Self discipline is a very important quality to develop and maintain in your life. It is the process of self-regulation for the purpose of achieving improvement in an area of your life. Self discipline also means the ability to control yourself from consuming an unhealthy amount of anything that could harm you in the long run. Self discipline requires you to perform a collection of unique actions. These include showing restraint, mindful action, persevering, completing anything which you start and sticking to your decisions no matter how hard the process gets. To develop self discipline, one also needs to learn how to delay gratification for the purpose of future benefit. Fostering this quality takes a substantial amount of sacrifice and effort. It also requires dedication. Here are 10 different small actions you can do daily to improve your self discipline.
Do what you need to do even if you don't feel like it
The media as well as popular culture encourages us to do things only if we feel like doing them or if they make us happy. This is wrong. It is actually a disastrous mentality to do something or not based on how it makes you feel. You should always do things because they need to be done. Some activities are fundamental to your daily life, career or health. They cannot be avoided or postponed because you don't feel like doing them. Therefore, make sure you do what you need to do every day even if you don't feel like it. This is how to develop self discipline.
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Always finish what you start
Winston Churchill was the British Prime Minister through World War 2. He was very determined to see Britain become victorious over its enemies. Thus, he began a war effort and assured the British people that they would experience blood, sweat and tears but would emerge victorious. He saw his vision through and his V-sign signifying victory is one of the most iconic gestures of all time. You can borrow a leaf from Winston and always finish what you start. Think about something that you want very much for example to lose weight, get rid of debt or even begin a business venture. Get serious about it, make a plan and commit to it. This is how you can finish what you start every single time.
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Don't make excuses
An effective way to achieve self discipine is to avoid making excuses. Honestly, many of us make excuses every single day. We do this so as to get out of responsibilities or to explain why we did not fulfill our duties. Excuses are the exact opposite of self discipline. They lead us to become lazy and start expecting other people to do what we need to do for ourselves. Thus, one major step in developing self-discipline is avoiding excuses and performing your duties as expected.
Make your critical responsibilities non-negotiable
Sometimes we may be ready and prepared to complete a particular activity. However, we begin to question ourselves if it is really necessary or can it be postponed. When we do this, we actually begin to lose motivation to perform that particular action. This can even cause us to completely abandon that particular activity. If the action in question was critical, the consequences can be terrible. To avoid this, mark the most critical activities in your day as non-negotiable. This means that you cannot postpone them or skip them under any circumstances whatsoever. They must be done. Doing this every day can greatly improve your self discipline.
Make external deadlines for yourself
An external deadline is an event that pressures you to complete a certain task by a specific time so as to enjoy some form of success. For example, an upcoming examination is an external deadline to study so as to excel. Also, a promise made to an external party can be an external deadline. For example, if you promise someone to get them a gift for Christmas, this can be an external deadline motivating you to work harder to afford the gift by that time. Thus, you can develop self discipline by making daily external deadlines and then sticking to them.
Get rid of temptations
One very effective way of developing self-discipline is by getting rid of all visual and audio distractions and temptations when you are trying to get your critical responsibilities done. Self discipline requires laser-like focus. Therefore, you should eliminate anything that can destroy this focus in your environment. Examples of temptations are social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram, e-mail, television, computer games or even a lively conversation with a co-worker or a friend. These can tempt you away from what is really important and inhibit your self-discipline.
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Eat healthy food and snacks regularly
According to scientific studies, your personal resolve is weaker when you have low blood sugar. A low level of blood sugar is normally caused by hunger. when you are hungry, it is very difficult to focus on what you are doing. Moreover, it makes you unsure, pessimistic and grumpy. When you are hungry, your sense of self control is weak and this affect your career, relationships and exercise routines. Thus, ensure that you eat three solid meals a day with plenty of snacks distributed evenly throughout. This will keep you strong enough to maintain self discipline.
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Implement some breaks and rewards in your daily schedule
A lot of focus and hard work are required to maintain self discipline in any task. If continued for a long time, this can become tiring and overbearing. Therefore, you should always schedule some breaks in-between. These allow you to relax and recharge your mind and body for the next phase of work. You can also adopt the practice of rewarding yourself for prolonged periods of self discipline in any task. The rewards can take any form you like as long as they do not erode your self discipline.
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Forgive yourself and keep on going
Adopting a culture or lifestyle of complete self discipline is much easier said than done. You can have a number of false starts. Your mind may want to do a specific task but your body simply won't cooperate. An example of such a situation is where you want to get up earlier in the morning so as to study for an extra hour or two but you are too sleepy to do it. Even if you have some failures as you try to develop self discipline, the key is to keep going no matter what. Learn from the mistakes and soon your successes will outnumber your failures.
Actively ignore those who say that you cannot achieve your goal
The people around you can actually make an effort to cause a negative effect on your efforts to better yourself though self discipline. However, they can only affect you if you let them. Actively ignore their words, actions and even facial expressions. Continue to seek the advice of experts in your field of industry and do not accept any negative influence from anyone who has not achieved what you are trying to do. Seek to prove them very wrong. There is a great pleasure in doing this.
The Important Take Away
Self discipline can give you the ability to achieve literally anything that you want in life. By staying committed to an action or endeavor, you can not only reach your goal but also exceed it. The tips above can help you to develop self discipline. They are nuggets of wisdom which you can apply in your life to see positive, permanent change.