Wondering what are the ways to build self-discipline? Here are 7 simple steps to start with, for a happier and more productive life.
When we talk about ‘self-discipline’, you might think that’s a quality someone’s born with! But in reality, it’s a skill that one has to learn, practice, and nurture over time.
You might have seen a friend who orders salad even though others at the table are going gaga over fried chicken, or that friend who works on weekends while the rest of the clan is in a mood to party!
Well, there are the people who know what they want from life and are making an extra effort to be disciplined enough in achieving their goals.
To put it simply, ‘Self-discipline’ is a skill that helps you in controlling your feelings, emotions, and actions.
It’s a consistent ability to walk on a chosen path, that would lead you towards a more productive and less stressful life.
If you’re wondering how to develop this skill and hone a disciplined life, then here’s a simple guide to get you started.
- Ways to build self-discipline:
Ways to build self-discipline:
1. Know your weaknesses. Acknowledge them.
Just like we have a bunch of strengths, we all have weaknesses too. No matter whether it’s something as simple as addiction to junk food or social media, or attributes like fear of failure or trying new things – everything has some effects on us.
Our weaknesses restrict us from achieving our goals – often because we deny to accept them.
It’s important to understand that ignoring your pitfalls will not make them go away from life. Acknowledge your shortcomings – whatever they are.
If it’s about eating those chips and cookies which are affecting your body weight, or your addiction to Instagram that’s hampering your productivity – be conscious about it, rather than being ignorant.
Most of us pretend that our weaknesses just don’t exist, and fall prey to them. But it’ll be good if you own up to your flaws – because recognizing them is the first step towards bringing in some discipline to your life.
2. Get rid of all those temptations.
Drawing lines from the earlier point, our temptations can be a major weakness, leading us to do things that disrupt our wellbeing.
The fewer distractions we have around us, the more focused we can be in life. The popular saying – “Out of sight, out of mind” – is a powerful pro-tip that would help you in getting rid of all those temptations that are holding you back from walking on a disciplined path.
Getting rid of the temptations will automatically lead you towards self-discipline.
If you stock your house with junk food, then you’d never be able to lose weight – because you’ll always feel like munching onto something. And if you resist those chips and cookies, it’ll start affecting your mental peace after a certain point.
But if you don’t have those at home, you’ll not be tempted to eat and that’ll be a blessing for you. Similarly, if you wish to increase your productivity, then turn off the social media notifications during your work hours – and you’ll see the difference.
3. Create a clear plan and set proper goals.
Sometimes, we have so many things on our plate that we end up getting confused. Thus, it’s important to know what you exactly want – set proper goals and have a clear plan to achieve your goals.
Write down your goals (short term and long term), keep them in front of your eyes (maybe a vision board or something) so that you can keep reminding yourself about them – and take small steps towards achieving them.
We can’t become superhumans overnight, to attain all that we want! It takes a lot of effort and hard work, commitment and motivation – to fulfill our dreams and to live the way we want.
Once we know our goals and have a clear idea of the steps we have to take – we can be more disciplined and focused on fulfilling them.
Whether you succeed or fail is a different question, and the end result wouldn’t bother you much if you know you’ve put in your best efforts.
4. Do one thing every day that makes you happy.
When we are disturbed, distracted, or unhappy, we tend to lose track of what we should do and keep self-discipline at bay! Hence, we must do at least one thing every day that makes us happy.
It can be meditating for 10 minutes before you begin your day, or journaling at the end of the day, or it can be gardening, reading a book, etc.
On today’s date, we are all super busy doing a hundred things throughout the day, and often we zone out while running the errands.
Doing what makes you happy will help in rejuvenating your senses and also, bring back discipline in life.
5. Stop procrastinating.
Procrastination is something that not just affects our disciplined life but also hampers our work, relationships, and health.
There are chances that we might ‘get away’ with our procrastination habits, but every time you make an excuse for not doing something you are meant to do, you dig a hole for yourself where you might trip off anytime!
Leaving a task for the last minute will only boost your anxiety and reduce your productivity. Also, research has shown that people who procrastinate are more prone to cardiovascular diseases.
Once we stop delaying things, we’d be aiming to finish things on time, have a sense of containment and mental peace, and have better chances of succeeding in life.
6. Learn to tolerate temporary discomfort.
As humans, it’s natural to try avoiding pain as much as possible. But skipping those short-term discomforts can often lead to long-term problems because once you tend to make it through, you’ll convince yourself that you can always sideline things that cause distress.
Well, to be honest, tolerating temporary discomfort can eventually lead to permanent solutions to various problems.
Run an extra mile even when it gets difficult or resist smoking for a day – and your brain will know that you can do it.
Allow yourself to feel uneasiness for a while because you are stronger than you think you are!
7. Reward yourself more often.
When we were kids, our parents always offered us a treat for good behavior or good grades – it was something we’d look forward to, and it also kept us motivated.
Appreciation is extremely important – but the problem is, as we grow up we often seek validation from others and when we don’t get it, we feel we aren’t good enough!
But once you decide to bring your life on a disciplined track, you’d stop caring about what others have to say, and give more importance to self-validation.
Every time you achieve a goal, reward yourself. It can be a cup of coffee when you finish a day’s work or buying that book you have been craving to read, after you meet the deadlines – having something to look forward to, would always be exciting.
It doesn’t have to be big, but it should be worthy to keep you motivated enough to succeed.
Remember that failures should never stop you from doing things, instead, you should look at them as stepping stones towards success.
Self-discipline is a path that would make your journey towards your goals easier. And the best part is that improving self-control in one area of your life can lead to increased willpower in other areas of your life.