7 Habits to Master Self-Discipline
The most common attribute of every successful person you will meet is self-discipline. They understand that this is the key to achieving their goals and dreams in their life. The thing is, self-discipline doesn’t come naturally to anyone, and successful people have to work hard at it, and practice it every day.
Whether it’s success in their personal or professional lives, it all starts with an implicit understanding of self-control through self-discipline. Your thoughts, your emotions, your behaviours, and your habits; all of these things must be worked on and kept under control.
This is all done by setting a foundation of good habits that will help you get through those times when you don’t feel up to the task that needs to be done.
So how is discipline created? The answer is, in our habits! Your behaviour is habit-driven, so if you want to control your ability to be self-disciplined, you have to control your habits.
In particular, there are 7 habits you can do that can help you discipline yourself. If you can instil these 7 habits into your life, you can create the foundation for achieving your goals. Without these habits, you’ll just be stabbing around in the dark. So if you want to achieve your goals, understand how to discipline yourself.
“Achieving your goals and dreams starts with inspiration, but in the end, getting there is all down to self-discipline.” – Sacha Desmarais
First things first, self-discipline isn’t really that difficult to create or have. All you need is a little inspiration to kick in. With inspiration, discipline becomes natural, because when we’re feeling inspired, that surge of energy naturally drives us forward. When we’re feeling inspired, we’re more committed to the task at hand. Without inspiration, though, our commitment levels tend to waver, and it subsequently makes it more challenging to exercise self-discipline.
It is important that you keep your commitment alive by looking for inspiration in everything you do. You can collect inspiration from the people you surround yourself with, from books, quotes, seminars or conferences, courses, podcasts or even movies. However, inspiration without action leads to nothing. You must use inspiration as a platform to help you progress.
Have A Buddy (accountability partner)
Having someone you can report to on what you want to achieve in your goals is a great way to start practicing being disciplined. Work with a friend, or find a mentor who you will see on a weekly basis. Together, talk about what you want to achieve, and write down the things you need to do to achieve it. Set a timeline, in order of shortest time to longest, and set specific dates on when you want to achieve them. Make an agreement with your buddy, and check in with them each week on how you are progressing. Having an accountability partner improves your self-discipline, because now your integrity is on the line.
A Daily Routine
Have a routine that you do twice a day, in the morning and before you go to bed. Keep a journal, and start the day by taking 5-10 minutes to write down your personal and professional goals. After that, plan your day. Write down your tasks for the day that need to be completed by the end of the day. Discipline yourself to accomplish tasks, starting off with the biggest and most stressful. Consistently completing the more stressful tasks first will also help decrease the stress of future bigger tasks, because you will be disciplined to complete what you have set yourself. End the day by checking off your tasks and reviewing your goals.
A good night’s rest is also important for you to stay focused, energised and recovered from the previous day. And just like the other things we have discussed, it’s also good to have a routine when it comes to bedtime.
Let go of whatever is stressing you the most. If it’s something that you didn’t complete in your day, put it in your tasks for the next day, and let it go.
Now is also a good time to practice journaling. Journaling is a great way to release any negative energy that you may still be carrying from your day, and will help you. This is where you can wrap up your day mentally and emotionally.
Hmmm… Don’t we hear this one a lot. Maybe there’s something to it. Start an exercise regime that suits your life goals. What this means is: be realistic. If you can only go to the gym twice a week and find it hard to eat lots, you don’t want to be a body builder. Be truthful with what you want to achieve physically. Yes, it’s great to exercise every day, and it will make a huge difference to your mind and body, but it has to be sustainable to help you achieve the big picture. Having a trainer is a great idea, because, like the buddy from the first tip, you will have someone that will work with you, guide you and keep you accountable.
100% Commitment with an End Result.
Set yourself a goal that you have to commit to 100%. You can start off small, like entering a fun run. Then, depending on what you want to achieve, commit to it; for example, sign a contract or registration and paying for it in advance. Telling your friends and family will also get help. Once you do this there is no backing out, because you will be held accountable by your integrity.
“If you commit, you can’t quit” – Sacha Desmarais
Here are a few examples of committing to a goal:
- Fitter and stronger – Buy 20 sessions with a trainer
- Healthier – Nutritional Program with regular check-ins
- Self-Improvement – Get a life coach for 3 months up-front
- Professional – Get a business or career coach
Sometimes to get that extra bit of discipline, you are going to need the assistance of a coach. These professionals have made it their life passion to help others. There is no need to look at them as people who are there to take your money! Their business is results-driven, and it’s your results that drive them. However, my tip is to do your research, and have a chat to them first. But when you make a commitment like this, you will find it hard to quit.
Give yourself something to be excited about by planning a reward when you accomplish your goals. Take a long weekend, or have a holiday somewhere special. Make that purchase that you’ve been denying yourself for so long, because you don’t feel you deserve it. Having something to look forward to gives you the motivation to succeed. When you achieve your goal, find a new goal and a new reward to keep yourself moving forward
In conclusion, remember: you are only human, and the key is to keep progressing. If you slip-up, acknowledge what caused it and let it go. You don’t want to get wrapped up in guilt, anger or frustration, because these negative emotions will drag you down and impede your progress. Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and refocus on your goals.