self discipline

5 ways to master self-discipline

Self-discipline is hard to master but once you see the astonishing results it brings, it is bound to become a way of life.

When I look back, I find my highest periods of growth when self-discipline was the order for me. The reverse is also true, I stumbled and struggled everytime I did not show self-discipline while doing something. However, when most people hear the word self-discipline, they tend to imagine a punishing schedule, rigorous exercising and keeping all desires under check. While this might be a notion that goes against this practise, it is a time-proven fact that if you control your mind, stay focused and keep doing things despite distractions, your willpower succeeds and you  accomplish daily goals and long-term ones better.

You might have met or read about people who have achieved a lot in their lifetimes by mastering self-discipline. Self-discipline is an art of imagining yourself as a conqueror of your mind even before you start on any life changing habits. To put it succinctly, plan well, set realistic goals, keep up the motivation, be ready for any obstacles, always monitor your progress and keep rewarding your achievements. Your life will be much fulfilling and happy if you stay focussed and master self-discipline. It will hold you in good stead in moments of failures too.

Soulveda shares how to effectively lead yourself in the path of self-discipline.

Set a goal

”Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us, they are essential to really keep us alive,” stated the American motivational speaker Robert H Schuller. A clear vision can indeed guide us to achieve exemplary feats by outlining doable steps and encouraging us to overcome any initial resistance.

A specific, time-bound plan with gradual stages of progressive movement tends to be the best approach towards self-discipline. Additionally, a goal which is close to one’s heart helps connect positively and leaves the window for monitoring and correction open. A clear end-result in sight keeps one on track to achieve it. As the plan progresses, it also inculcates self-discipline in us.

Try to start with a smaller goal to build some excitement around trying to pick up a skill like self-discipline. As you acquire it steadily, take up more challenging tasks or even life changing goals.

Keep yourself motivated

Try and understand what motivates you. Introspect and find answers to what inspire your quest for life. Before attempting to master self-discipline, choose a holistic goal, instead of a sharply edged target. For example, fixing a time for waking up early in the morning can also be seen as a wish to enjoy the rising sun along with chirping birds.

Once you are able to list down reasons which are more powerful than the goal itself and generate excitement in your thoughts about achieving the same, you will be able to work your way to being self-disciplined. These positive feelings or emotions will further ensure that you are on top of the task everyday. Your motivation will be a fountain of enthusiasm and energy that will spark miraculous results.

Tackle hindrances

All of us are afraid of losing or are fearful about bad things that might happen to us. This is a natural tendency but it can be a powerful tool to attain mastery over self-discipline. If applied constructively, it is a form of discovery that makes you a better person who has a foresight. Being aware of your weaknesses and knowing where you cannot exercise  control can prove to be a game changer in life..

Identifying hindrances in your pursuit of self-discipline is also an important step towards happiness. Listing down possible obstacles helps you to prioritise and think before acting. This brings more control in the actions you take and the reactions you show, developing inner strength and character for future accomplishments. The knowledge you gain from doing this is life long and keeps you good no matter what the endeavour.

Junk old habits and mindset

Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘Old habits die hard.’ It is really difficult to change old habits or patterns and often, that is a major reason why most people lose out on opportunities in life. The temptation to resist changes or to stay in your comfort zone is a very strong emotional but negative force. This can only be neutralized with an equally powerful positive force which can act on your motivation and will power.

Changing old habits and mindset or developing a new way of life will appear as a daunting task in the first place, but you can overcome it by breaking the new challenges in baby steps. Instead of changing everything at once, you must aim for consistently delivering on a part or section of the life altering habit. A task may appear big and intimidating if you see the thing in totality, so its better to break it into doable parts and steadily learn how self-discipline works.

Once you have resolved to replace a bad habit, it is an even better idea to identify an activity or habit which is productive and brings you immense joy. This will further encourage you to stay on course towards attaining self-discipline.

Track your growth

Just as the secret of making progress is to get started, the secret of finishing something successfully is to monitor that progress. Make note of how you feel as you carry on with your work – are you feeling proud, energetic, happy or sad? Keeping a tab on our feelings while trying to master self-discipline goals helps understand if we are enjoying the process. It also gives us a chance to review our progress and introduce course corrections. Once our goal stands accomplished and we become a little adept at practising  self-discipline, these records can be a great source of joy and positive reinforcement.

This record of our progress can also be a stepping stone towards bigger goals or impactful changes in life, as it will provide constructive feedback and will inform us what all we did right and what our path looked like.

Contrary to common opinion, self-discipline isnt something severe. It can actually be incorporated in our daily life quite smoothly. And once we gain mastery over it, it can truly improve our efficiency by leaps and bounds.




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