You have everything planned out.
You have morning routine set and ready, waiting to be followed. You have your weekly schedules and plans ready.
All that needs to be done now is for you to start following them.
But no matter how much you try, you always end up falling out of all the plans you made.
Don’t worry, initially, this is the case for millions of other people around the world. What we all lack is self-discipline.
Self-discipline is not something you’re born with, it’s something you teach yourself with practice and a lot of patience.
The key to self-discipline is mastering self-control. The strength to fight that urge to have a tub of ice cream when you’re on a diet.
One of the ultimate way to build self-discipline and maintain self-control is to always have a clear idea of what your ultimate goal is.
There are a number of small steps you can take to discipline yourself. Here are a few:
1. Start with baby steps
You can’t expect yourself to be a completely different and changed person overnight.
Start with small steps, tackling one habit at a time.
If you try to change everything all at once, you will put too much pressure on yourself and fall back again.
Make small changes in your daily habits and gradually, they will all amount to bigger changes in your life.
2. Identify your weaknesses
It’s a good idea to make a list of all the areas that you normally fall out in.
In this way, you can always watch out when you feel like you’re giving in.
Acknowledge your weaknesses, instead of acting like they don’t exist. This will only help you overcome them.
3. Get rid of all the temptations
If you want to eat healthily, first get rid of all the junk food.
Try to keep all temptations out of your sight.
The more you see them, the more you’re attracted to them.
Keep all distractions away, so that you can focus better.
Removing temptation is a way of tackling your bad habits by removing their very source.
4. Make a backup plan
Always have a backup plan for all those times you do feel tempted.
If you feel like spending some time on social media instead of working, go do that part of work which you really enjoy doing.
This is the part where self-control comes into play.
When you feel like giving in to your temptations, just remind yourself of the guilt you will feel once you’re done.
5. It’s okay to reward yourself
If you are too hard on yourself, you’ll end up miserable.
It’s a good strategy to reward yourself once in a while.
These are times when you can indulge but in a controlled manner.
If you regularly plan rewards for yourself, simply waiting for those rewards will make you work better.
6. Forgive yourself
We are all humans, and weak by nature.
No matter how much you try, there will be some point where you deter.
What you need to do is to quickly recover from it, and most importantly, forgive yourself for it.
7. Don’t underestimate your willpower
A Stanford University study claims that the strength of your willpower depends on how much you believe it to be.
If you convince yourself that you don’t have enough willpower, that’s all you’ll have.
However, if you tell yourself that you have all the willpower you need, you will definitely achieve what you wish.
The most important thing you need to become self-disciplined is to always keep your ultimate goal in your mind.
Thinking about your goal and imagining what it would be like once you achieve it gives you the energy to persevere towards it.
That energy is what you use to practice self-discipline.