How To Have Self Discipline And Achieve More In Life.
Sometimes people beat themselves up because they failed to follow through with a promise or a commitment. Self discipline is the most important skill to achieve long-term success.
Let’s get to the bottom of the problem and discuss ways on how to have self discipline and be in control, instead of living a life led by impulse and urges.
Self discipline is a learned skill that you can develop with practice and consistency. Like a muscle, the more you use it, the better you will get at it.
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You Can't Rely Just On Willpower And Self-Control.
The biggest mistake we make is to believe that with just willpower, we will master self-control. Willpower will take you so far, but it’s not a constant you can count on to ace self discipline.
How many people do we see joining the gym in January, lasting a month or two before giving up?
Things that you do as an obligation don’t work. You must get some satisfaction or benefit from it, giving enough time to see results and then decide if that is for you.
Often, people have unrealistic expectations. If you hate working out at the gym, it won’t be easy to get you to stay dedicated to that. When you fail to show up, you feel bad and end up beating yourself up feeling like a loser.
Start Small When Introducing New Habits.
To increase your chance of success, when introducing a new habit, start small. Maybe commit to workout two times a week, slowly increasing the frequency.
Let your body get used to moving, and in no time, you will be exercising daily. What can also be very helpful is to find enjoyment in what you do.
Maybe you are not a gym person, try other physical activities. Running, home workouts, yoga, perhaps swimming. Some people prefer playing sports, like soccer, baseball, tennis, and hockey.
When it comes to eating habits, it's easier to tackle one bad habit at a time.
For example, I am committed to living as healthy as possible. Last year I stopped drinking Diet Coke. It has been over a year, and that addiction is now a thing of the past.
For every goal you want to accomplish, you need to have a compelling reason behind it. Why you want it, and it must be stronger than your excuses.
In my case, I want to be a role model for my daughter. It is important to me that she doesn’t see me drinking pop. I didn’t want to hide either. So this reason was compelling enough for me to kick the can.
After a few months, I noticed my daughter asking less for apple juice and drinking more water because that is what she sees her mom doing. Mission accomplished!
Despite Your Brain's Response, Keep Going Anyway.
Regardless of creating a new habit, ditching old ones, learning a new skill, switching jobs, or starting a business, your brain will freak out and say no way. Doing what it can to resist change.
Our brain is programmed to protect us and keep us safe, so it will always choose what is familiar and presents no challenge or risk. If you listen to it, you will end up on your couch binge-watching Netflix, drinking beer, and eating fries.
It may feel good at the moment but guaranteed you feel like crap later. That is what happens most of the time when we give in to immediate pleasures that are detrimental to our health and well-being.
Feeling like a failure, you question your worth because you are not reliable, you can’t do what you said you would do. Why should anyone trust you?
It is a hard pill to swallow when you realize you can’t count on yourself. You don’t have your back.
Have compassion, and be kind to yourself. Understand why you do what you do or, better yet, what you don’t do.
Don’t deflect responsibility, blaming whatever you can find to accuse. The weather, the dog, your kids, your partner, being home. None of them are responsible for our shortcomings.
We are accountable for our actions period. Yet beating ourselves up won’t fix the issue either.
Our Emotions Trigger Our Actions.
Therefore, we must find better ways to cope with our feelings instead of using food, alcohol, drugs, or any other escape route to numb the negative emotion.
To get the root of the problem, we need to understand our feelings instead of treating the symptoms.
If you are overeating, changing your regime is not the answer. We often blame the diet because it releases us from the responsibility of our own actions, and it doesn’t require changes.
Pay attention to what negative emotions you are trying to suppress. You may be bored, stressed out, anxious, unhappy, tired. Whatever the case may be, understand, and accept those feelings.
It is okay to have negative feelings, and you can still not overeat or overdrink. For instance, you could choose to go for a walk, which will also make you feel better.
Don't Look For Comfort In The Wrong Places Where You'll Regret Later.
Having the mentality that is acceptable to give in to our desires seeking pleasure to avoid pain with minimum effort is not working in our favor. We have never learned to deal with our feelings.
Stop punishing yourself by managing your emotional problems with behaviors that negatively impact you—steering you further away from your goals and the person you want to be.
Let everything come to the surface. Stop buffering it with bad habits. To gain control, learn to delay instant pleasure. You don’t have to have it now.
Based on your long-term well-being and objectives, the more conscious you are about the choices you make, the easier it will be to deny immediate desires.
Related: Statistics on Addiction In America
There's A Misconception Where We Believe We Should Feel Good At All Times, And That's Not Realistic.
When you stop avoiding uncomfortable feelings, processing them, and not being afraid because you understand that is part of being human, you will start to master self-control and self discipline.
Tell people about your commitments and let peer pressure hold you accountable.
Set goals for yourself and have a short-term and long-term plan. Don’t rely on your memory. Have everything written down and add the tasks in your calendar you should tackle for the week. And no matter what, get those tasks done!
If anything tries to interfere with your plans, remember that you made a commitment to your goals and your future self.
Think about what you will not accomplish if you slack off and how it will affect you if you don’t follow through.
Understand The Feelings That Are Trying To Deviate From Your Path.
Allow them to exist while continuing to move forward with what you are doing.
The moment you decide to experience your emotions, accepting that not always you will feel good, that is when you will have the self discipline to achieve anything in life and say no to urges, without relying only on willpower and self-control.
People may question why you torture yourself this way. Waking up at 5 am, eating clean, exercising daily, meditating, not drinking alcohol, and having every little thing scheduled.
And the answer is simple because you respect and honor yourself. You appreciate living a fulfilling life and taking care of your body and mind while enjoying the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Reaching milestones that bring you closer to your goals is the cherry on top.
It will feel pretty great when you reap the rewards of being disciplined. You will never be the same again.
Let me know in the comments something you really want but haven’t been able to achieve.
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Meet the Author
Monica Rezende is a single mom doing it all. She encourages women to uncover their superpower and go after the life of their dreams. Monica provides openhearted and valuable content to assist you in tapping into your full potential and achieve your goals. She lives in Canada with her daughter and two rescue dogs.