-discipline. Use finance as an illustration. You first have to determine what your flaw is. Is it that you spend too much? Or you gamble? Or you lend too much to your friends who do not payback.
3) Get Your ‘Whys’ Clear
For everything you venture into, there must be a ‘why’. Your ‘why’ is your motivation. Why do you want to be self-disciplined? Are you broke? Are you in debt? Are you finding it challenging to meet up with your financial responsibilities? Identifying the necessity to take action will motivate you to keep pushing even when the temptations are much.
4) Write Down Your Goals and Execution Plan
What are your goals? What do you want to achieve? How do you expect to make it? After being sure of your WHY, the next step is to identify the specific WHAT. Then break it down to smaller ‘whats’ and include your ‘how’. What do you intend to achieve and pay attention to when your ‘Why’ ends. What measures can be taken to achieve that set goals. How can you break down those measures to small tangible goals? Set a target and identify actions that you can put in to reach that target.
5) Cultivate a New Simple Habit
Research shows that it needs a three-weeks of consistency to form a new habit. Ask yourself what new pattern that I need to develop that will move me towards my goals. Do I need to stop eating junks? Do I need to learn how to say ‘no’ to people? Do I need to keep a piggy bank and keep a specific amount daily?
6) Start with the End in Mind
Starting is always overwhelming, but having the end in mind and the benefits you will get if you complete your task, will inspire you to put more efforts. So always try to visualise yourself meeting your goals. When you bear in mind that spending less will make you a millionaire after six months, you will be inspired to start saving daily.
7) Be Consistent
Always do one thing a day that will bring you closer to your goal. Consistency is essential because if you are through it, new habits are formed. If you are not consistent with your small goals, you will not be able to get your desired result. If you set your mind to put 10 dollars to your piggy bank every day, keep to that. Don’t skip even a day. Not that you put 3 dollars the next day. Be consistent with ‘10 dollars’ every day.
8) Avoid Temptations
We often convince ourselves that we have enough willpower to resist any temptation or enticement. But many a time, when temptation arises we give in. For instance, you have set a budget to buy something online or shop something from the nearby mall. However, during the shopping process, there are certain things that allure you and then you end up buying a couple of things more. That’s why it’s better to be judicious and buy the thing that you decided earlier. The fewer distractions you will have, the focussed you will be in accomplishing your goals. Prepare yourself to achieve your goal by beating unwanted influences.
9) Be Patient with Yourself
Slow and steady wins the race. The journey to self-discipline is a low one that involves taking one step at a time. Suppose you want to increase your push-up exercise from 20 push-ups daily to 50 push-ups the very next day. You may succeed in doing that and burn some more Calorie, but there are chances of you becoming fatigued for the next two days and skip the exercise. By doing this, you may get tired of the whole discipline process. So it’s better to keep your exercise up on a daily basis and focus on increasing the timing by small portions. You won’t get the result instantly; it requires a certain time period.
10) Have an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner will be someone to whom you will be accountable to and who will sincerely look into your progress. An accountability partner can be a friend, your sibling, or your spouse but it must be someone who is willing to be sincere with you and emotionally intelligent. Most preferably, an accountability partner should be your mentor.
11) Don’t Get Disheartened When You Miss It
Whenever people miss in achieving their desired goal, they often get disheartened. When you have a bad day, it’s obvious to be remorseful. But let there be a limit. When you become sulky, you will lack the zeal to continue. Don’t get yourself warped into guilt, anger or frustration. These emotions will only drag you to further down and obstruct future progress. Learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and again get yourself back to your game. Re-focus on your goals.
12) Reward Yourself
Last but not the least, reward yourself. When you reward yourself after a certain completed target, you motivate yourself to complete the next one. For every week you allow yourself to complete your target of workout in the gym, allow yourself to eat something of your choice – may be a dessert of your choice or your preferred mutton or prawn curry. But keep a parameter, self-disciplined is required here too.
Above all, self-discipline is a skill – learn it. It’s a good habit; cultivate it.
The article is an inspiration drawn from the '13 Simple Steps to Master Self discipline' episode of Success Secrets TV YouTube Channel