Self-Discipline: How to Develop It

Goal achievement is impossible without one’s self-discipline. This attribute is exceptionally important for getting any personal feature, sports mastery, art & business skill, or great job as a result.

Discipline Development Tips

So, what is the discipline? That is the ability to control your impulses, emotions, wills and behavior. This is the ability to refuse the instant satisfaction in order to get a long-term one received from the fact of achieved goals. See recommendations on self-discipline development.

Being disciplined means being able to make decisions, take measures and keep up to your plan without paying attention to obstacles, discomfort or other possible difficulties.

This all sounds very boring, but is it so in reality? It is important to understand one thing: discipline doesn’t make your life dull and empty. To say honestly, if you regularly satisfy your spontaneous wishes, you still do not guarantee yourself any happiness, do you? If a human is different from a wild animal in something, this difference is about delaying the immediate satisfaction in order to win more profits as a result.

Happiness comes, when a person sets unbelievable goals and achieves them with the help of willpower and discipline. You can’t become happy while playing video games on purpose, while watching funny videos, eating unhealthy food and satisfying other instant wishes.

Self-discipline is not something a person can be born with. It is what can be developed with time. In fact, it is very similar to a muscle, that becomes bigger while you use it more often.

There are certain factors required for you to enter the game. Some of them come from the inside, other ones – from the outside environment. In order to start developing your discipline, you need a very strong wish. If you don’t have it, your chances to get that skill are low.

Self-discipline needs fuel, which is often represented as your motivation and inspiration. Ask yourself questions:

  • What do I want?
  • Why do I want it?
  • What exactly do I need to pass through in order to get it?

The more serious reasons you can find, the more fuel you can have for your long-term journeys into the world of changes.

What is the Difference Between the Disciplined and Undisciplined Person?

People who “don’t take a cookie in order to get two”, are different, because:

They Feed Their Passion

When you are busy with what you like, discipline comes naturally. The only case when you need discipline exclusively is when you don’t like things you do. But your job can seem to be dull sometimes, even if you like it. That is why it is required to “feed” your passion about your favorite business.

They Can Avoid Temptations

Cakes, phones, emails, browsers: all of them can test your willpower and discipline. Leave it for a proper moment.

They Know How to Take Breaks

They take breaks, eat healthy food and can restore their energy with the help of physical exercises. Do anything from that list every two hours.

They Go in for the Most Important Tasks in the Morning

People usually postpone tasks that can have the greatest impact onto their lives. Complete them first, and the rest of your day will pass much more pleasantly. This is why disciplined people rarely suffer from stress: they deal with complicated tasks first.

They Make Decisions

Self-discipline comes to one’s choice. You can decide to do what you need or what you want at any moment of time. This happens right in the morning: to sleep some more, or to get out of the bed as the alarm clock rings. To cook a useful breakfast, or to have something fast and harmful as a dish. In order to be successful and disciplined, you need to learn how to analyze the available information and then to make a decision.

They Work According to Their Biological Clock

Do not fight your nature. If it is easier for you to work in the morning, then work in the morning. Do things that fit your internal schedule and tune up your task-list to it.

How to Develop a Self-Discipline?

When you have certainty about what self-discipline is, let’s review the methods how to develop it.

Six-Step Process

This technique is good because it does not leave white spots and lets you dispose of your lack of will gradually.

Step One: Determine What You Want

The first step of this process consists of understanding what you actually want to reach. self-discipline can become stronger only if it is directed on something precise; “something precise” in this case is your wanted result, that can come to you as a goal, habit, or any kind of a change.

To understand what you want, ask yourself:

  • What do I want to do, who do I want to be and what do I want to reach?
  • What habit would I like to develop?
  • What behavior would I like to change?
  • What do I want to concentrate on at the moment?

Step Two: Describe Changes Needed for that

When you know what you really want, there comes the time to describe wanted results from the viewpoint of the behavior required to achieve that.

Completion of any task you put for yourself requires a certain combination of behavior/habits you need to develop in yourself: that is the only way to reach the goal.

Think about it and ask yourself: what do I need to develop in order to reach the goal? The point is, it is not enough to just decide “I quit drinking alcohol”. You need to change your behavior completely. For example, since this moment you need to behave another way on Fridays. Or at parties. Everything is going to change, not only the process itself. If you can’t figure out the behavior you need to develop, the probability of a relapse will be very high.

Your personalities before and after the changes are different. You are going to become another person (though it depends on the scale of changes, of course). Ask yourself:

  • What person am I going to become after reaching that goal?
  • What qualities should I develop?
  • How should I think about myself, my life and goals?

It is very important to answer this question, as the development of discipline requires getting a new model of thinking.

Step Three: Find Role Models

Let’s find someone you could follow. Those are people who already reached the goal you just try to reach. Colleagues, relatives, close people, celebrities, anyone. Ask yourself:

  • Who is doing that at the moment?
  • Who already reached that goal successfully?
  • Who became perfect in this habit?
  • Who has the discipline required for it?
  • How and what can I learn from this person?

If you know such a person, then come and talk to him or her. People usually tell about their success with pleasure. Read books about those who reached heights you dream of, too.

Step Four: Determine Obstacles

All previous steps were relatively easy. Things are going to be hard when obstacles start appearing. If you are wise, then you’ll prepare yourself for most obstacles in advance, you won’t try improvising. Ask yourself: what obstacles will appear after you start moving towards your goal?

Come back to the first step and remind yourself that first of all you need to clearly decide what you want and why. If this step is missed, then it will be easy to pull you off your course.

So you need to write down the reason why you want to get the result once more. Remember, that the more serious reasons you have for reaching those changes, the more chances are for you to make it.

Step Five: Develop a Plan

You only learn how to be disciplined, so your plan should not look too ambitious. You need small victories during this stage. They motivate you, make you glad and let you be proud of yourself.

Two principles to create the action plan:

  1. You should put clear time frames;
  2. You have to divide complicated tasks into smaller ones.

Step Six: Report to Yourself

Tracking of your successes helps you stay fresh and not to turn your process of changing into a routine. It is easier for you to stay focused, to see far goals and to motivate yourself.

Self-Discipline Motivation

Leo Babauta’s Method

A popular blogger who goes in for self-development claims that if you don’t cultivate your discipline, then some time later you'll have to pay for it with your health, finances, concentration, mental calmness and order. This is the skill you need to improve first of all. Here are Babauta’s tips for those who decided to change themselves.

Find Motivation

The first question: how to find motivation to start? Most part of people don’t want to think about development of their discipline, without even mentioning the fact that you have to do many actions for that. The thought about practice makes them feel fear. They know it will not be too pleasant. At least from the very beginning.

Motivation can come from the analysis of your life and your understanding of one thing: “Things I do at the moment do not work”. When you ignore problems, you only make the situation worse. Your trying to be half-disciplined does not save you. If you don’t have willpower at all, it may hurt.

Here comes pain. A great motivator! If you live as you used to do before and it makes you feel pain, then you should think: “If I feel myself weird already, why shouldn’t I try to change myself? It will not be worse for sure”.

Take Little Actions

One of the best methods to develop your discipline implies that you should take small actions. You should not train on big projects, you better start from smaller ones.

Do you write an article? Devote 20 minutes of your time and work with no distractions. Do you want to give an ad? Register on five websites and place it. The point is to complete some tasks to the very end. One by one.

Love Your Discomfort

One of the main reasons why people are so undisciplined: this brings discomfort. Everybody likes usual, familiar and comfortable things. So, instead of starting the job they play video games and watch useless videos. This is a run from discomforts that ruins your life.

It is time to tell yourself: “I stop running away from troubles”. You decided to introduce some discomfort into your life, you got used to that. You know that you’ll be able to do right things and that will give you great and amazing results.

Think about how these little changes can influence your life in five years.

Put Time Frames

We often think like that: “I am either about to work hard during some hours, or I am about to rest”. And even if you start doing a job, you’ll be disappointed. But in most cases, you choose to rest.

The best way to deal with this problem is to decide that you are busy with this only task during the next 10 minutes. Or you do nothing. That is a technique belonging to a writer named Raymond Chandler. You write or you do nothing. He finds this way to work perfectly. He either writes or sits without task.

Why does it work? Because you gave yourself the right to choose. And it seems that your boredom is worse than your job.

Introduce Interval Trainings

Rules of interval training:

  • Decide to develop your discipline;
  • Give yourself a task to focus on (reading, meditating, job, drawing);
  • Put a 10-minute timer. This is a time you have to do any right but not too comfortable task. Increase the amount of time gradually: up to 15 minutes, then up to 20;
  • Do not go for anything but this task;
  • When time runs out, you have a 5-minute break;
  • Repeat the whole process.

This is a very simple but effective technique. You can get yourself involved into a job like that.

Temptation Self-Discipline

Stand Against Temptations

This is the only technique you have to obtain obligatory in order to become disciplined.

Temptation is something pleasant, involving, something you want here and now. It turns into a shape of a sofa and a TV-set, a sweet marshmallow, crazy weekend, social media messages, etc. On the other side of your life there are your long-term goals.

Temptations are here, take them! And long-term goals are so far: you need to reach them first. Plus, nothing will let you reach that goal if you give up for a small temptation.

But everyone knows how it works and where it leads people. That is the only enemy you have to win. Here are some tips on doing that.

Learn Your Lacks.

This is the first thing you need to start with. The chain is as strong as its weakest link. Just like your strength and will to do things. It is most likely to break where your defense is the weakest. What areas are the weakest for you?

Learn to Predict Temptations

Think about situations when you can meet temptations. Think how you are going to resist if the temptation appears.

Empower Your Beliefs

Remember about your principles and values, about your wills and dreams. You know that if you give up you lose, don’t you? Is it worth it?

Find Your Support Team

You can avoid many life temptations if you find friends sharing your moral convictions. The one walking near the wise person receives wisdom.

Avoid Situations That Make Resistance More Difficult

In our times, the most tempting place is the Internet. Here you can do everything: have fun, buy and sell things, and get silly. So, you should never visit the web just because, only for a certain reason that can push you forward.

Self-discipline is the ability to gain satisfaction from dull and regular things. Any human will be glad if every day is a new adventure. And the greatest people can call out their will to do dull but right things every day.

Find new things in regular ones and make yourself wonder every day.

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