3 Tips to instill self discipline
Learn how to stay disciplined in the face of distractions, and follow up on your resolutions
As far as quintessential traits go, self discipline is one of the most effusive ones. Ideal but tough to inculcate, it nevertheless serves timely reminders everyday of why it is necessary to a healthy and fulfilling life, even in the least significant of times. How many times have you resolved to hit the gym regularly and followed through for the first week before eventually slowing down or quitting altogether? This is just scratching the tip of the surface
For most of us, discipline and organization is something to be feared and, at best, kept a safe distance from. It is seen as something really difficult to acquire and even more of a nuisance to actually put into practice, though we all know that it could turn out to be a huge blessing if implemented properly. With that in mind, here are 3 tips that will enable you to slowly but gradually instill discipline into your everyday lives.
The very fact that you’re having a struggle doing what you set out to do, is an indication that there’s a difference what you want and what you think you can do. Take the gym scenario mentioned earlier for instance. You resolve to hit the gym because you want a healthier body. However, you want to back out soon because you think you cannot follow through with it, think being the operative word here. Unless what you want is beyond unreasonable or not worth the effort being invested, there’s a pretty good chance that pushing beyond the initial dreary or exhaustive hours till you ingrain it as a habit will be well worth the final product.
This is exactly what you should keep reminding yourself of every second you feel like quitting. Talk to yourself, go over the reasons why you wanted to do it in the first place, and constantly sell yourself the final product of what all the effort will help you achieve. If this kind of motivation doesn’t help you stay disciplined, nothing will.
Cut off distractions at the source
Let’s go with another example here. You’ve resolved to stop drinking, and vowed to say no even to casual (or social) drinking. Now, this is a situation that can see a lot of potential distractions cropping up, attempting to break your persistence and throw you off your path. Your buddies inviting you for a casual bonding session at the local boozer, your work party at the weekend that is alcohol-inclusive etc.
It is in such cases that you need to step up your internal courage, and learn to say ‘No’. It’s easier to avoid any potential distractions rather than stare one in the face and stay disciplined (the latter will eventually come with time, but its’ much tougher at the starting phase). In these scenarios, suggest alternatives. Tell your buddies you’d rather hang out at a coffee shop, mention to your boss that you cannot make the party as you have personal commitments etc
The initial few days/weeks (depending on your mental toughness) is when you have to keep a safe distance from such interferences. Gradually, as you build your mentality and discipline, it will be easier to stay disciplines in spite of constant distractions. However, for the first few weeks at least, prevention is way better than cure.
Be ready for residual frustration
This is something that will nearly always happen, so you have to make sure you’re ready for it. Inculcating a new habit and staying disciplined in order to follow through with it are things that do not come without hindrances, and residual frustration is the worst kind of hindrance. This is how it works. You’re following your plan, but you’re just not getting used to the new lifestyle (or the small changes) that come with it. At one point, it eventually gets so frustrating and spills over.
This is when you actually start questioning the whole exercise in the first place, and eventually convince yourself that the whole thing was a bad idea that should be dropped. However, staying ready for this sort of retrospective change of mind will prevent you from making any bad decisions midway. Accept the fact that it feels weird, convince yourself that it is natural and fight through it till you get used to the new lifestyle. Having the courage to push past this phase is imperative to the long term success you are eventually craving.