Since the start of the year, I have blogged about making resolutions, forming new habits, and being open to change. None of these changes can survive without a healthy dose of self discipline. If want to achieve more than you ever thought possible, the next few minutes of your time can be a game-changer. Contrary to what you might have been told in the past, self-discipline is not being harsh to yourself or living a restrictive lifestyle. Rather it is the ability to practice self-control of your actions, and your reactions, the power to stick to hard decisions, and follow them without flaking.
Characteristics includes the ability to postpone immediate enjoyment in favor of future rewards, resolve that pushes us towards working on our goals until we achieve them, strength to overcome addictions, laziness, and procrastination, and the ability not to give up regardless of setbacks and failures.
No quality is more important in the attainment of long-term sustainable success. Whether you seek to enhance your relationships, work ethic, or health, nothing beats self-discipline as the principal trait. However, while it doesn’t always come naturally, the good news is that it can become a learned behavior. Provided you have created a SMART goal, which of the following proven techniques will you implement?
Remove temptation from your environment is a critical first step. Self-control as an attribute, is one instance in which the saying “out of sight, out of mind” rings so true. For instance, if you are looking to minimize distractions (such as social media) turn off your mobile notifications, and block all social media until a time of your choosing. Need to lose weight? Remove the unhealthy foods from your cabinets and pantry. Schedule time for physical activity, especially if time is one of your excuses.
There will never be a perfect time. Kick the habit of waiting for all things to align perfectly before embarking on any journey. Embrace simple things: changing your daily routine, breaking bad habits such as negative thinking, actively developing new ones, even if it does not feel right in your mind. Start now, tomorrow is not promised to anyone.
Reward yourself for achievements, no matter how small. Being self-disciplined does not mean you have to become miserable or adopt a cold-turkey, drill sergeant type of life. In fact, by being too rigid, you are opening yourself up to disappointment, failure, and the possibility of falling back into old habits. Instead, have days when you relax your regimen.
Don’t beat yourself up for setbacks. At some point, you will fall into some old habits. Pick yourself up and recommit to the journey. You have to accept that there will be spectacular failures and fabulous successes. Don’t get too hung up in frustration, guilt, and anger, but rather acknowledge mistakes as an essential part of the learning process.
Ultimately, developing self-discipline will allow you to live more freely by making choices that are more positive and healthy.
To Your Success,