Following Through: How to Increase Self-Discipline
If you've ever felt frustrated because you struggled to complete a task or achieve a goal, you understand the importance of self-discipline. Working to improve your self-discipline is a challenge that will take a bit of effort, but the results will be well worth your time.
Having self-discipline means not requiring anyone else to know about what you're doing or why. All you need is to know within yourself that you want something badly enough to achieve it, no matter what.
Try these tips to increase your self-discipline:
1. Be specific. Whether you're striving toward a career goal or working to finish a project at home, be sure about what you want to do. Rather than saying, “I'll try to lose some weight,” say instead, “I will lose 10 pounds in 3 months.”
- Semantics are important here. Taking the attitude, “I will” shows much more self-discipline than “I'll try.” Set yourself up for success by making a firm decision to accomplish your goal.
2. Focus. Self-discipline requires a certain degree of focus. What you plan to do or want to do must be so important that it stays in the forefront of your mind until you achieve it. Leave yourself a sticky note so you remember what you're doing. Tape it to your bathroom mirror or your computer.
- Visualize what reaching your goal will look and feel like.
3. Expect to fail once in a while. One of the best ways to learn about self-discipline is to flounder at least once. This way, you experience the gravity of not getting or accomplishing whatever it is that you want. Tell yourself, “Okay, this is just a slip and it's normal. Now, I'm really going to go for it and do what I've set out to do.”
- Use failure productively by telling yourself you'll work even harder to increase your self-discipline.
4. Record milestones, both projected and achieved. Keep track of your tasks and projects that contribute to your goals and celebrate your achievements along the way.
- Achieving milestones and taking special notice of them will provide impetus to move you forward.
5. Hang out with people you admire. One of the best ways to learn how to improve in some area of your life is to gravitate toward people that do well in that area. Make friends with people you admire for their self-discipline, follow-through, and ability to accomplish goals.
- Apply your keen observation skills to see how they do it. Ask questions. Compliment them. Then, strive even harder to achieve what you set out to do. Let yourself be inspired to develop more self-discipline by people who are living their dreams.
Increasing your self-discipline is definitely possible, but the results will not come overnight. Avoid letting failure deter you in your quest to develop self-discipline. Instead, use it to motivate yourself to try harder.
Picking yourself up after a fall is the heart of self-discipline. Before you know it, you'll have developed this critical skill, which you can apply to anything in your life!