Do you need a little discipline in your life? Struggling to study because you’re watching your favorite Netflix show? Not able to commit to something because you’re not fully invested in it?
Building and maintaining self-discipline is hard, especially if you’re doing it for a certain amount of time. For example, losing weight for some people is hard. For others, getting rid of something that isn’t good for them is hard also (drinking coke or eating ice cream every day).
I lacked self-discipline for the longest time. When I tried to study for something, I would find myself watching youtube videos an hour or later. My oh, My did I reap those consequences! So, I chose to make a change because if I was going to graduate from college (which I did, Whoohoo!), I had to change my mindset, make a plan, set goals, build a new habit, and execute them to complete my goals. This led me to feel good about my accomplishments, especially when I graduated.
Overall, when you have the mindset to make the change, self-discipline will follow.
If you think about it, developing habits is not without self-discipline. If you want to build a particular habitual routine, you will need the right mindset and self-discipline. This is what we’re also going to talk about in this post.
In this post, you’ll be able to understand and apply self-discipline the right way that fits your lifestyle. You’ll also discover why self-discipline is necessary and how you can also master it.
Before we start, I wanted to provide you some questions and answers concerning self-discipline.
This post is about tips for building self-discipline
What is Self-Discipline?
The word self-discipline in the dictionary means “the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weakness.”
It also means the “ability to pursue that one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.”
Overall, it means that if you have the desire to do something, you’ll do whatever it takes to get it. So let’s say you want to lose weight, no matter what. Then that means you’ll rid of food and drinks that make you gain weight (and that isn’t good for you). You’ll also seek foods and drinks that are good for you, you’ll exercise, and among other things that’ll accommodate to help you attain the weight you desire.
Is Self-Discipline A Learned Skill?
Yes, self-discipline is a learned skill. It’s not something you can automatically do. It needs to be learned. It can be learned if you’re establishing something on a routine basis. You use self-discipline as a skill in so many ways: when you’ve learned how to ride your bike, a new sport, and even when you’re learning how to save money. These are different ways that you use self-discipline.
Why Is Discipline So Important In Your Life?
Well, being disciplined has everything to do with every aspect of your life. Have you ever heard of self-control? That’s basically the same meaning. You’re controlling yourself from doing something that may either harm you or build you up. Yes, self-discipline may help us to resist us from doing something wrong, but it also helps us to do right too.
Here are some benefits to self-discipline:
- stops you from doing things on impulse
- It helps you persevere trials
- You can achieve goals
- it helps you become a good person when keeping a promise for a friend or family
- You become more focused on the things that are important to you rather than wasted things there temporarily (ex: saving money for a car instead of buying you a second computer that you may not really use at all)
Imagine if you didn’t have any discipline in your life. Picture this: someone said something so wrong to you that you couldn’t control yourself and basically told them off (physically, verbally, you name it). I’m just being honest here. Or let’s say that you didn’t have self-control over your money. You would just spend until you didn’t have anything worth saving for. That is why self-control is very important.
Think about your life. Every decision you’ve made is based on your self-discipline. From your job, school, money, setbacks, and even your peers, there were some choices you had to make that required you to have some sort of self-control. The only way to desire self-discipline is to practice it daily. Period.
Why Do we lack self-discipline?
Well, that is dependent on the person and their environment. Every person is unique when it comes to self-discipline. You can either have a little bit of discipline or have a lot of discipline. Some people develop self-discipline easily while others take time developing it.
If you live in an environment that doesn’t support self-discipline, you will also lack self-discipline, unless you’re resilient of course. If you’re the type of person that always gives up when trying something new, you lack self-discipline. Overall, self-control is dependent on you and what you do in your environment.
How Can You Master Self-Discipline?
It takes practice, practice, and practice. It also depends on you and your life. If you want to change your life for the better, you will have to make the decision to do it. This is when having the right mindset, values, and, most of all, self-discipline comes in.
When you are tempted to do something, you only have two choices: fall into the pit or go around the pit. When you have a goal of buying a nice car, but it requires you have a couple of hundreds of dollars, you can either save up money or continue spending it all.
Mastering discipline can either be easy for the person or difficult. It just depends on the person.
If you want to master discipline, consider these two mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. When someone has a fixed mindset, they believe that their personality, character, and tait are permanent and it cannot be changed. On the other hand, the growth mindset believes in adaptability, patience, hard work, and persistence to learn something new.
If you want to master discipline, you have to remove your fixed mindset. You have to change your fixed mindset and turn into a growth mindset. For example, let’s say you wanted to open your own business, but lo and behold, someone you know opened up the same business and they’re way ahead of you. You also have been working on building your business but it is nowhere near your competition. Because of this, you’re comparing your journey to theirs, which leads to a negative mindset. You tell yourself ‘you’re not good at branding’ or ‘you’ll never understand marketing sales’. You might even say these words… ‘I’m just not cut up for this’. These thoughts then turn to fixed beliefs of yourself and your abilities. In everything you do, you’re going to sell yourself short.
The truth is that your fixed beliefs are holding you back from reaching your goals. Your fixed mindset steals your power. It puts distance between you and your big goals. Though goals require hard work and persistence, you can accomplish your goals by setting up appropriate discipline techniques.
Is Self-Discipline The Key To Success In Life?
Yes, self-discipline is the key to having success in your life! If you have certain goals you want to accomplish in your life, the only way to do it is through discipline. If you don’t practice self-control, you cannot guarantee success in life. With self-discipline, you can overcome obstacles and discomforts that may prevent you from reaching your goals.
It’s all about perspective. More often than not, people who’ve achieved results you only dream of have generally put in much more work and effort behind the scenes than what is evident on the outside.
From studying, building a business, even to just simply cleaning the garage, self-discipline can bring you very far.
Also, understand this: though discipline can be seen as ‘in the box’ or rigid, it truly liberates you from negative beliefs of yourself and your life. It helps you make decisions that will transform your life for the better. It increases patience, good character, and moral values that you believe in. It really does.
Ok! Now that we’ve covered some basic questions, let’s get to some ways you can build self-discipline.
Tips building self-discipline #1: Start small
One way to build self-discipline is to start small. If there was a goal you’ve always wanted to achieve, then start by something you can easily do. For example, you can start brushing your teeth day and night. You can start taking little walks every day or week for 30 minutes. Another is by not using your smartphone after a certain time, so you can a good sleep. You can even start sleeping a bit earlier than you usually do (if you’re a late sleeper). You have to start somewhere so then when you have conquered the small things, you can move on to bigger things.
Tips building self-discipline #2: Change your habits
Changing your habits also means changing yourself. If you were the type of person that gave up on things too easily, that has to change. If you were the person that was afraid of failing at something rather than just trying it and seeing it for themselves, that has to change too. Change your habits means changing your lifestyle, your mindset, and your attitude. It’s like rewiring yourself to do things you’re not used to doing, and boy does it take practice!
To maintain self-discipline, writing out your goals the day before and telling yourself that you’re going to accomplish them is one way to motivate yourself. Get a bit excited to do them (not too much though) when it comes to it because you’re developing these habits for a reason.
So for you to accomplish something, you have to believe in yourself enough to do it!
Tips building self-discipline #3: Find an accountability partner
There is not support better than close friends and family. If you’re having trouble achieving your goals, to build your self-discipline, tell your trusted family member or friend about the goal you’re trying to pursue. Letting them know what you’re doing can help you gain the support you need to keep on and finish the race.
Finding an accountability partner is a great way to start your journey to building your self-discipline. as stated, they can provide you with support, encouragement, prayer, and more. Find someone who you really trust that will always help you whenever you need it. If you’re troubled, disappointed, or even mad, your accountability partner will be the one you will go to.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments – Jim Rohn
Tips building self-discipline #4: Understand the importance of your goals
We all have choices. You made the choice to wake up this morning rather sleeping in. You even made the choice to go to work instead of just calling. Choices lead to either good or bad consequences, this is the same when you use or don’t use self-discipline.
That is why you need to understand the importance of your goal. If you recognize that your goal is an important aspect of your life, then you’ll be able to achieve it. No matter how long this goal may be, understand its importance in your life. Plus, make sure that your goal is something worth doing so it can push and motivate you to complete it. Plus, when you understand your goals, you also to understand your values, what you desire most in life. This, hence, motivates you to grow into a person that is strong and able to do anything they set their mind to do.
Tips building self-discipline #5: Limit your distractions
For your habit to stick, there may have to be some things that may have to taken away or added into your lifestyle. You will have to limit your distractions. Let’s say your goal is to not sleep as late as you did before. Well, you have to think about some certain things that may have had caused you to sleep late, like looking into your smartphone or even watching a late movie. Substitute these things for a book or writing in a journal.
Whatever goal you want to accomplish, make sure that you change your lifestyle so it can match your desired goal.
Tips building self-discipline #6: Keep on…believin’
*I actually had to put on the music Don’t Stop Believin by Journey (awesome song by the way) to write this.
Imagine this: you’ve decided on a goal to make. You’re so hyped up on getting started on it that you can’t sleep at night. So then, you finally started on your goal. Day by day you’re accomplishing your goals while using self-control and it’s going well.
However, something happened one day. You’re now a bit upset or discouraged, ready to give up on this goal. You’re telling yourself “what ‘s the point of accomplishing it?” or “I don’t think I’m cut out for this.” A lot of negative thoughts are going through your mind that you’re almost on the brink of giving up.
DON’T STOP BELIEVING!
However, before you do keep believing or keep going, reflect on why you think you can’t achieve this goal. Give yourself a moment to ponder why this did not work for you rather than just giving up. Try to understand the problem, provide a solution, encourage yourself, and do whatever is necessary to KEEP BELIEVING!
We’re always busy during the day that we forget to have at least some alone time later on. Quiet time gives you the opportunity to reflect on your goals but also gives you the time to relax.
Remember, developing habits takes a while. That is why you need to reflect on them, see if your specific goals make sense. Maybe your current situation has changed it your developing habits do not align with your current situation.
This is also a good developing habit, getting the time to spend to yourself by relaxing and refreshing your mind is one way to see and think clearly of your goals.
Related post: 5 Reasons You’re Not Reaching Your Purpose
Tips building self-discipline #7: Keep a journal
I recently wrote a guide to how journaling can be the best mindful exercise to ever help you change your life. Journaling can help you draw and sort out your emotions. Journaling can help you understand yourself more. Also, journaling can be used in so many ways, especially when it is about achieving goals.
Think of your journal as a way to track your goals, as you’re pursuing it daily. This way, you can look back on the days when you had little wins and losses, negative thoughts, and all other things that you may go through as you pursue your goals.
Keeping a journal also requires some self-control because you’re writing down your journey as you’re trying to reach your goal.
Tips building self-discipline #8: Celebrate the little wins
Celebrating the little wins is one of the ways to help you progress towards your goal. Did you accomplish something that was related to your goal? Celebrate it. Get that ice cream or a favorite movie and enjoy the night in, or go out with friends. Keep focusing on the goal, but also celebrate the achievements you’ve made as you progress toward your goal.
Make the decision today, right now, to build yourself up to be self-controlled. Self-discipline can be easy or it can be tough. But in the end, it’s all based on your life and how you desire to live.
The future depends on what we do in the present – Mahatma Gandhi
Tips building self-discipline #9: Make it fun
Who says self-discipline isn’t fun? Reaching your goal doesn’t have to hard or difficult. Add some flair to it, you know? If your goal is to brush your teeth day and night, put some music on as you brush your teeth. Add some candles and maybe some soft music during your journaling sessions. Whatever you need to help you achieve your goal, use them with caution.
Tips building self-discipline #10: Worry about you
Here is the truth: there will be some naysayers out there. They won’t believe in your dreams or goals. Some will mean well, while others don’t. It’s up to you to determine who is going to be there to support you and help you achieve your dreams.
For those that don’t believe in your dreams, respect them, but you might need to keep a distance from them. If you want to build your discipline, you will have to limit those that don’t believe in you. If you want to build a blog, travel the world, lose weight, or even just not work for a while (which takes a lot of planning), you will need to separate yourself from those that may not see the whole picture.
Do what’s best for you because you’re the only one that knows who you are and what you need.
Tips building self-discipline #11: Visualize Your Process
Another method that works for building self-discipline is visualizing the steps you’ll take to achieve your goals.
If you tend to struggle with waking up early to go to the gym, or working out early at home, for example, before you fall asleep at night, envision how you’ll approach the morning.
Picture yourself waking up right when your alarm goes off, getting dressed, and heading straight to the gym. Imagine the outfit you’ll wear for your work out session. Imagine the exact workout you’ll do from start to finish and visualize yourself feeling accomplished, knowing you’ve made the best decision and gotten a great start to your day.
Tips building self-discipline #12: Meet Your Basic Needs
It’s much easier to build new habits and use self-control when you are well-fed, well-rested, hydrated, relaxed, and comfortable in your physical surroundings. Therefore, make sure you meet your basic needs of food, shelter, drinking enough water, and getting enough rest before you tackle big goals.
The better healthy you are, the better you’re on your way to tackling your goals.
Tips building self-discipline #13: Change The Perspective Aspect of Your Goals
Another self-discipline tip you should consider as you work your way toward your goal is in the way you see your process towards the goal. The way you speak about your goals and priorities can make a huge difference in how you approach your goals.
If you’re starting to save money for traveling or starting a small business, for example, not every aspect will be exciting and motivating. Some things will feel tedious and frustrating. Exercising self-discipline and self-control means pushing through the unpleasant parts to reach your end goal. A trick you can use here is to change the way you discuss these aspects.
For example, I am always dreading to write my paper for my grad course. They’re long, complex, and it requires me to use my thinking skills, a lot. However, I have two choices. I can complain about how dreadful and unfair my courses are and procrastinate. Or, I can describe how blessed I am to be in a grad program that helps me not only to learn more about my career, but improve my professional development, and lead me to a career I love.
This can be applied to anything and everything. Yes, vegetables may taste horrible but it provides nutrients that can help you live longer, reduce fatigue, and improve bowel movement. Also, saving money for traveling may be hard because you tell yourself you don’t have the time, but, you can, if you give yourself even five minutes to set some time place your money in your money envelope every time you get a check from your job (sorry, I got into my soap bubble). How about thinking like this, in the long run?
Tips building self-discipline #14: Shift Your Identity
Finally, your self-discipline will be much improved if you think your end goal and align your identity with the type of person you desire to see.
For example, if you want to be physically fit, consider how you see yourself as physically fit. Don’t think alone on how you’ll look but also consider the food you’re going to eat and the lifestyle you’ll be living from now on.
Maybe you want to travel or start building a side business. What identity do you see in yourself when you think about those roles? Will you love watching the effect tower as you walk along the streets of Paris or sitting by the beach reading a book? Will you be reading books that will improve your side business? Will you be doing research and network with those who have been in your shoes?
The more you set yourself up for success, which self-discipline plays a major in, the better the outcome of your lifestyle and success.
There you go!
What are some ways you’re building your self-control? Leave it in the comments below!
Until Next Time,