Success depends on skills, habits, education, and anything that contributes to achievement. A combination of factors leads to the result, but self-discipline remains more important than others. During the day, we make decisions: from simple, at the household level (what to eat for breakfast) to fateful (changing jobs, moving to another city). Mastering the art of self-control allows you to make decisions that will turn out to be correct in the long run. Let’s take a look at how to develop discipline and achieve goals.
Last Updated: January 20, 2022 (A few hours ago…)
What is self-discipline?
Self-discipline is a constant value, useful in all areas of life. If you are serious about achieving your goals and want to live without stress and rush work, do not forget to constantly develop discipline.
Self-discipline is characterized by the following features:
- the ability to do what is needed on time;
- control of behavior, feelings, and desires.
Self-discipline requires the power of intention and constant motivation required to manage behavior and feelings. However, self-discipline requires more than just willpower. It will not be superfluous to be able to resist temptations, thoughts, and feelings that lead away from the goal. Basically, it is the ability to ignore what gets in the way of achieving goals.
Why are so few people achieving their goals?
- Self-discipline as quality is not given to a person from birth. It must be developed, strengthened, and implemented. However, this is difficult to do, especially if the person does not know how to form and maintain this quality.
- Misconception about self-control. Self-discipline is often associated with an obsession or obsession. I want the goals set to be given easily and without stress. Therefore, when difficulties arise on the way to a goal and you have to leave your comfort zone, the goal loses its attractiveness, and the result does not seem so tempting. So an important part of self-discipline is to do the right thing, whether it’s enjoyable or not.
- Failure on the way to the goal leads to a loss of self-control and instills thoughts that it is unnecessary to implement the plan.
- Temptations. Everyone is faced with different distractions that haunt us every day on the way to the goal. To follow temptation is to enter a vicious circle: if you don’t have the willpower to resist temptation, it will be even more difficult to root out a negative habit.
- Lack of a clear goal. A person who has a poor understanding of the end goal is more difficult to maintain self-discipline. If there is a goal raised to the level of a mission, there will always be resources to achieve it.
The best ways to develop discipline
The discipline is comparable to muscles: if they are not trained, they will atrophy. Therefore, the more you exercise the “mental muscle”, the stronger the habit of discipline becomes. You not only get used to this state, but after a while, you begin to notice how you are constantly pushing yourself even further. When it comes to self-control, it’s important not to overdo it at the start.
Develop self-discipline and willpower gradually: instead of ambitious goals, start with something simple, so as not to lose motivation at the first difficulties or temptations. This will help you get used to the new form of behavior and will allow you to quickly receive the first positive reinforcement. Then you can gradually increase the load on the “mental muscle”.
Once you’ve developed self-discipline in one aspect of life (for example, getting up at 6 a.m. regularly and doing yoga), add another goal. Then focus on something else. This approach will help transform and streamline life, step by step, and then take on the implementation of large-scale tasks. Monitor your stress levels in life. When you are under constant stress, you are more likely to succumb to temptations – and the goal is more and more distant from you.
A number of specific actions that foster self-discipline:
Make a plan
It is better to describe everything that you are going to do in different areas of life. This applies to professional activities, housework, health and self-development, communication with loved ones, large purchases. If you don’t have the skill of such global planning, start with the essentials. For example, it is important for you to accustom your mind and body to daily practices.
Develop a clear plan of action that will help you free up time and implement your plans. When planning, you will learn to prioritize, eliminate unnecessary communication and other energy-intensive activities.
Follow the daily routine
It is a form of planning that develops self-discipline. For several thousand years in Ayurveda, the concept of “dinacharya” has existed. This is a daily regimen based on the dominance of the energies of Vata, pitta, and Kapha at different times of the day. When our activities are based on natural rhythms, we manage to do more without depleting our energy potential.
Think about what distracts you: the Internet, phone calls, visits from neighbors or friends, constant reflection, or some other form of procrastination. Analyze and eliminate these factors from life. If you can’t do everything at once, proceed in stages. To control the Internet, use programs that limit the time spent on the Internet. You can turn off your phone and schedule appointments in advance.
To develop self-discipline in oneself, willpower and a high degree of concentration are required. Meditation trains these skills helps to get rid of unnecessary reflection eliminates anxiety and harmonizes the psycho-emotional state. Daily work with consciousness allows you to remove the “veils of the mind” and make the right decisions.
Watch your diet
“We are what we eat” – this should become a philosophy of life, not only for those who want to stay healthy but also for those who develop discipline. Irregular eating, refined foods, and semi-finished products lead to indigestion, the formation of toxins, and chronic diseases. Physical pain and discomfort, the need to visit doctors and receive treatment, call into question the achievement of goals. Review your diet, eliminate junk food, alcohol, and stimulants.
Physical activity is essential for physical and psychological health. In yoga, there are practices for working with the physical and subtle body, allowing you to accumulate energy, calming the mind, and training willpower. If possible, learn different techniques to use to manage your condition.
Take time to sleep
Passionate people sacrifice sleep for the sake of what they love. There is even an opinion that we are wasting time on sleep, that this is akin to a bad habit that we must get rid of. Such reasoning is a delusion that leads to negative consequences. Sleep is necessary for a person to recover, reboot the nervous system and regenerate tissues. In a dream, processes occur at the physical and subtle levels, the hormonal background is normalized, the circulation of energy is restored. Reducing sleep time leads to chronic stress and illness.
What if self-discipline loses in the fight against temptation? First of all, try to get rid of the illusion that the path to your goal will be easy. More often than not, this does not happen. Therefore, when you prepare in advance for difficulties, you are more likely to overcome them. Secondly, constantly monitor yourself, track your condition and actions. This develops discipline and increases the chances of achieving the goal.
Get rid of bad habits
All types of addictions, be it smoking or gambling addiction, are the strongest distractions that take time, harm your health, and distance you from the goal. What you cannot refuse is addiction and an obstacle in your path. It is difficult to get rid of bad habits, it is much easier to avoid them. But, if they have appeared, serious motivation is needed to eradicate them. Perhaps, for some period of life, the main goal and the way to develop self-discipline will be to get rid of smoking. If successful, it will be a great victory and a valuable experience.
Self-discipline is the result of regular work on oneself at the physical and psychological levels. But the main thing remains a serious motivation, for the sake of which a person is ready to change his usual life and move forward. Such changes do not happen overnight. Start small – with exercise and proper nutrition, with cleaning the apartment and putting things in order in your head. And then you will realize the most incredible plans.