Developing Your Self Discipline

Self-discipline is one of the most powerful tools that we have for achieving our goals, inner peace and personal success.

A few of my close friends have complimented me on my self discipline and this means a great deal to me, because I hang with some very disciplined people.

With my personality (don’t take life too seriously, and am excitable andeasily distracted, among other things) discipline is a hugely important tool for me to achieve my goals, stay grounded and be happy. When I make commitments, set goals, or define how I want to live my life, it is self discipline that keeps me on track.

This is not always easy. Actually It took me a long time to develop this trait and I am far from perfection. Like most people, I procrastinate, I get distracted, and sometimes I forget to apply my own rules and systems for successful living. I fall off the wagon just like anyone else, but one key thing I have working in my favour is that I am very good at of getting back on track quickly when I fall out of line with my plans and rules.

If you feel you are not good at keeping to the commitments to develop new habits, I have some ideas that have worked for me and might help you. To continue reading this post, click here >>

Baby Steps – I am a big fan of starting small. Trying to make extreme changes in your life may set you up for being overwhelmed or frustrated It is better to feel victories even if they are small. Commit to small changes that you know you can achieve and you will develop the confidence to make bigger changes.

Give it Time -Implementing a new behavior is always toughest at the start. If you stick with something even for a little bit of time, you will create some momentum and it will get easier. When I stopped drinking coffee I had to deal with not only the addiction to the caffeine, but also the habit of grabbing coffees throughout the day. Once I broke the addiction to caffeine, I wasn’t thinking about coffee so much and breaking the habit part was much easier.

Leverage Your Desire – Achievements often require some sweat. If your commitment to a goal is wavering question your own desire. Are you making a change for the right reasons. If you really want to do something you will do it. Regularly remind yourself why you are on a certain path.

Take Away Temptations – Help yourself by changing your environment to help you suit the change you want to make in your self. For instance, if you want to reduce sweets, get them out of the house. If you want to quit smoking, stop hanging around with smokers.

Schedule Your Discipline – Setting blocks of time in your schedule for what’s important is another powerful way to stay on track. You can use this technique to enhance your discipline. If you want to do more exercise, put gym time in your schedule and let people know so they don’t try to make plans for you during that time.

Keep Notes to Track Your Progress – I keep an exercise journal because I like to see that I have been pushing myself for a long time. I also like to track hiccups to give me perspective.

Forgive Yourself – If you fall off you are not failure. You just had a bad day. Let it go and get back on track.

Reward Yourself – I know a lot of people that give themselves some kind of reward if they stick to their commitments. Could be a glass of wine, a purchase or a trip. This helps to assign importance to your goal and works well for achievement oriented people.

Tell Yourself You Can – If you think of yourself as someone without discipline, then you will have trouble becoming self disciplined. The negative self talk is counter productive. Everyone has the power to be in control of themselves. You simply have to nurture and develop that power.

Last and not least, I view self-discipline like making deals with myself. I wouldn’t break commitments that I make to others, I don’t like it when people don’t keep their commitments to me and I certainly wouldn’t break commitments I make with myself. This resolve often keeps me going.

I hope this helps. I would love to hear your feedback.

5 Responses to Developing Your Self Discipline
  1. randomshelly
    March 18, 2010 | 02:03

    Baby steps are something that I am working on. you're right that when you try to do too much at once, you get overwhelmed and things either go by the wayside or you stop all together!

    One thing you mentioned that I have never done is Leverage my desire. I keep thinking that I want to do one thing, but I always end up on a different path. Guess I should realize what that means!

    I'm going to print out your list. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Eliot Burdett
    March 18, 2010 | 20:29

    Hi Shelly for most people it takes a long time to develop discipline and some things are easier than others. I am interested to hear how it goes for you and what works.

  3. scottgoodfellow
    March 19, 2010 | 11:51

    Great Post Eliot!
    I find just taking the first step the hardest. Especially when you know how long the road is.
    Love the blog!
    Scott Goodfellow

  4. Eliot Burdett
    March 19, 2010 | 12:31

    Thanks Scott! I completely agree with you. Ignoring your analytical mind and creating some momentum is almost always the toughest part because sometime it takes weeks. Luckily it gets easier over time. Cheers.

  5. Joe Csk
    February 2, 2012 | 11:18

    this is the best and  most helpful article , i have come come across..  i dunno how can i say thank u..  but thank u 🙂  its so much better when u said u have the same probs..  its easy to relate  to it and get better. it would be great if u can share the things u have achieved in ur life with it so it will be more encouraging . thank u 🙂

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