Self-discipline is a powerful tool for anyone who’s ever been productive or gotten rid of a nagging habit. But it doesn’t happen by wishing your opposition away, or crossing your fingers. Self-discipline requires a conscious effort on your behalf. The more effort you give, the more results you’ll see.
Here are 3 powerful methods to gain self-discipline:
Stop making excuses: Excuses, excuses, excuses. It’s one of the few factors that can hold you back from becoming a better, more self-disciplined version of yourself. There will always be temptations out there. If you’re working on a project for yourself or your job, you may find it hard to stay focused on the task at hand because you become inundated with emails, your favorite show is about to come on, or your kid is crying. I am not saying to disregard your kid for the sake of work. Rather, to handle the situation and get back to your work as soon as possible.
You see, you could easily find yourself saying you spent 30 minutes reading your child a book so they could fall asleep, so now you deserve some alone time away from your project, and you’re just “too tired” to continue at this point. There are always excuses to be made. It’s pure will and absolute drive that makes the difference.
Focus: As mentioned, you can quickly and easily become distracted by almost anything if you let it. The key to completing work is remaining focused. First, you need to get focused. Many people can start something, but not everyone can finish it because something else gets in the way. Yet, you have power over whatever attempts to get in your way. You can put your phone on silent and ignore all of your message and social media notifications. After all, they are a distraction. You have the power not to let thoughts evade your brain so much you can’t even remember what you were doing.
Now, the latter is harder, especially if you have a lot going on in your life. But it’s why you must find time in solitude. Every human needs time to themselves, whether they like to admit it or not. We all need moments to take a collective breath and think about our lives. However, we can let our thoughts run rampant and take us away from the present, or we can harness the power we give to them. But it starts with acknowledging the ability to control your thoughts. Your recognition is vital because if you don’t hold yourself responsible, no one else will.
Temper your expectations: Lastly, you must temper your expectations. Expectations can make or break your capacity to obtain self-discipline. In this way, you must hold yourself accountable, yet, be gentle with yourself. It’s easier to say and harder to do. However, you want to make whatever goal you set before yourself attainable. Don’t think you are going to change overnight.
Any real progress involves a process. It takes time to grow, learn, and unlearn anything. It took years for you to become this way, and it may take the same for you to undo that which you’ve become. Or, it could take less, but that’s dependent upon you and your commitment to transform. Change requires effort, and effort will ultimately get you to where you want to be.
You can overcome your inability to have self-discipline, but you must use these 3 powerful methods for self-discipline: Stop making excuses, focus, and temper your expectations. If you hold yourself accountable, rather than feeding into your excuse-making, you’ll start focusing on what matters most and getting the job done. If you keep your eye on the prize by focusing but are cognizant of the expectations set before you, you will be well on your way to building and, more importantly, retaining, self-discipline.