We all need discipline in our lives and careers, otherwise, we will barely accomplish anything. Some people are lucky enough to be self-disciplined individuals by nature, but for those who want to acquire that skill, you need to know it needs practice and doesn’t happen overnight. Mastering self-discipline needs some hard work, yes, but the outcome is very promising because simply with self-discipline you can improve the quality of your entire life.
But first, what is self-discipline?
Self-discipline is the ability to control your actions and emotions, and being ok with tolerating a temporary discomfort for the sake of future benefits or success. In other words, self-discipline is willpower and the ability to control your impulses and stay focused on your target or objective. Self-discipline will help you become healthier, manage your finances better, lead a happier more accomplished life, and succeed in your career.
Why does self-discipline seem difficult at the beginning?
• Developing new habits is not easy and needs time.
• It is hard to stick to a habit or a skill when it is not rewarding in the present time and will only be rewarding in the future.
• It is hard to be self-disciplined when you have no target.
How will self-discipline help you?
• Less stress.
• Achieving more goals.
• Better health, relationships, and finances.
• You become more resilient and feel accomplished.
You might be thinking it is easier said than done to become self-disciplined so here are a few steps on how to begin and master this skill.
1. Set clear goals and say motivated. Always ask yourself why? Why do you need to save money, train, or eat healthier? When you have a clear vision of what you want to reach, for instance, buy a new car, become fitter, or have a healthy lifestyle, it becomes easier for you to stick to the habits that help you accomplish this plan.
2. Know your weaknesses. Identify the temptations that stand in your way of self-discipline and try to eliminate them. For example, if you want to lose weight but can’t resist desserts, then consider changing your grocery shopping list so you don’t have any sweets or desserts at home. Or maybe you want to save money but you’re also a shopaholic, then keep your credit card at home and go out with the amount of cash you need only.
3. Don’t be discouraged by discomfort or failure. Change is never easy, especially in the beginning when it is uncomfortable. Don’t let this discomfort inability to stay disciplined demotivate you. Keep trying, get past the temptations and remind yourself of your goals.
4. Don't overwhelm yourself with so much discipline at the same time. Take it one habit at a time so you don’t feel there is drastic change going on. For instance, if you have 3 goals that need you to master self-discipline, start small and take it one goal at a time. The last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed.
5. Assess your progress and remind yourself of your goals regularly. Every step forward no matter how small is something to take credit for. Keep a small paper where you jot down all the times you overcame a weakness and mastered self-discipline. Also, keep your goals in check and always near you to remind yourself why you are doing so in the first place.
Here’s a starter pack on self-discipline with east habits to maintain:
• Meditate 10 minutes a day.
• Read 5 pages of a book.
• Make your bed.
• Eliminate distractions.
Bear in mind that during the time you are trying to learn how to become more self-disciplined, there will be times where you don’t get a grip of things; you might get a bit uncomfortable that you’d want to get back to your old habits. You’d feel it is easier the way you lived before, but remember change is always uncomfortable, but in this specific area of trying to get hold of your life, your choices, and actions, change will be for the best.