Self-discipline or self-control is a sign of inner strength and control of yourself, your actions, and your reactions. It gives you the power to stick to your decisions and follow them through, without changing your mind. That is why it is considered as one of the important requirements for achieving goals.
This skill is essential in every area of life, and though most people acknowledge its importance, very few do something to strengthen it. So, how can you improve your self-discipline? Here’s how…
Change your Perception of Willpower
Willpower is the ability to control your own thoughts and the way in which you behave. And according to a study by Stanford University, the amount of willpower a person has is predetermined by their beliefs. If you believe you have a limited amount of willpower, you probably won’t surpass those limits.
In short, our internal conceptions about willpower and self-control is determined by ourselves. If you can remove these obstacles and truly believe you can do it, then you will give yourself an extra boost of motivation toward making those goals a reality.
Make a Daily Checklist
It is helpful to create a daily to-do list to help you exercise self-discipline. This way, you can manage your time properly and prioritize important stuff. Just make sure that each day you’ll complete each of the mentioned tasks.
Once you used to make a to-do list every day, you will master time management and self-discipline at the same time.
Forgive Yourself and Move Forward
Even with all of our best efforts and well-laid plans, there will still be some failures ahead. It happens and that’s okay. The key is to keep moving forward.
Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in guilt, anger or frustration, because these emotions will only drag you further down and hinder you from future progress.
Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and refocus on your goals.
Read Inspiring Stories
Reading success or inspirational stories can give you a boost of motivation to go on. Since it is easier to read stories and articles on social media, you can inspire yourself with other’s success stories for you to follow your own goals with courage and determination.
Understand Your Triggers
The key to breaking free from bad habits is to find their source. First, you need to identify the bad habit and then isolate its trigger.
So for you to break the cycle, replace the bad habit with a positive one that provides a similar benefit. Bad habits are a means of dealing with stress, we need to re-program ourselves to properly deal with stress.
Eliminating these triggers requires extreme self-control and commitment. So you really need to focus on it. You will have a hard time for sure but once it’s eliminated, you will have a healthier behavior.
Value Your Time
Time plays a significant role in everybody. Our whole life revolves around time. We should respect the time and also understand the value of time because the time gone is never going to come back.
You must value your time with your work, family, and self. Schedule your family time and personal time similar to how you schedule your work time and other responsibilities.
Understand Your Priorities
When improving your self-discipline, you should be able to understand the biggest priority in your life for you to be motivated properly. Think about your priorities and make a list of it. This way, you can easily know what are the goals that you’re reaching.
Give Yourself a Backup Plan
Psychologists use a technique to boost willpower called “implementation intention”. It is a self-regulatory strategy in the form of an “if-then plan” that can lead to better goal attainment, as well as help in habit and behavior modification.
For example, imagine that your goal is to eat healthier food, but you’re on your way to a party where food will be served. Before you go, tell yourself that instead of diving into a plate of cheese and crackers, you will sip a glass of water and focus on socializing.
Going in with a plan will help give you the mindset and the self-control necessary for the situation. You will also save energy by not having to make a sudden decision based on your emotional state.