3 Easy Ways To Master Self-Discipline
Self-discipline is not a walk in the park for many people. In fact, it’s quite hard to muster and most will fail in their first few attempts. Now, you don’t need to live the life of a monk in order to master self-discipline (they do seem to be awfully good at discipline!) but if you want to succeed, you’d need plenty of patience and perseverance.
Oh, and you need lots of time, too! After all, mastering self-discipline doesn’t happen overnight.
Be 100% Committed To Your Goal
Plan and visualize your goal right down to the tiniest details. This step alone takes a lot of self-discipline because you’re basically going to create a roadmap for your success. And to see your goal to fruition, you’d have to be a hundred percent committed. To see it through to the end, you’d have to exercise self-control in many situations and your discipline will see to it that you finish your course according to plan.
Don’t Be The Biggest Obstacle To Your Success
You might not know it but you are probably the biggest roadblock to your success. Your fears and your insecurities might be holding you back from reaching your goals. Do you fear success? Are you afraid of failing? If you answered yes to either question, then you are sabotaging yourself.
If you want to achieve something and be somebody in life, then you’re not going to allow your inner self to undermine your efforts. You have to go after your dreams and work hard every single day.
If you want to be a concert pianist, you’re going to practice for hours on end each and every day. You’ll have the discipline to practice every morning, after school or work, and before you go to bed. If you start thinking you’re never going to be good enough, then you will never be good enough.
Say No Like You Mean It
Sometimes we say no to temptation the first or second time it’s offered to us. But on the third or fourth attempt, your defense starts to crumble and you slowly give in to the tempting and probably mouth-watering offer.
If you’re truly disciplined, you’ll learn to say no like you actually mean it. Say no in such a way that the person doing the tempting and distracting will actually understand what you mean. Because if they sense your no is actually a maybe, they’ll persist and continue to knock on your door until you have no choice but to give in.
Eating Healthy And Exercising Regularly Are Keys To Self-Discipline
Self-discipline is a holistic endeavor and it goes far deeper than simply changing your eating and exercise habits. You can be the most disciplined employee at work or the most disciplined student at school, but if you fail in other areas, such as you constantly binge eat and have no interest in taking care of your body, then you’re not disciplined at all.
Eating healthy and exercising regularly are two key habits you need to adapt if you want to succeed at self-discipline. Eating healthy and exercising frequently might seem like the easiest things to do in the world. It can’t be so hard, right?
If you’ve never done it before and it’s the first time you’ve heard this advice, then it might sound pretty simple to you. It is sound advice but it’s far from simple. Especially if you have no self-discipline.
The Right Kind of Food and Exercise
We all know that eating junk food and buying fast food is not healthy. Some unethical companies will even try to fool you into thinking their products are healthy and ‘organic’ when in reality, they don’t even come close to the real thing.
If you want to be sure you’re eating really the right kind of food, then you should consider preparing it yourself from scratch. When you develop healthy eating habits, your body will feel so much better. You won’t feel bloated and tired all the time and you can even lose excess weight just by eating healthy.
Training yourself to stay away from food you’ve eaten most of your life and start eating food you used to call as ‘gross’ is going to be extremely hard at first. But if you slowly change your lifestyle, you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Make Gradual Changes To Your Lifestyle
To not put your body into shock, change your diet gradually by switching out a small percentage of your unhealthy food with something healthy. Then slowly increase the percentage of healthy food until your plate eventually becomes filled with 100% healthy and nutritious food.
Do the same with exercise. If you’re not used to exercising, and you suddenly start lifting heavy weights or running a few miles, then you are putting yourself in danger. Take baby steps in the beginning and don’t be afraid to pace yourself.
With discipline, you’ll soon be eating healthy and exercising like the pros. You’ll enjoy a healthier lifestyle and you’ll have a more positive outlook on life.
Excuses Won’t Help You Reach Your Goals
If you have goals and dreams in life, and you want to achieve them within a certain period of time, then you need to stop making excuses. Building self-discipline is important so you can avoid making lame excuses. You need to start taking responsibility for your goals by changing your behavior and your lifestyle. Otherwise, you’re never to get anywhere near your intended destination.
So how do you avoid making excuses to reach your professional and personal goals?
It’s quite simple really if you think about it. You need to examine why you are making excuses in the first place. Are you afraid of something? Of failure? Of success? Once you’ve identified the root cause, it will be easier for you to overcome your excuses and it will be easier for you to attain your goals in life.
Here are some of the most common excuses that people make:
Being not good or smart enough
They say, what you think is what you become. If you keep on saying negative things about yourself, then you will not succeed in life. So if you believe that you lack natural intelligence, prove yourself wrong. Learn and challenge yourself to become smarter in life.
Believing it’s not the perfect timing
People who always say “it’s not the right time” will definitely not reach whatever they want in life. Your dreams are not elusive, they are reachable. Life situations don’t keep you from realizing your dreams. Your attitude does. So how you perceive the circumstances in your life is a “make or break” for your success.
Every person has their own priorities in life. If you say you’re too busy to do something, then it’s probably not your priority. Time management is important in achieving your goals. Whether you are a full-time employee or a stay at home business owner, it should not stop you from reaching your goals.
There are endless excuses you can make to delay your dreams. Excuses won’t help you succeed. So if you are really passionate and determined, you will stop making excuses and start pushing yourself to your fullest potential.
Reaching for your goals by overcoming excuses can help you live life without limits. Everyone has big dreams they want to achieve at a certain point in life. Make sure you reach yours by not making excuses.
How Accountability Is Key To Self-Discipline
If you’ve ever tried disciplining yourself on your own, you know just incredibly hard it can be. And it’s really no fun. You have no one to share your successes and rewards with, and over time, you may end up eschewing your goals altogether because you had no one to push you or cheer you on to continue working on your goals.
So you just up and quit.
Accountability is important if you want to succeed in disciplining yourself. It comes in two forms: self-accountability and accountability to others.
The first key: self-accountability
Self-accountability is pretty self-explanatory and works great when you have a strong sense of ethics, integrity and self-control. You won’t cheat on yourself and you’ll keep yourself pushing forward and upward.
To make yourself accountable to yourself, you’d need to start off by writing down your goals and what steps you need to take to get there. Then you need to start a daily journal where you write down all the things you’ve done for the day.
If you’ve had doubts about your abilities, if you’ve questions about your sanity or your fears, write it down. And then make sure you write the answers to your negative thoughts so that when you ask the same question again in a month or so, you’ll have the answer to look back on and you should be able to appease your doubts.
As you can see, this method is quite lonely and can get boring which is why I suggest the second method, accountability to others.
The second key: being accountable to others
Accountability to others is simply letting other people in on your goals and asking them to help you reach them. Depending on your arrangement, you can ask your accountability buddy to give you a good talking to if you ever get tempted to do something that’s detrimental to your success.
So choose your buddy wisely.
Pick someone you know has the discipline to actually help you out and would probably have a vested interest in your success. A spouse, parent, sibling, best friend or even your psychologist can be your accountability buddy. Someone you look up to, someone you would like to impress and someone you’d hate very much to disappoint.
Being accountable to yourself and to somebody will change your perspective about reaching your goals. You’d be more conscious of every step you take and you’d have the discipline to actually stick to the path you’ve chosen to follow.
How To Stay Committed To Reaching Your Goals
Let’s admit it, we all have that one goal we’ve been trying to set yet failed to achieve. Think about countless New Year’s resolution attempts, broken piggy banks, a planned vacation that remains a plan.
So how exactly do we go about having a goal and then actually achieve it?
The key to success is an overly used word, yet only followed by a few – “commitment”. Yes, the word does not only apply to relationships. It also applies to everything else in life that one wishes to achieve. It could be with regard to your first million dollars, your weight-loss program, your love life, or simply beating your early-morning alarm.
Commitment is the key. The only problem is that not everyone stays committed. The word itself is associated with fear, distraction, procrastination, and whatnots. You are in luck though, because below are a set of tricks you can carry up your sleeve should you plan to tackle your goals head-on.
Set a Clear and Definite Goal
Another cliché, but this actually is a herculean task for most of us. You must set a realistic goal first, one that you think is worth your efforts if you intend to achieve a result.
It’s not enough that you know what you want to achieve. You also should have a detailed plan before you make that first step. As soon as the path has been carved, it will only be a matter of time (and willpower) before you reach the destination.
We all fall victim to pitfalls and unexpected turns. In fact, a lot of people would stop after the first fall or wrong turn. When challenges come up and emotions cloud your judgment, you need to focus on what your real purpose is and go on with your journey.
This is the reason why goals are planned ahead in detail, so you will not have to analyze (or overanalyze) when you are already midway through your journey. Sacrifices are expected and you will fall a few times. Just get up and keep moving until you reach your destination. Stopping in your tracks, giving up, and turning back are no longer options at this point.
Take it from Mary Poppins, “Just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”. Don’t think of your goal as a task, but a game.
After all, it’s in the journey that we learn the most lessons – not the destination.
Learn To Set Boundaries And Start Saying No
We all need to put boundaries between ourselves and other people because we need a certain amount of space in order to think clearly and act properly.
If you don’t put up boundaries, people will abuse you and your kindness. You might even be forced to do things that go against your will and your beliefs simply because you didn’t have boundaries in place. When this happens, you’ll lose your self-respect and your self-esteem will come crashing down.
Boundaries are important
Boundaries are hugely important when building your self-discipline. It protects you and it helps dictate how you want to be treated. It keeps you real and honest with yourself.
It will help you exude confidence whenever you tell someone “no”. When you have boundaries, you only have to say “no” once because more often than not, the person doing the asking will believe you the first time you say it.
You may not believe it but rejecting people is part of life. No matter what we do, we can’t escape getting rejected by other people and you also will do your fair share of rejecting others too.
If you’ve always acquiesced to doing tasks you don’t particularly enjoy, but you’re too afraid of rejecting the person doing the asking, then you need to start practicing.
Otherwise, it can get to an unhealthy point where you continue doing things that are counterproductive to goals you’ve set for yourself.
If you’d like to achieve your dreams and your goals within a specific time frame, then you’d need to start saying “no” to requests and tasks that do not align with your values and your goals and instead waste your time.
Saying “no” the right way
If you’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, don’t. Because you can’t control people’s emotions. You can, however, make sure you deliver your rejection in a humane manner. You can try explaining why you’re saying no to make them understand your situation.
Also, try using a gentle tone when you deliver the bad news especially if other people are within hearing distance. Rejecting and embarrassing people at the same time is a very rude thing to do so avoid delivering your rejection in such manner.
Setting boundaries and learning to say “no” are important milestones for your self-discipline. If you really find it hard to say “no”, just keep in mind that the more you say “no” to others, the more you say “yes” to your own success.
Resisting Temptations Make You Stronger
There’s no getting around temptations. Whichever way you look, you’ll see temptations all around you. And they become even more noticeable when you’ve set out to accomplish something, such as a long-term goal.
When you initially start working towards your new goals, you’ll be so motivated and you’ll have so much adrenaline pumping through your veins that you seem immune to temptations. Nothing can take your attention away from what you’re trying to build.
In the face of temptation
As time goes by, however, your excitement will start waning off, you won’t be as motivated as before and you’ll start noticing more and more temptations coming your way.
Without self-discipline, you’ll immediately fall victim to these temptations. You’ll find it so hard to say “no” and so much easier to just say “yes”.
If you’ve got an important presentation to give in less than 12 hours, and your friends are literally dragging you out the front door to go watch your favorite band at the arena, and you can’t say “no”, then you’ve got a problem.
Or if you’d rather finish watching your favorite TV series instead of working on your presentation when you know for a fact which activity is more important, then you need serious help.
The more you give in to procrastination and these distractions, the more you veer off the track you’ve set for yourself.
Turning your back on temptations
It’s a different story if you have a healthy stash of self-control hidden somewhere on your being. You’ll recognize temptation for what it is and you’ll do your best to fight it for as long as you can.
You’ll say “no” because you know how to and because you know that if you give in, you’re just putting a roadblock to your success.
Your friends will understand your reasons for rejecting them because they recognize the boundaries you have in place. They might even respect you because who can refuse to watch their favorite band in action, right?
Your determination, your self-control and your self-discipline will be transparent and they’ll believe you mean it when you tell them no.
Resisting temptations make you stronger because the more you say no, the more your resolve to continue your journey strengthens. And with it, you also develop your self-esteem and your self-discipline, too.
Rewarding Self-Discipline and Delayed Gratification
Setting up milestones for reaching your goals is important if you want to succeed. Equally important is setting up a reward system that allows you to enjoy and celebrate each milestone you’ve fulfilled.
But what kind of reward should you give yourself? Should you go out and buy the latest $1,000 iPhone? Or would you settle for self-praise and a pat on the back for a job well done?
The right reward for your hard work
Choosing the right reward is important if you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste. If you’ve worked hard, and succeeded, in losing 10 pounds over 2 months, then you don’t want to reward yourself by going to an all-you-can-eat restaurant.
In fact, your self-discipline will dictate you to stay away from places that will encourage you to eat more than what’s good and healthy for you.
Instead, you can reward yourself by buying a slice of chocolate cake just to get that sugar craving out of the way or you can choose to buy exercise equipment that will help you lose even more weight.
Achieve more with delayed gratification
When you’ve achieved a certain milestone, you might want to consider adopting a delayed gratification system. Instead of immediately rewarding yourself, try extending your reward to the next milestone. This is called delayed gratification.
For example, if you’re trying to lose weight and you’ve set every pound lost as a milestone, then you might want to consider making it 2 pounds instead. This means that when you’ve lost the first pound, you’ll be pushing yourself to lose the second pound quickly so you can finally get your reward (and no, you still shouldn’t reward yourself with an outing at your favorite buffet restaurant).
Delaying gratification is a great exercise to push yourself to do even more. Your self-control and self-discipline will come into play and allow you to focus on completing more tasks so you can finally reward yourself. You just need to egg yourself on, encourage yourself to put one foot in front of the other because your destination is right around the corner.
Lastly, it’s important to point that when practicing delayed gratification, you must have a ‘punishment’ in place as well. So this means if you don’t achieve the milestone you’ve set for yourself, then you don’t get any reward. It’s really that simple. However, if you’re disciplined and committed, then you’ll do everything in your power to achieve your milestones and get your reward.
The Essence Of Adopting a Morning Ritual Habit
If you hate waking up early, then you need to read this article. According to research, creating good habits and sticking to a morning routine plays a huge role in your success. If you’re a night owl, unfortunately, this means you will have to find ways to adapt and change your lifestyle.
Creating a morning routine and turning it into a habit may sound difficult at first. But if you keep at it every day for at least a month, you will start seeing noticeable differences in how you approach your entire day. A morning routine will help you feel more stable and you’ll be so much more in control of your day.
It’s peaceful in the morning
Early mornings don’t have as much distraction as other times of the day. Your family and your neighbors will still be in bed (unless they’ve also adopted this habit), there’ll be less noise on the streets, and your personal space will seem so much bigger.
With less distraction, you’ll be able to think clearly and you’ll have time to exercise, meditate, pray, update your journal, and plan your entire day.
A morning routine will help you feel more in control of your life and you won’t feel as disorganized as before simply because you will have time to think your day through and organize your activities.
Simply put, your morning routine will set the tone for your day.
Get work done early
Mornings are best for getting your most difficult tasks done. Getting these tasks out of the way lets you enjoy relatively stress-free afternoons and you’ll be much happier because you can get more things done in the day.
Your productivity levels will increase and you can even start working in advance on tasks that don’t need to be done until later.
When you get things done earlier and faster in the day, you can reward yourself for a job well done. Just be careful when rewarding yourself though as some rewards may actually be detrimental to your goals.
For instance, if someone asks you to go partying on a weekday, you may want to tell them “no”. You may be tempted but think first if it’s going to somehow cause you to sleep in late and thus wake up late the following day. If this is the case, then simply decline.
No amount of partying can replace what you can accomplish by sticking to, and religiously following, your morning routine habit!
Why Mental Strength Is Important For Self-Discipline
Mental strength significantly affects your self-discipline. In fact, there’s a strong correlation between having a high level of self-discipline and being mentally strong.
Some studies even show that self-discipline is an essential attribute of people who earn more money since discipline is an underlying factor in achieving personal goals. Simply put, people who earn more often have high levels of self-discipline and the mental toughness to finish whatever they started and see it through to the end.
If you find it difficult to discipline yourself, you might want to look first at developing mental strength.
Mental strength lets you say no to temptations and excuses
If you don’t have mental toughness, you’ll find it easy to give in to temptations and distractions. You’ll find it hard to meet your deadlines and your goals simply because you don’t have the mental strength to reject temptations. You’ll also make a habit out of making excuses for why you’re missing deadlines.
If you’re mentally tough, then you won’t have a problem saying “no” to anything that will distract you from reaching your goals. You’ll also stop making excuses and instead do your best to tackle your situation head-on.
Mental strength lets you take good care of your body
If you are mentally strong, you know the value of taking good care of your body. You will not abuse it with alcohol and drugs. Neither will you allow yourself to be under too much stress. You will do everything in your power to make sure you remain in good health because without good health you won’t be able to work towards your goals.
Mental strength lets you stay committed to your goal
In today’s fast-paced world, we can have our choice of anything we want. You can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it. With that being said, if you don’t have mental strength, you will not be able to commit to any goal you’ll set for yourself. You will not be able to give your all because you’ll soon lose interest and you’ll soon start chasing another goal. If you’re mentally strong, you will plan out your steps and processes so you can reach your goal successfully. You won’t be like a white flag in the air flapping every which way the wind blows. Instead, your mental strength and your self-discipline will anchor you firmly to your goals.