I regularly work with clients who say things to me like, “I can’t do that” or “I’ll never have/be/do that”, etc, etc. Now there are a load of things going on with these small statements that have to be addressed in order for these people to make a break through, things such as limiting beliefs, perception, mindset, attitude and a certain lack of motivation due to all of these things. This can have a hugely negative effect on a persons self discipline and motivation to actually succeed and to work towards success.
Personal success, achievement, or goal, can’t be realised without self-discipline. It is possibly the most important attribute needed to achieve any type of personal excellence, athletic excellence, virtuosity in the arts, or any form of outstanding performance, because without it, there is no consistency and continuity of effort towards achieving that goal.
What is Self-Discipline?
It is the ability to control emotions, thoughts, impulses, desires and behaviours. It is being able to say No, to immediate pleasure and instant gratification in favour of gaining the long-term satisfaction and fulfillment from achieving higher and more meaningful goals.
To possess self-discipline is to be able to make the decisions, take the actions, and execute your game plan regardless of the obstacles, discomfort, or difficulties, which may come your way.
Being disciplined does not mean living a limiting or a restrictive lifestyle, nor does it mean giving up everything you enjoy, or, to relinquish fun and relaxation. However, it does mean learning how to focus your mind and energies on your goals and persevere until they are accomplished.
It does means cultivating a mindset lead by your deliberate choices rather than by your negative emotions, bad habits, or the sway of others who do not have your necessarily have the same desires as you. Self-discipline allows you to reach your goals in a reasonable time frame and to live a more orderly and satisfying life.
How To Develop Self-Discipline
it’s best to start with small steps, because no new process takes place overnight. Just as it takes time to build muscle, so does it take time to develop self-discipline? The more you train and build it, the stronger you become. In exercise, if you try to do too much at once, you risk injuring yourself and setting yourself back. Likewise, take it one step at a time in building self-discipline, begin by making the decision to go forward and learning what it takes to get there.
Learn what motivates you and what your negative triggers are and this begins by learning about yourself! Sometimes it is very difficult to fight off urges and cravings, so identify the areas where your resistance is low and how to avoid those situations. If you know you can’t resist cake, fries, or other temptations – stay away from them, do not have them around to lure you into moments of weakness. If you also know that putting pressure on yourself does not work for you, then set yourself up in an environment that encourages the building of self-discipline rather than one that sabotages it. Remove the temptations and surround yourself with soothing and encouraging items such as motivating slogans and pictures of what you want to achieve.
Learn also what energises and motivates you. Your willpower can go up and down with your energy levels so play energetic music to perk you up, move around, and laugh. Train yourself to enjoy what you are doing by being energised as this will make it easier to implement desirable and appropriate behaviours into your daily routine – which is really what self-discipline is all about.
Make the right behaviours a routine. Once you have decided what’s important to you and which goals to strive for, establish a daily routine that will help you achieve them. For example, if you want to eat healthily or lose weight; resolve to eat several servings of lean protein and green vegetables each day and exercise for at least half an hour.
Make it part of your daily routine and part of your self-discipline building. Likewise, get rid of some of your bad, self-defeating habits, whatever they may be. They can put you in a negative frame of mind and hinder your self-discipline. A poor attitude is also a self destructive bad habit.
Learn to say no to some of your feelings, impulses and urges. Train yourself to do what you know to be right, even if you don’t feel like doing it. Skip dessert some evenings. Limit your TV watching. Resist the urge to yell at someone who has irritated you. Stop and think before you act. Think about the consequences. When you practice self-restraint it helps you develop the habit of keeping other things under control.
Engage in Sports or Other Physical Activities
Sports are an excellent way to enhance self- discipline. They train you to set goals, they focus your mental energy and exercises you emotional energies, enables you to become physically fit, and teaches you to get along well with others by working as part of a team. Participating in sports provides a situation where you learn to work hard and strive to do your best, which in turn, teaches you to integrate the same the thought processes and disciplines into your everyday life.
Learning to play a musical instrument can be another great way to practice self-discipline. The focus, repetition, and application required in learning to play an instrument is invaluable. Achieving self-discipline in any one area of your life re-programs your mind to choose what is right, rather than what is easy.
Create Your Mindset for Self-Discipline
Get inspiration from those you admire. There are so many inspirational people i the world today and from throughout history. read books by or about these people and draw inspiration from them. Sporting greats such as Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Gary player. Great leaders throughout history; Alexander the Great, Winston Churchill. Philosophers such as Aristotle who said:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit”.
Visualise the Rewards
There is nothing more gratifying than accomplishing your goals. Practice the technique that high achievers and top athletes do and practice projecting yourself in to the future with your imagination. Visualise your desired outcome. See how your life can be different, hear how differently you talk about your self and how others do, feel how rewarding it is and the countless benefits you will enjoy. Remind yourself what it takes to get there.
It helps build self-confidence.
You accomplish more, and are therefore more productive.
You are able to maintain a higher tolerance for frustration, obstacles and negative emotions.
Allows you to obtain better health, better finances and a good work ethic.
You are able to reach your most difficult goals more efficiently.
The more disciplined you become, the easier life gets.
If we are to be masters of our own destiny, we must develop self-discipline and self-control. By focusing on long-term benefits instead of short-term discomfort, we can encourage ourselves to develop of self-discipline. Ultimately our health and happiness depend on it.
If you would like to join my online goal setting workshop group then drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and take advantage of a free 20 minute strategy session with me and find out how you can build your self discipline and achieve your goals.
Here’s to your increased success, health and happiness