The ability to make yourself do,
what you should do,
when you should do it,
whether you feel like it or not.
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to man’s success and happiness, but there is only one factor that brings sustainable, long-term effect in all areas of life and that is self discipline. Whether you are in a diet or workout, studying, doing business, doing or training for anything you want to accomplish, self discipline is necessary to achieve your goals, live a healthy lifestyle, and lastly, to be happy.
People with high levels of self discipline do not allow their decisions be affected by impulsive reactions and feelings. These people always make rational decisions having in mind the possible outcome so they don’t get overly stressed and upset if their decisions results to failure. Self discipline, like any other, can be trained and improved. This article with guide you ways on how to improve self discipline and if you’re ready, here we go.
Ways To Improve Self Discipline
1. Write Down Your To-Do List
Just right before going to bed, list down all the necessary things you need to accomplish for tomorrow’s activities. This way, you are preparing your mind that you will do this and that for the next day. Here’s the thing: If for some reason you will not be able to do a certain task you put on your list, make sure that, that reason is way more important than your to-do list. Else, punish yourself for not achieving that to-do item on your list (No, I’m not joking). It is up to you if it will be a big or small punishment depending on how important that is. Similarly, get yourself a reward if you manage to get all the job done.
2. Remove Distractions
There are two things that can distract you on anything that you are doing, external distractions and internal distractions. External distractions include those external things that enters your senses that causes the triggers to change what you are currently doing. Internal distractions on the other hand are things that comes from within you such as emotions, ideas, health, and etc.
To remove external distractions, there’s this old saying that says “Out of sight, Out of mind” that you can use to remove the temptations and distraction that prevents you on doing important things. If you’re working on computer stuffs, don’t open social media sites such as facebook, twitter, and instagram.
Mahirap ba? LOL. I’ve been there but it’s worth doing so. 🙂
To remove the internal distractions, eat healthy foods, exercise, and etc to keep your body fit to get all your jobs done. Emotions and ideas can be controlled by practicing meditation. Learn how to meditate at least 5 minutes everyday as meditation is really a powerful and effective way to declutter your mind.
3. Change Your Bad Habits
Habits are the regular practice you tend to do in your every activities. It’s like your trademark for achieving stuffs you need to work on, but habits can either be good or bad. One way to improve your self discipline is to break these bad habits that hinder you to achieve your goals whether it be acing an exam, reaching your first million in your business, hitting your diet goal, or anything you want to achieve.
To change these habits, identify and list all of your bad habits such as procrastination, playing online games for too long, disobeying traffic rules, not wearing Id or uniform in schools and in work, smoking, drinking, too much spending, and etc. Then, once you have identified all these things, ask yourself why are you doing that. You need to realize why you are doing such things. Some of these bad habits may be hard to break but if you really want change for the better life, the better you, then you must oblige yourself to not ever do these things again.
You might want to change little by little or if you are really desperate to be the better guy, it will not be that hard, trust me. There may be some point that you might need a friend or friends that can help to remind you of this. True friends don’t tolerate wrong doings. Let them know that you want to change for the better and if they are really true to you, they will help.
If you’re interested, read: Advantages of Being Disciplined
4. Surround Yourself With Right People
There is this saying that “Birds of the same feathers, flock together”. If you’ve been hanging with the unproductive people, without dreams, lazy, negative thinkers, and the likes, better start finding people who are with your frequency. Find those optimistic people, the productive ones, the ones who take responsibility, the ones who take actions, the ones who take risks to achieve their goals. Engage yourself with the right people, the ones that have the same dreams as yours, the ones who can help you achieve your goals, the ones you can also help whenever they are in trouble.
As another saying goes, “If You Want To Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want To Go Far, Go Together”. We are social creature and it is inevitable that we will always going to have people in our circle. The only thing is that we need the right people to get be in our circle.
5. The Mind Trick
I somehow believe the “Fake it till you make it” strategy with regards to improving self discipline. At some point in your journey to success, you will have this feeling of loneliness, feeling down, feels like you can’t do it, but you need to be optimistic in these kind of situations. Always look on your goals and the reason why you are doing that. Your family, your loved ones, people around you, yourself. When the situations get rough, just tell yourself “I can do this”, (Kaya yan!). When you think you fail, just tell yourself “I’ve learned something new”.
The Spoken Word
Here’s a little programming tip for your subconscious mind. Before you do a any thing, say it repeatedly until your being absorbed it. Once you’ve done your task, say something like “I have finished ______ (what you did) because I’m not lazy. Now, I am going to do ______ (your next task), I got bunch of energy, i will do more.” In this manner you are programming yourself that everything you say, you will really do it and once done, you are ready for more. You can use other spoken word and be creative as you want but the goal is you need to program yourself to be more productive and positive.
Here’s a video that will open your mind for possibilities:
6. Learn To Prioritize
When asked about his productivity strategies, President Barrack Obama said, “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing because I have too many other decisions to make.”
Learn the level of importance of your daily, weekly, month, yearly tasks or goals. Put the necessary things on top of the list and the not-so-important ones on the bottom. Before you go to sleep, list for tomorrow’s tasks and make it in a SMART way. (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timely) This way, you’ll be able to make a list of not just random tasks but the important ones.
Just like any other stuffs it takes constant practice and effort to achieve just about anything. No one is genius without having reading a bunch of books. No entrepreneur is an instant millionaire. No any sport player is an instant champion. No any musician is an instant instrument god. It always takes practice, effort, time, and sweat. It may even take away even some of your happiness BUT to become much better and much happier.
Know more about the benefits of having self discipline, read: Advantages of Being Disciplined