Anyone can master self-discipline if they really want to do it. Even the process of trying to develop more self-discipline will make a huge difference in your life. You learn to control your impulses, desires, and wants so that you can stay focused on achieving your long-term goals. Let’s check out eight steps to mastering self-discipline that you can start using today.
1. Know What Self-Discipline Is
Sometimes it’s hard for people to become self-disciplined because they don’t know what it means. They think it’ll take away all the fun from their life. On the contrary, all being self-disciplined means is that you don’t allow distractions or short-term temptations or desires to get in the way of reaching your long-term goals.
2. Set Clear Goals
Perhaps you want to start exercising every day? Maybe you need a process to finish a work project? Whatever it is, create the goal using very specific language. Read all about SMART goals so that you set goals the best way. Your goals – the results you are looking for, will be your why and your motivation going forward.
3. Know Your Reasons Why
To be successful in anything in life, you must have a reason for doing it. Your reasons, in this case, will guide you to your goals. Perhaps your goal is too lose weight, but why do you want to lose weight? To fit back into your wardrobe? For a certain health reason? To be able to climb the stairs at work without huffing and puffing? Maybe your goal is to get up earlier in the morning. But what are your reasons for this goal? Is it to beat the rush hour traffic? To give you time to eat a less-rushed breakfast? Knowing the why of your goals gives you something to strengthen your resolve in the face of temptation. Plus it helps you keep your eye on the goal.
4. Know How to Achieve Your Goals
Once you set a goal, write down exactly how you’re going to achieve it. Write down every single step it will take for each goal that you’ve set, then put it in your calendar. Schedule it as if you’re going to do it and schedule it realistically. Keep in mind how long things really take and give yourself enough time – as well as a cushion.
5. Know Your Weaknesses
If there is something that will distract you, now is the time to admit it. For example, if you want to get up an hour earlier each morning so that you can go to the gym before work, but you never can fall asleep before midnight, why not choose to exercise at a different time so that your goal is achievable and works around your weakness?
6. Learn How to Prioritize
The other thing you really need to practice and learn to be good at when mastering self-discipline is how to put things in the right order so that there are no bottlenecks. It’s sort of like realizing that your toothbrush should be in your bathroom so that you don’t forget to brush your teeth. Things should fit together simply. This takes practice, as well as trial and error.
7. Track Everything
To get better at self-discipline you’ll need to track everything. That’s the only way you know if you’re doing better or not. Get a journal of some kind (the best kind of tracker is the kind you’ll actually use), and write it in each day to record your progress and feelings about various situations.
8. Get Accountability
One thing about self-discipline is that eventually, you need to be able to provide accountability to yourself. For now, you might want to find a support group or a friend to talk to about your self-improvement goals so that you can work together.
As you track and measure your progress and are accountable for your promises (to yourself and others), you will find areas where you can make improvements. Self-discipline is something you get better at with practice.
Truly mastering self-discipline is mostly about understanding what it is, what it means, and the benefits of doing it, and then practicing it – every day. You may not be perfect, but the more you succeed, the stronger you will become and the better you’ll be at being self-disciplined in the healthiest way.