Life is all about developing skills. From learning to cook to learning to meditate, you continually develop a toolkit that can get you through the best and worst of times in life. One thing that you need to have in this toolkit is self-discipline. Without this ability, you can easily fall into a cluttered world of health problems, distractions, procrastination, and financial troubles.
Statistically, people with self-discipline are happier than those who don’t have it. One way that researchers measure this is how different people deal with conflicts surrounding goals. Those who are self-disciplined don’t consider behaviors that will get in the way of those goals; instead, they focus on positive decisions that propel them towards their goals. Those without self-discipline commonly make decisions based on impulse, and they don’t weigh the options as much. These types of decisions put them in a worse situation.
Can You Learn Self-Discipline?
Like any life skill, self-discipline can be learned. Practice makes perfect, and implementing it into your daily life can help you gain more control over your life. You can make simple changes every day that work towards the greater goal of a better life. Ultimately, self-discipline is the act of making healthier choices instead of emotional ones.
5 Tips To Improve Self-Discipline
It’s All About Small Actions
The last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself and start out with major life decisions. It is best to tackle small tasks at first and apply what you learn to more intimidating projects. If you have a large report due at the end of the week, break it up into smaller parts, taking care of one segment each day leading up to the due date. Do you want to run? Start with a 10-minute run and increase your time from there. Do you want to clean your room? Start with one area and do more the next day.
Complete Your To-Do List
Lists aren’t made for everyone, but many people find that seeing what they have to do inspires motivation. Whether you write in a journal or legal pad, make a list of things you need to accomplish. As we stated above, start small and then work your way up to more difficult tasks. The more lists you complete, the more disciplined you’ll become.
Don’t Wait, Take Action
Self-discipline isn’t a gift that someone gives you, and you don’t just happen upon it luckily. You have to change things up and get out of your regular routine, and that step into the uncomfortable can be daunting. You need to understand that you don’t make decisions based on emotions; rather, decision-making skills relate to a different part of the brain. That being said, you can switch to auto-pilot and fall into bad habits. This affects how you make future decisions. Build new habits, embrace your newfound strength, and accept your new way of life.
Reward Your Hard Work
People thrive off encouragement, and one of the ways to do that for yourself is via rewards. It is important to reward yourself as you practice self-discipline. If you set out to reorganize your room, take breaks throughout the process so you don’t get overwhelmed. If you are dieting and made it through the week without cheating, treat yourself to a small indulgence at the end of the week. Working on budgeting? Allow yourself a small amount, say $30, to spend on something you desire. Reward your efforts!
On your path to a more disciplined lifestyle, remember that you are not alone. Whether you know it or not, you have a support system in friends, online groups, family, or strangers who have similar goals. Many people feel embarrassed about their lack of discipline, but it is courageous, not embarrassing, to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, as people are more inclined to connect with that honest side of you. You’ll find that asking for help allows you to become more disciplined.