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 on 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 fail.
Self discipline, like any other skills, can be trained and improved. This article with guide you on how to improve self discipline. 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 to be ready for the next day.
Here’s the thing..
Make sure that whenever you need to do other things that are not in your list, the reason should be more important than of your current to-do list. Else, punish yourself for not achieving that to-do item on your list. Yes, I’m not kidding.
Punish yourself according to how important the missed action-items are. On the other hand, get yourself a reward if you manage to finish everything in your to-do list.
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 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.
There’s this old saying that says “Out of sight, Out of mind” which 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, instagram and etc.
Mahirap ba? LOL. I’ve been there but all I can say is it’s worth doing. 🙂
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 your regular practices and tendencies whenever you do things. It’s like your trademark for achieving stuffs on things you are working on. It can either be good or bad based on how it affects the result of what you want to achieve.
One way to improve your self discipline is to break the 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 bad habits, you need to identify and become aware first. Next is to list all of your bad habits such as procrastination, playing online games for too long, disobeying traffic rules, not wearing ID or uniform in school and in work, smoking, drinking, too much spending, and etc.
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 a better life and a better you, then you must oblige yourself to not ever do these things ever again.
You can change things little by little. If you are really desperate to be a better guy, you can. It will not be that hard, trust me. What your mind can conceive, you can achieve.
There are times that you need a friend or friends to help be reminded of your bad habits. True friends don’t tolerate wrong doings. Let them know that you want to change for the better. 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 feather, flock together”. If you’ve been hanging with the unproductive people, without dreams, lazy, negative thinkers, and the likes, guess what? You will likely to be like them. Better start finding people whom you resonate with.
Find the optimistic people, the productive ones, the ones who take responsibilities, the ones who take actions, the ones who take risks to achieve their goals.
Engage yourself with the right people, the ones who have similar 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 creatures and it is inevitable to not deal with other people in this life if you want to go far. The thing we need is the right set of people to get 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, feeling like you can’t do it, but you need to be optimistic in these kind of situations.
Always look on your goals and reasons why you’re doing what you’re doing. Your family, your loved ones, people around you, and yourself. When 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 tip on how to program your subconscious mind. Before doing anything, state the action you’re about to take. Say out loud repeatedly until your mind absorb 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”.
This way, you are programming mind that everything that will come out of your mouth, will surely be put into execution, and you are ready for more. You can use other statements and be creative as you want.
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 stuff, it takes constant practice and effort to achieve self discipline. 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
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