Anyone who wants to live a stress-free successful life, (with purpose) must have one quality. And that is – ‘strong self-discipline.’ In this post, I’ll share some crucial tips to improve self-discipline in your life.
Suggested reading: 7 Common mistakes to avoid if you want to build new habits.
Our self-discipline gets tested many times each day. It is something which affects us all.
We need to focus more on improving our self-discipline as we grow up:
At younger age (generally) a girl/boy live and follow certain rules their parents have set. So, they are much likely to go towards the right direction in life even they have medium to average self-discipline.
But when you live by yourself… you need to have ‘strong self-discipline.’ Because you are the ultimate decision-maker in your life. And things you choose hugely affects in your life.
Some of the common unproductive things we do because of low self-discipline habits:
- Scrolling through social media. (Even though you know you have some unfinished work.)
- Eating fast food regularly…knowing the fact that they make you unhealthy.
- Smoking even after knowing how dangerous it is for your health.
- Not exercising 3-4 days in a week.
- Watching videos on youtube and Netflix late at night and waking up late.
There’s more but (I think) it’s enough.
You can not make – ‘unshakable self-discipline’ overnight or within a week. But if you follow these rules and tips then you will see positive results from day one and those will get even better over time.Your mental strength and will power effects in most part of your life. Click To Tweet
Here are 7 practical ways to improve your self-discipline… so that you can accomplish more and be happy in life.
I also started working on my self-discipline habits recently… in the end, I’ll tell you what’s giving me the best results.
1. Start by removing temptations from your life
It’s harder to quite a thing which you like (but unproductive) when you have easy access to it.
You will be tempted and your limited willpower (for a particular day) will get used as you try to control yourself.
Many times you can successfully able to walk against your temptations. But in a couple of days or within a week or two it will make you do it.
And you will bring up several excuses like – I have controlled myself for x amount of time. Let’s do it for 30 minutes.
It’s a trap. Don’t fall for it.
What you started by thinking as a 30 minutes activity… it will take away 2 -5 hours from your day.
And it will disrupt your workflow and balance.You can easily improve your self-discipline habits when you remove temptations from your life. Click To Tweet
Effectiveness of this tip
In my mind, I’m remembering an old story as I think about this.
It saved me many times. I would like to share it with you.
The story goes like this…
One person was training his dog.
In his hand, there was a bone and the dog was hungry for days.
Whenever he drops the bone on the ground the dog picks it up and he hits the dog with a stick.
The dog tried several times to win against his temptation. But failed.
At last, the dog closed his eyes. This time he didn’t see anything when his master throws the bone.
This time the dog won.
Point of the story is:-It’s easy to control yourself when you remove the temptations. Click To Tweet
Common temptations people have and its solution:
- If you can’t control yourself from eating junk food – don’t keep any junk food in your home.
- If you waste your time watching tv after 9 pm, manually unplug it or move your tv from your bedroom.
- Don’t purchase a monthly subscription from movie websites if you watch too many movies late at night. This results in less sleep, which is bad for health.
- If you are tempted to use social media during work hours… use productivity apps and browser extensions to limit and manage your social media time. For Google Chrome you can use StayFocusd (free extension) to increase your productivity.
2. Organize yourself
One of the best ways to improve your self-discipline is – by getting organised.
Organizing yourself makes it easy for you to focus on different things one at a time. It saves time and you know what to do next.
Also, if you don’t feel like doing a task, you can choose something else from your task list.
When you don’t create a to-do list or follow a work plan … it’s common to forget about some important task.
After you realise – you have a pending project and the deadline is near… you overwork to complete it.
Most of the time people complete it anyways. But it makes their body and mind go through stress, less sleep and fatigue.
Now let’s talk about what happens after this…
- If this cycle happens more often, you can experience frequent burnouts.
- Chances of developing many health problems like – stress, depression, insomnia.
- Can make you develop bad habits like taking drugs, tobacco, alcohol.
You can totally avoid all these things by organising yourself and following a to-do list. It will help you to be productive and also in developing better self-discipline habits.
3. Follow a plan that focuses on work and also lets you breath
You already know the benefits of getting organised in life. Maybe in your head, you are planning and thinking ways to complete those pending works efficiently.
To work efficiently and to have time for spending some fun moments with family and friends you need to follow the right plan.
Perhaps you have already tried to create and follow a work plan. But it did not work… (it happened with me before.) You can fix it with some little changes.
Recently I found a better approach for goal setting that works and you can follow it for months. Here I’ll tell you the key principles, I’ll explain it fully on a new post. If you are interested, subscribe here if you want to get notified about it.)
Choosing the right plan
If you want to accomplish what you think and plan in life; you need to make a goal that should match your current speed and quality of work ( + possible improvements during the time period.)
Whether it’s a ‘vision map’ or goal tracker, you should include a column for what results you expect. And another column for results calculated based on current growth or the amount of work you are completing now.
Example: Lets name two columns- 1. Ideal results, 2. Results to expect.
Now let’s say you read 5 pages of a book every day. You can write in column 1. That within 30 days you will complete 250 – 300 pages. But in column 2. You need to write – in current speed, I can complete 150 – 170 pages.
- This small tweak can help you realise what’s possible and what to expect.
Setting a goal like this is practical and you will reach your goals. Also, it removes a lot of pressure from you.
4. Find your weakness. Work on them and stay aware of them
We all have weaknesses. Some got few and some got a handful of them.
To improve your self-discipline, one thing you don’t want to do is – try to forget about your weaknesses.
Instead, be aware of them.
There are many resources available online, you need to look for those and try to work on your weaknesses.
Also, when you tell your family and friends about your weakness; they will try to help you. Or they will suggest you ways to strengthen your weaknesses.
But don’t tell them about all of your weaknesses. You need to be selective.
You don’t want to tell someone about one of your weaknesses that they can use it to take advantages of you (in future.)
Articles related to self-discipline
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- Simplify Your Life: 11 Practical Ways to Live a Better Life
5. You need a healthy body and mind to improve self-discipline
Before you even try to work on your self-discipline…you need to be healthy.
If you are not feeling well, you will look for ways to skip the work and try to get lost in other activities for short term gratification.
Also, not living a healthy lifestyle can weaken your body, energy level and willpower.
To build unshakable self-discipline, you must have strong willpower. And when you feel good and healthy, you develop ‘strong willpower.’
During the time when you are working on to improve your self-discipline, in many situations, you need to control yourself and even suppress your desires.
To do all these, a strong willpower is essential.
6. Make yourself accountableOnly you are responsible for yourself, you can believe it or you can ignore it. But it’s the truth. Click To Tweet
You have full control of how you want to live your life.
Be accountable. Take pride for your good work and don’t step back when it’s time to face criticisms for your mistakes.
When you make yourself accountable, you worry about the consequences of a bad deed.
And when you know and accept this fact…you will focus more on doing the right things. And it will help you to improve your self-discipline.
7. Accept the fact that you want to improve yourself and work for it.
99 per-cent of people (if not all) in their life hit low point multiple times.
Thousands of thought running inside your mind makes it difficult to enjoy life.
You began to stress and overthink about your weaknesses and can’t find a way to express your full potential.
In order to thrive in life, you need to answer two questions –
- where you want to be in life? and
- How do you want to develop yourself on the way?
Once you desire and be aware that you want to improve yourself… it will be easier to work and gradually you will develop strong self-discipline.
Things giving me the best results
And some bonus self-discipline and productivity tips
1. Organising things: I used to overwhelm myself by starting many tasks at a point of time (not multitasking by the way.) As a result, numerous unfinished work and I have to deal with extra stress. Finally, after I started organising my work and other activities. I found I’m more productive than before.
2. Removing temptations: If you ask me one thing that helps me most to improve my self-discipline is – removing temptations. Example: I like playing video games, so I don’t have any games installed on my work pc.
3. Setting some rules of life: These are the rules which I set for myself. It’s one of the big factors that helped me in developing – ‘ better self-discipline.’
Also, these things helped me directly and indirectly in that process. Giving myself enough time to complete a thing (generally more time than I have planned), 6.30 – 7 hours of sleep, completing 3-4 workouts in a week, spending more time on doing things that drive most results.
Also, prioritising long term goals (1-3 years) over short term goals. And answering ‘why’ I want it.
Stick to your goals. If you are progressing, be happy. The amount of progress or speed is easy to improve after you successfully make it a habit. Look for – sustainable growth (it last longer and worth your sweat.)
If you follow all these I’m sure you will see improvements in your self-discipline habits.
We all act differently, I recommend you to try all these things. And after some days/weeks you will know which things helping you the most. Spend more energy on that.
Do you want to share a tip or two about gaining better self-discipline and what’s working for you? Feel free to use the comment section.
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