All of us have a goal, it could be something like owning your own business/company or something as simple as getting up early – big or small, it doesn’t matter, we’re all aiming towards something.
The first step towards achieving the goals we set for ourselves is to master discipline or more importantly, make ourselves more disciplined.
What Is Self Discipline?
When you wake up in the morning, a little voice in your head might tell you to lie back down. “Just for 5 more minutes.”,i t might say. The ability to push away that temptation and actually getting up and doing something productive – that is self discipline!
Discipline is about putting your future self and prioritising it above your present, it about making changes and sacrificing some pleasures.
The most important and also one of the most difficult life skill to develop in life, which will surely, in the long run help you reach that ultimate goal.
To be disciplined is to sit down and work,to work on and towards the goals you set. For yourself, to do that work no matter how tedious it is,no matter how demotivated you are. It is to fight through and hustle regardless of your current situation.
Why To Be Disciplined?
Discipline is about resisting/overcoming short term temptations to put all our effort and hard work into the long term goals that actually matter. When you develop the ability to resist those feelings, you provide yourself with a sense of fulfillment and happiness, something that will continuously repeat as you keep on developing your skills.
When you have a goal oriented attitude and discipline to back you up, you can reach great lengths in life, you only need to learn how to combine both of them!
As someone who has been (trying to) developing the habit of self discipline
Here Are Some Tips
1) Accepting weaknesses
Just like every self improvement skill, it is important to acknowledge and accept your shortcomings.
When you accept within yourself that you need to make changes, it motivates your mind into doing better and pushing yourself further outside your comfort zone.
While looking over your shortcomings, try to look at yourself not from a negative light. There is always scope for improvement – but going for an unrealistic image of perfect will not help.
Know yourself as who you are, accept yourself and love yourself, then make slow steady changes.
2) Get rid of temptations
When you resist temptations around you, you build a stronger willpower. But expecting yourself to have a strong goal oriented vision within 2 days is unrealistic. Having that level of self control is a skill that is honed with a lot of training over a long time.
Developing self discipline is a long process, that will take some time for sure. To build up discipline, learn to push off temptations.
As a beginner, it is always good to actually remove them from around you.
• When you go to bed, keep away devices that will keep you in bed in the morning. Instead of setting an alarm on your phone,get an actual alarm clock.
• While studying/working, keep away from distractions, turn everything off except for what you’re actually working on.
Having distractions away from your general sight/area of vision gives the little boost you need.
3) Map it out
Sometimes, simply having a goal in mind doesn’t help. At times, it’s important to have a step by step plan of the grand map towards your goal.
Having a step by step execution plan not only helps you know exactly what to do and how to do it, but at the same time, it gives that push and motivation you might need on a gloomy day.
Whether you actually write down each step of the map or simply store it in one corner of your brain, it is important to have a plan of action and also a backup plan for the times when things might not go your way.
It’s good to be optimistic about the future,but at times being prepared for the harsh conditions life throws at you can really help, especially when it comes to big life decisions.
Not having an alternate plan can sometimes demotivate you and push you to throw in the towel, but when you have an idea of what to do in the ‘what if’ situations, that might just pump you up to go for round 2!
4) Building blocks to building you
Just like little kids use building blocks to build a toy or a puzzle, you build a better version of yourself by replacing building blocks with discipline.
Making discipline a habit, and developing self discipline via daily habits is the most easiest way to master it.
Instead of making it an option, make it a part of your daily habits and everyday life.
Take those steps and press it into your daily life. When you make it an everyday thing your subconscious self will not allow you to push it off for some other time.
A point to note is that the hardest part of having a routine is actually following through with it, every single day. So instead of adding new things to your daily life, try to change the old habits you had.
Making small subtle changes won’t affect your daily life too tragically but at the same time it will help you get on track to make more impactful changes.
Don’t let yourself slack off. The urge to slack off comes when you’re unable to have a strong hold on your discipline. But know that it is not an overnight skill, you need to learn to push off urges to relax and laze.
Self discipline is about acting on your thoughts, do not let your feelings get in the way.
If you feel like slacking off and doing less work, push off that feeling and get to work!
Sometimes it’s important to not be dependent on motivation – sometimes you just have to push through.
At the same time, it’s important to learn to distinguish between pushing through and overworking yourself.
Don’t let yourself fall down the path that eventually you start hating what you’re doing. You should still be able to enjoy what you do and it should bring you some form of happiness.
5) Rewards are okay!
Once in a while, reward yourself. When you complete an exceptionally difficult task, when you push yourself a little harder than other days, when you let go of comfort and work instead. Reward yourself to thank yourself for being a better person.
Reward yourself to remind yourself of the love you have for yourself (try saying that 3 times).
Know that occasionally rewarding yourself is okay and you shouldn’t have to feel bad about showing yourself some kindness and love.
Also, learn that it’s okay to make mistakes, to trip and fall every once in a while. Try not to beat yourself up over every small thing.
Learn that it is only human nature to make mistakes. Learn from these mistakes and move on, don’t let it stick to you.
Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.– Lou Holtz