Guide to Discipline and Self-Control

Self-discipline is one of those soft skills you need in life to meet success. Without it, you’ll fall into the pits of distractions and lose control of yourself. You need it in whatever endeavor you wish to pursue. And unfortunately, many fail to acknowledge their habits that take away their self-control. In this article, we’ll shed light on how to develop self-discipline and gain full control of yourself.

What is self-discipline?

Self-discipline refers to your ability to control, limit, and push yourself to act and behave in a certain way without others telling you. It centers on the value of self-control, willpower, determination, and drive to improve oneself. 

With self-discipline, you accomplish better things. You see its impact on your habits and routine when you instill the skill. Some scenarios that show the effect of self-discipline may include:

  • Eating more healthier
  • Waking up earlier
  • Sleeping earlier
  • Better time management
  • Accomplishing more tasks
  • Being more productive in general

How to develop self-discipline

By now, you may have already identified the goals you want to attain in learning to discipline yourself. Here are several strategies to live by in how to develop self-discipline successfully.

1. Get rid of temptations.

Temptations sabotage your self-control. So long as distractions and temptations surround you, you’ll have a hard time focusing. Say you want to eat healthier; you won’t succeed when sweets are sitting around the corner. The same goes for when you want to finish a task on time; you won’t finish when you constantly check on your phone.

This is why it is essential to remove the temptations as you work towards a goal. For someone who’s just learning to instill the discipline, this is a hard step to take. But it’s a fundamental habit that will get you through the rest of the strategies. Don’t worry; once you develop self-discipline, you will learn to work on things even when distractions are right in front of you.

2. Identify your motives.

Finding motivation is one of the easiest ways to build discipline. When you are motivated, you are more eager to take on things. That said, you need to know what drives you to accomplish something. Once you know what keeps you motivated, you can use this as your fuel to the fire. Knowing your “why” enables you to set in the right direction and understand why you are doing all this.

3. Don’t let yourself starve.

Notice how when you are hungry, you are more irritable and less efficient? Well, that’s because hunger causes the brain to not function at its best when you are not full. A clinical study proved that hunger creates a harmful impact on your productivity. With that said, if you want to generate more focus, ensure you eat healthier and regularly to have the energy to take on things. 

4. Learn to reward yourself.

Self-discipline doesn’t necessarily mean you have to limit yourself the entire time. You need to take a breather every once in a while. This way, you won’t lose yourself amidst all you are doing. Instead, you should treat yourself when you feel like you’ve done a great job.

You can list down some milestones and their corresponding rewards when you reach them. This keeps the motivation flowing since too much discipline might lead to self-deprivation. 

5. Be kind to yourself.

One of the keys to acing self-control is being kind to yourself. Don’t stress too much over things that have happened. Instead, learn to forgive yourself and move on from past experiences. Acknowledge your mistake and dissect what needs to change. From there, start over and try again.

Dwelling on negative experiences keeps you off your goal. So, get back on track as soon as you can and set your eyes on the prize.

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6. Set a challenge or deadline.

Deadlines are effective in encouraging yourself to complete tasks on time. Without an actual target, it’s harder to commit yourself to it. In contrast, having a deadline forces you to work on it at a specific timeframe. So it’s really crucial to define the deadline and treat it as a challenge to conquer.

7. Have a strong support system.

While you may work on your goals independently, you could use some help from others to keep you on track. In simple terms, find yourself someone who can be your partner in encouraging you to stay focused.

See the trainers in fitness gyms, mentors in careers, and support groups in wellness centers? They provide this moral support to keep you committed to your goals. Because most of the time, you need that extra nudge from people outside your circle.

8. Work one step at a time.

The easiest trick to get yourself moving is starting small. Sometimes, it doesn’t really matter how much you accomplished; as long as there is progress, you’re fine. This is most especially true when embracing a huge change. You cannot force yourself to adapt to a significant change all at once—you need some warmup.

Remember, small steps build up in time. They may be small, but they lead you in the right direction. Don’t force yourself into doing things you are not comfortable with yet.

9. Evaluate what causes your procrastination.

Procrastination is one of the effects of a lack of self-discipline. You should know how to combat this practice by understanding the root cause. Most of the time, we procrastinate because we dread doing things. It’s not about being lazy, but fearing to do something. It could be a fear of failure, complexity, change, etc.

So in conquering procrastination, know why you are taking so long to act. Do you not want the task? Does it have implications for your life? Weigh out the playing factors in the field. Then, arrive at a strategy that will help you break off the habit of procrastination.

10. Build habits and a routine.

Habits are crucial to be consistent. When you build habits, you subsequently develop a routine. And this routine should only steer you in the right direction.

Now, how do you build the right habits and design a disciplined routine? First, you list down what you need to do. Then, religiously do it every day until you remember it by heart. And that’s it. You just created a routine that’s hard to break off since your subconscious has it memorized. 

11. Start with the big ones first.

If you are struggling with multiple tasks at once, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. What may help you compose yourself is by starting with the big rocks first. This is when you do the most important things first before running out of mental willpower to do other things.

Sometimes, delaying the most crucial tasks only builds up pressure, which affects your productivity. So better do these things now than stress over it for the rest of your day. 

And these are the strategies you need to instill self-discipline and gain full control of yourself. Need more tips on how to develop self-discipline? Here are some Skill Success courses you must check out:

Ready to develop  your self-discipline? Click here to get started.

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