Self-discipline is just the act of ignoring and avoiding short-term temptations to do the work needed to achieve your long-term goals, and doing it on a regular enough basis that you will reach the goals you set. Once you start using self-discipline to reach your goals, you will realize you can use it for other things too, like getting rid of negative habits.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Identify the negative habit that you want to get rid of in very close detail. Know why you want to get rid of it. Describe why it’s negative for you to keep up with this habit. Also, it’s important to find something you can do instead, or how you can trick your mind into not wanting to do that negative thing.
Know Your Triggers
If you want to stop something, try to figure out why you do it. Is it triggered by another activity? For example, people who want to quit smoking often smoke and drink coffee at the same time. When they want to quit smoking, they find it hard to enjoy their morning coffee and tend to think about the cigarette. Changing the morning drink too, or the location where you have it, can help avoid the trigger.
Don’t try to tackle every single negative habit at the same time. Focus on one at a time for a month at a time so that you can replace the negative habit with a good habit.
Schedule Your Actions
Anything you want to do that requires an action should be written down in a calendar. Whether it’s walking, eating dinner, or spending time with your family, adding it to your schedule will help.
When you don’t reach your goal due to the negative habit, you’re trying to avoid acknowledging it. Try to figure out how to fix the problem and do better next time. Also, be accountable for success too. Feel the success so that you want to have more of it.
Practice Saying No More Often
Most negative habits are associated with saying yes when you don’t want to say yes. Learn how to say no when it is important to do so, not just to other people but also to yourself. This will help you reach your goals.
Focus on the Positives
By trying to replace negative habits with positive habits, you may accidentally feel as if you’re focusing on the negative. Instead of doing that, once you replace the bad habit, only focus on the good thing you’re doing and how that feels.
Being in tune with your feelings can help you avoid a negative habit being triggered. Think not only of how you feel right now but also about how you’re going to feel in the future when you stick to changing those negative habits.
The more you work through the process, the more you’ll improve your self-discipline. No one is ever going to be perfect, but you can incorporate these tips that will help you avoid anything negative which can stop you from reaching your goals.