What is it? It is taking action despite your feelings/desires/motivation. It is about focusing on the long term, rather than the short-term. You can’t always wait, until you feel like doing something. We rather do what is easy and comfortable, but that isn’t always the best for us.
Self-discipline is about diving into the uncomfortable, and doing things that can be considered difficult to oneself, but recognize it must be done to help you grow, and achieve your goals. To be able to reach the goals you like, self-discipline is an important factor. Procrastination, unhealthy habits, indulging in distractions are all due to lack of self-discipline. Now we all lack self-discipline from time to time, so don’t be hard on yourself, some more than others, but learning to build more self-discipline can go a long way in helping you be the person you want to be, and achieve what you want to achieve. To be mentally, physically and emotionally at your best. So how exactly does one gain self-discipline? There are a couple of factors I like to explain that can be helpful in gaining self-discipline.
- Get uncomfortable-As I mentioned, you have to learn to live with some discomfort to move forward, to push through, and get where you want to be. Comfort can keep you stagnant. We as humans like to remain as comfortable as possible, but it doesn’t always have a positive effect on us to do so. Getting uncomfortable once in a while can be beneficial to our development and creativity.
- Take action-As I mentioned above, you can’t always wait for motivation to strike. You won’t always be motivated. You got to just do it. No thinking, just do. No feelings, just do. Action goes a long way. I did not feel like writing this morning, but I still did it, because I know it is better for me mentally to write.
- Be Aware-Learning to become cognizant of your unhealthy, or unwanted habits can help you focus your energy on steering away from these habits. When you are aware of what you should not be doing, or you are aware that this habit makes you feel worse and doesn’t benefit you. It makes it easier to make changes. Most bad habits are done mindlessly. Being more mindful can help you build better habits, and become more disciplined. When I am mindful of when I am wasting time by scrolling. I learn to shut it off, and do something more productive/beneficial for my mindset.
- Meditate-Man, does this help build your discipline. I think this is better than anything. It is the hardest thing for me to do. Staying still is just so hard for us to do. We like keeping busy. If you are able to sit still for 10-20 minutes, take deep breaths, and allow your thoughts to flow. This can help build discipline in other areas in your life. Doing this helps me gain clarity, and to become focused on what needs to be done.
- Replace habits-Learn to swap unhealthy habits to healthier habits. Rather than scrolling, or watching TV, use that time to read, or create something, or take a walk. Rather than eating cookies, chips or cake, swap for a healthier snack, like fruits or nuts. Rather than sitting down and watching TV to defeat boredom. Get some music on and dance to get you moving, and get some exercise. Not easy to implement, but can be done. It is best to switch to healthy habits you enjoy, so it is easier to make the transition. I was bored and lazy yesterday. I spent most of my day scrolling and watching TV, but I decided to switch it up, and be a bit more active, so I got some music and danced. It felt good to move. It gave me more energy. It made me happier. Switching from just laying down, doing nothing, to moving and dancing, and listening to some upbeat music can make a difference in your mood, and it helped benefit my mental and physical state. I realize I should do this more often when feeling bored. It is important to switch things up, and to not stick to the same habits, especially if they don’t benefit you physically and mentally. Pushing yourself to make some changes can help build discipline.
I will say having a lazy day is perfectly normal and totally okay. Sometimes you want to get out of your head and indulge in something. Sometimes you want to rest and chill. Sometimes you want food that isn’t the healthiest for you. That is okay. We just want to limit the amount of times we do these things, so we can improve mentally and physically.
- Understand long-term gains, rather than short term pains-Focus your energy on what you will get out of something in the end, rather than the discomfort you will feel in the short-term. This is probably one of the biggest reasons I push through the discomfort. The short-term pains/discomfort will be gone, but if you let it linger, it will create guilt, shame, bitterness, stagnation, sadness, among other things. I know if I don’t write. I will feel unaccomplished. I know if I don’t get exercise or movement. I will feel incomplete. I know if I don’t eat my required nutrient intake. I am not giving my body the fuel it needs to thrive. All this keeps me on track. I focus on the long-term benefits, not short-term.
- Believe in yourself-This may be hard for some of you, but if you talk down to yourself, have no confidence in yourself. You are what you believe. If you think you are a failure, you will be one, brutal, but true. The reason is, if you believe that, you will most likely not try. If you believe you can make change, then you will work to make it happen. Be kind to yourself, trust yourself, and you can go a long way to achieving what you like to achieve. You can’t go far beating yourself up.
I am sure there are plenty of other ways to build self-discipline, but I’ll leave it with these. I find these really help keep me in check. I hope they help you in some way as well, or they do help you in some way. We want to aim to grow, become healthier, and more content and at peace. Self-discipline can help us on that journey.