By: Ken Austin
When working toward goals or striving for success in any endeavor, self-discipline is one vital quality you need to have. Most of us cringe at the thought because it brings to mind instant visions of sacrifice, difficulty and strain.
However, discipline doesn’t have to be so hard. The problem occurs when you try to go from having no self-discipline to forcing yourself to undertake a heavy load of responsibility. Talk about pressure!
Below are three easy ways to become more disciplined with a minimum of discomfort:
1) First, change your attitude about discipline. One reason you may not be disciplined is because you think the activities or chores you need to do will be unpleasant in some way. The most common reaction to thoughts like that is to put the activities aside or avoid them until you feel ready to handle them.
Instead, pump yourself up and get motivated to get them done as soon as possible! Look forward to the challenge and keep affirming how great you’ll feel when you’re finished. Focus on the sense of personal accomplishment you’ll gain with every task and you’ll be much more likely to stick to your plans.
2) Make self-discipline a gradual process. Rather than trying to force yourself into submission with a big list of tasks or activities, go a little easier on yourself to start.
Identify one small task or activity that you can use for practice. Make it something fairly easy to accomplish each day, and then make sure you do it. If you have to, post notes of encouragement everywhere or wear an elastic band around your wrist as a reminder. If possible, get this one task out of the way first thing in the morning before you do anything else. Make it your highest priority and it will soon become a solid habit.
Then, begin adding more tasks or activities – or increase the size or frequency of the original task so you’re doing more each day. Little by little, keep increasing it like that and eventually you’ll find that you’re doing the things you set out to do without excuses or procrastination.
3) Commitment. If you’re not fully committed to achieving your goals, you’ll probably have a harder time pushing yourself to work on them. Make a solemn vow to yourself that you will do what it takes to work on your goals every single day. Write a list of important action steps and make it your mission to do one or more of them each day. Re-commit yourself as often as necessary to make sure you stick to your plans.
More than anything else, self-discipline is a favorable result of a series of wise decisions that you make each day. Choose to be disciplined, choose to be successful – and you will be!