What is self discipline? How can we maintain it? Why is it so difficult to master?
I remember when I was younger hearing the word discipline all the time!
If it wasn’t from my teachers at school then it was from my parents at home!
There was always some adult barking on about it. At the time I figured it just meant sticking to things, you know, finishing what you start, like a puzzle, cleaning, hobby etc… all that jazz!
So lets define it: Discipline is- finding concrete reasons to do a task or activity, then deciding to commit to the task or activity by completing it, or repeating it as many times as necessary.
To be able to commit to anything in life, we need to have some sort of inner drive, what sets your soul on fire? What motivates you to wake up in the morning?
There are many things that can stop us from achieving our goals, and in this day in age most of us look for quick gratification.
This is partly because we lack self control, we want things here and now! Self discipline means looking at our long term gains, holding back on desires (immediate gratification)and taking the long road to satisfaction. Usually there is a quicker route but it’s often less stable and doesn’t last very long!
After stating all of the above, it still doesn’t make self discipline any easier does it? So how can we simplify self discipline to the point that it’s more easier to digest?
First things first, lets take it one day at a time. Build consistent daily habits, you know those things that you know are good for you but you put off or don’t bother doing…..start with those before you tackle the big stuff!
Self discipline isn’t just about repeatedly doing things, you have to think how crazy life can get sometimes. During those periods you have to be able to adapt, correct or change whatever’s necessary to stay on track!
Its important to be proactive! We need to be, when there’s no one else around to push you, then what? Focus is a big part of being able to reach goals, get rid of what doesn’t matter! I’m talking about people, thoughts and things. This doesn’t have to be in a bad way, but if it isn’t beneficial then it’s a distraction!
Ten Tips on developing self discipline!
1. What’s your reason? Don’t just pick any goal because everyone’s doing it, you need to be passionate, it has to have a place in your heart for you to go after it till the end! Think about what inspires you and why you want it.
2. Find a way to hold yourself accountable for your actions or have someone assist you in this area e.g. personal trainer, teacher, friend or children.
3. Achieving long terms goals can get boring, staying motivated is important so use incentives as a way of rewarding yourself for positive behaviour,and penalties as a way to put yourself back in line if you mess up!
4. Uphold your personal standards- now these are different for everyone but they are like unwritten rules that we go by. Usually we are reminded of them through our conscience and they help us decide how we are going to behave in any given situation. Its an agreement with ourselves, what we will and will not accept!
5. Role Models- be around people that bring out the best in you, read inspiring books/articles that bring your imagination to life. This will motivate you and remind you that you are not alone.
6. Visualize your desired outcome, the more you picture your goal, imagine it in your mind, the more your mind will accept it as reality and the quicker it will start to manifest.
7.Learn to prioritize- structure is necessary, the more there is, the less decisions you have to make. Do this daily, make lists, decide what’s important first and get those things done! Then you can work on the rest.
8. Tracking your progress is important, it helps you see how far you have come and keeps you focused on what you need to prepare for ahead.
9. Don’t make excuses if you fail to do something, especially if the reason isn’t valid. At the same time don’t get hung up on failures as these are a part of your growth journey and build great character.
10. Finally- there’s no such thing as perfect, so stop trying to attain it, instead try to find ways to enjoy the process and live your best life at the same time!
Conclusion- it is easy to be inspired, but inspiration without action leads to lost and forgotten dreams. Use your imagination as a rocket launcher to explore the many possibilities of the universe, but stay grounded by only pursing the dreams that you are truly passionate about!