Discipline is basically doing something you don’t want to do. I was told from an early age along with “Work Hard Play Hard”, that in life, I’ll have to do things that I don’t want to do. But that also sparked the thought of a life where I DON’T have to do anything I don’t want to do. Is that possible? What the hell would that look like? A life of no “unwanted” obligations and no “unwanted” responsibilities?! Every action I take, every place I go, everyone that I interact with is because I want to! That might be happiness to me right there.
It feels good to be strong.
Humans have a tendency to give in too easily. If something is difficult, we stop and move on to something else. No big deal. But it sort of is… Self-discipline is committing to something without falling prey to instant gratification. We fall in a slump and we can pick up bad habits very easily. If you don’t learn discipline at a young age, it’s difficult to jump start it, but very much possible. Think about how you currently spend your time. Now think about how you wish you spent your time in the last year. I bet it differs.
Most people have an inability to control their desires and impulses long enough to stay focused on what needs to get done. If that sounds familiar, it sets you back in your day which sets you back in your week and so on and so forth. It’s all about taking small consistent daily actions that help you form positive habits that support your objective.
Now think about how you see yourself and answer these 10 questions:
Do you like your…
- Can you commit to 24 hours at a time?
If you answered “no” to any of the first 8, then you have a major opportunity. Questions 9 & 10 should be a big fat YES! We all have weaknesses and we can all commit for at least one day.
“Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.”
As soon as you accept that it might be difficult, then the process can begin. No matter what bad habit you’re trying to break or a new routine you’re putting into place, the first day is the most difficult. Like starting ones home work or getting yourself to the gym. The moment you move in the right direction, the relief and motivation kick in and you’re immediately feeling better about yourself.
Action inspires motivation.
I’m a big fan of routine. Meals have their time, workouts have their time, work has it’s time, things have their place, car wash twice a month, etc. If you can start off small and challenge yourself to do one thing different every day for three weeks, I promise it will become second nature. I use to play video games for hours every day. I gave it up for 22 days and now I rarely ever play because now I choose to spend my time being productive. A huge mind altering effect happened there which I thought was impossible. Who would of thought I would WANT to work instead of play video games? I never thought I’d like Brussels sprouts either but hey, people can change.
Get into the habit of asking yourself …
“Does this support the life I’m trying to create?”
Have you ever had a really productive day? Maybe you put in some face time with friends, completed all your errands, squeezed in some exercise and still had time to wrap gifts. You feel good and centered after a day like that. I call it the “Splendid Circle.” Exercise gives you energy and when you use that energy to be productive or accomplish your tasks, you feel better about your life. Plus, exercise releases mood-enhancing hormones into the body. Every day can be like that. An over-all good feeling and a stress-free nights sleep.
Learning to be disciplined can take time but the process should be enjoyable because you’re excited for the outcome. I recommend trying the same Three Week Test I did.
- Remove bad temptation – Whether that is junk food, Xbox, Cell phone while studying, etc. Get rid of it. “Out of sight, out of mind” actually does work and it should be your first step towards more focus and discipline.
- Charge you phone away from your bed – This keeps me from phoning for two hours in the morning when I should be up and moving.
- Download the Meetup app. and search your favorite hobby or sport – Great way to make friends, get out of the house, stay active, keep in shape and stay motivated.
- Take a daily multi-vitamin & health or protein shake – Adding some uber healthy ingredients to your daily routine will lift your overall moral. You are what you eat!
- Get to bed an hour earlier – I found by giving myself some buffer time for sleep helped a lot the next day. Night owls risk the chance of being completely fatigued the next day.
- Buy one new article of workout gear – Whether that’s hiking shoes, leggings, or tank top, if you’re like me, you get excited to wear new things and try them out in action. It might be that small boost you need.
- Say “Yes” just a little more – One thing I learned this past few years is that you have NO IDEA what can happen or who you can meet by agreeing to do something.
- Set your outfit out the night before – Doing this allows you to picture the game plan for the next day and have a more efficient morning.
- Get creative with multi-tasking and reminders – Every week my phone reminds me to clean the betta fish tank. Of course, this isn’t something I look forward to but before I start cleaning, I put food in the oven. By the time I’m done cleaning, my lunch is ready. Not only does this make me feel a little more efficient but I now relate a tasty lunch after mundane task. I do my best to combine all sorts of stuff in my life. Especially when it involves tasks that don’t get me excited.
If you have any self-discipline stories of your own, please share them below.