9 Tips to Build Your Self-Discipline
Becoming self-disciplined is a process, and the quality of being disciplined is like a skill. The more you practice it, the better you’ll get at it.
Just like all skills, you’ll need to follow a system to master self-discipline. There are many books out there on this subject and many ways to go about it.
Generally, the fundamentals are the same no matter which book you read. This post will simplify the process for you so that you can get started today without having to read a 200-page book.
1. What are your goals?
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not going to get anywhere. In order for you to exercise self-discipline, you’ll need a goal that challenges you – and most worthwhile goals will.
Are you trying to lose weight? Or do you want financial freedom? Maybe you want to be a better parent? Or become a popular author?
The goal doesn’t matter as much as having one. List a few goals that you’ve always wanted to achieve.
2. Focus on what matters!
Once you have the list, it’s time to focus on one goal. If you’re ambitious, you can focus on 2 or 3 goals. But you shouldn’t bite off more than you can chew.
Self-discipline requires willpower and mental energy. Since our daily energy is finite for all us, trying to do too much will wear you down. When your energy is low, you’ll have less self-discipline and be more prone to make mistakes.
So, it’s best to only focus on one or two goals at a time and give it our best when it comes to being disciplined.
3. Know your why.
It’s important to know why you want to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Dig deep and find out the emotional reason behind your desire. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight – it might be because you want to appear attractive to the opposite sex.
If you’re desperate to own your own business, it could be because you hate your job and you hate your boss even more.
There are no right or wrong answers here, but it’s imperative that you know your “why” for achieving the goal. When the going gets tough, you’ll need to look at why you’re doing what you’re doing – and this will motivate you to stay disciplined so you achieve your goal.
4. Fix what’s broken.
Very often, if you’re not where you want to be, it’s because something is broken in your daily life. Almost always, it comes down to your habits.
Maybe you’re eating too much junk food which explains your excess weight. Maybe you’re spending uncontrollably, and that’s why you’re in debts.
Analyzing your situation will show you what’s broken. You’ll then need to know what new habits you need to build to overcome the problem and help you achieve your goal.
Once you know what habits you need, it’s a matter of harnessing self-discipline to achieve them.
5. Improve constantly and consistently.
It’s always best to make small, gradual improvements. Trying to climb a mountain in a day is impossible and you’ll just end up quitting.
By taking small steps daily towards your goals, you’ll ultimately achieve them. So, build self-discipline by completing small tasks first.
Then slowly and surely keep seeking improvement until you’re unstoppable.
6. Have a daily plan.
Having a plan will mean that you know what you need to do daily. A routine is crucial for success. Your mind loves structure. By giving it a daily plan to follow, you’ll build the habits you need to achieve your goals.
Self-discipline becomes easier when you have a daily routine. As the days go by, you’ll go through the motions without much struggle. These efforts will compound and you’ll reach your goal much faster.
7. Compliance and accountability.
Aim for 85% to 95% compliance with your routine and habits. No matter how disciplined you are, you will make a mistake and give in to temptation here and there.
If your compliance is 85 percent and above, you’ll definitely be on track to achieving your goals.
8. Forgive yourself.
Willpower can fail you at times. You may suddenly binge eat at night because you can’t control your food cravings.
Or you may skip a workout because you just had a fight with your spouse and you’re not in the mood. Or maybe you binge watched a Netflix show and neglected to do your work because the show hooked you.
These things happen. You must forgive yourself and carry on moving forward.
So many people make a cardinal error by aiming for perfection. The moment they slip up, they feel like they’ve failed and the entire goal has gone to waste.
They then decide to just let themselves go and carry on with the bad habits and give up on their goal. All because they slipped up once and think it’s ‘game over’.
It’s not. You still have some ways to go. Acknowledge your mistake and analyze why you slipped up.
Maybe you need to remove all snacks from your kitchen so you don’t binge eat at night. Or maybe you should workout first thing in the morning so you don’t skip your training sessions.
Once you figure out a way to rectify future mistakes, you’ll increase your compliance and prevent future slip-ups. Self-discipline is easier when conditions are right.
9. Stay the course.
Last but not least, all worthy goals take time to achieve. Consistent effort over time creates greatness.
If it was fast and easy, everyone would do it. The reward comes from the way things are set up. You must pay the price for your goal. That price is sweat, effort, time, consistency, patience and self-discipline.
If you lose patience, you’ll end up quitting and lose the battle. So, stay the course even if it’s taking you several months or years. The grander the goal, the longer it will take.
Keep these 9 tips in mind when trying to become self-disciplined. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even when you don’t want to do it. It won’t be easy… but it will be worth it.