It’s not easy. Becoming a master of self-discipline is tough. The good news is that although it sometimes seems as if you have no control when it comes to certain aspects of your life, really you do. You just might not know it yet.
Self-discipline is one of those things that requires ongoing work. Ongoing practice. And (like anything that takes time to develop), it can be improved. But first, what is self-discipline?
What is self-discipline?
Self-discipline is your consistent ability to control your actions & feelings. When you have a handle on self-discipline, you stay motivated & are more likely to achieve success. It is very strongly connected to willpower which is the control of your impulses & actions. Willpower describes your ability to stay focused. Self-discipline is you taking consistent action over time to improve your willpower. Both self-discipline & willpower go hand in hand.
Benefits of self-discipline
Improving your self-discipline has many benefits including:
Decreases anxiety: When you are in control of how you act, you are less likely to feel anxious.
Increases your ability to achieve your long-term goals: With fewer distractions & self-imposed setbacks, having
self-discipline allows you to achieve your goals. It also means getting to them faster than if you allowed yourself to get distracted.
Makes you feel happier: When you are on the path to achieving your goals, you feel happier because you are making progress. Self-discipline is a major contributor to this.
You become more resilient: As your self-discipline grows, your ability to resist temptation increases. This in turn makes you more resilient as you navigate different circumstances.
Now let’s look at 7 Simple ways to improve your self-discipline:
Learning how to build self-discipline skills can allow you to STOP bad habits, accomplish long & short-term goals, & change your life completely. Think of it as investing in yourself. Here are 7 steps to build your self-discipline & work toward the better life you deserve. If you work at it.
- Countdown, then take action
When you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, count down from ten, then force yourself to do whatever it is you’re doing. A quick countdown can help shift you into the right mental space to get motivated. Sometimes all we need is a little push to take that next step – that’s how self-discipline begins.
- Put your goals where you can see them every day
Writing a goal down makes it real. Hang it up somewhere you (& others) will see it often & inspire yourself. At your work desk, in your bedroom, in your car, etc. Write the goal in your yearly planner. Put it on your kitchen calendar. You can also set actual calendar reminders on your phone to go off once a week or so. But be nice to yourself. Don’t scare or shame yourself into your goals. Be happy, positive & encouraging. Increase self-discipline by adding motivational quotes from people you admire. Not sure you have the right goals? Work with your Coach. He can help. Spend some time going over your goals to make sure they align with the things you genuinely want for yourself.
- Remind yourself why you started
Keep your end-goal in mind without allowing yourself to forget where you started. Constantly remind yourself (especially when it gets hard) how & why you set this goal & what you will have achieved when you’re done. Visualize yourself having taken complete control of your life & accomplishing whatever specific goal you’ve set. Set reminders on your phone to tell yourself how far you’ve come & how proud you are. Self-affirmations are also a wonderful way to keep yourself focused on your why.
- Set small goals first
Try not to overwhelm yourself by setting the bar too high. Build your confidence by setting & achieving a small goal before you go for a big one. For example, if your ultimate goal is to make 150 calls in a week that’s great. Break it down to 30 a day & see that you can accomplish that (with ease). Five days of 30 gets you to 150. Be patient with yourself & try not to get frustrated with the process. Accomplishing those small goals first can give you the motivation you need to keep going.
- Practice prioritizing
Decide which tasks are worth dedicating the most effort to, then organize your day to totally crush them. If you set time aside (on your calendar) to make calls – time-blocking for prospecting calls – you’re less likely to procrastinate. The calendar is a powerful thing. If a task is done it’s a great feeling. If it’s not done, the guilt sets in. Put things you don’t necessarily love at the top of your priorities (Eat the Frog) & you’ll be relieved they’re done instead of putting them off another day.
- Know your weaknesses
You must know your weaknesses to be able to proactively combat them. Determine how you might slip up & how you can prevent that from happening. If you know you need to make 10 follow-up calls next week, but you have a ton of meetings to attend, it might be best to skip a few of the meetings. Get comfortable saying NO. You have the tools to fight back against your own demons. You just need to know them. Be incredibly honest here. What are your weaknesses?
- Find an accountability partner
You are less likely to “cheat on your goals” & much more likely to achieve them if someone is watching (supervisor or Coach). Have them hold you ccountable to things. They want it for you (they want you to succeed) & will be a positive accountability partner. Give them permission to push you – to hold you accountable