Self Discipline – “The ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses”.
Having discipline is said to be the foolproof way to truly achieving goals. Ask anyone who is “successful”, they will include in their reasons for success the discipline required.
Of course, we are all aware that to truly stay focused on a target and complete it, requires us to stay consistent. But to stay consistent even when we feel like we are not yielding results requires as to have a discipline. I hope you will be glad to know that discipline is a skill that is developed and not a natural-born element (although there are some people who may come across that way). But here is a disclaimer, for those who may seem to have a natural knack for self-discipline, the only difference is the absolute will to turn their dream into a reality, from dreamer to creator. Nevertheless, it is one thing to know something and another to apply it. So, what steps can you take to improve upon this skill?
Invest In Yourself
This is not another one of those love yourself moments. To truly invest in yourself, is a lot more about making sure you live your life to its full potential than ‘loving yourself’. Of course, there is nothing wrong with loving yourself but to be honest with you the term has become redundant and most people do not even truly understand what is meant by it. But that is another post for another time. When we talk about investing in yourself, it is about taking the time to teach, educate, research and put your selves within the environment which is in alignment with your goal. This can be in the form of reading books that teaches you about the field you hope to become part of, finding a mentor who already has experience and knowledge to pass on to you. Attend seminars and workshops, network. Treat it like entering a new relationship, you are excited, you intently come up with ways to spend time with that person. In that same way, be intentional about putting effort into your work and goals which leads me neatly into my next point.
Discipline requires you to be intentional. Do not just do it for doing sake. Why are you waking up at 6 am in the morning, what will that help you do? Why are you having more vegetables in your diet? Ask yourself, what is your why? Is what you are doing helping in any way towards your goal. If it does what are the ways you can develop on it or what is the next step after that. It is hard to have direction when there is no intent.
Start with the SMALL THINGS FIRST
It’s amazing how much the little things count. Sometimes we feel like we can only do something when we get to a certain stage in life. Like I cannot give now because I do not have X amount in the bank, or I can’t invest in a relationship now because my career isn’t where I need it to be and the list goes on. Have you ever considered about just starting with what you have now and the little that you may know? Learning comes with time and experience so the best to do is just start. For example, sometimes I stare at my screen and I just think, what do I write about today? Do I have enough experience in this field to write about, will people like it, read it? All of these are valid questions, however, I would never know the answer if I do not put pen to paper. The great thing about starting is that it leads you straight on to other things and before you know you are learning and moving forward.
If you truly wish to be disciplined you need to get yourself an accountability partner. This year, one of my main goals was and still is to improve on my physical fitness. Of course, I kept saying it and never truly took the steps to stay disciplined. When I went to the gym, the moment I felt tired or just couldn’t be bothered I would leave. However, when I found someone to train with, I found myself dragging my body out of bed 6 am every morning. Having someone who questions me left me with no excuse because honestly, I didn’t have one. Strangely enough, we are quite content in being disappointed in ourselves, but when someone else is involved we get our act together. So have that person who will check up on you and check you (in love) when you need that little encouragement. Whoever you pick must be likely to help, don’t just pick a friend who you know is just as bad at you at staying disciplined. That literally defeats the object. I usually pick someone I’m inspired by.
I hope that you find these steps applicable. What other steps have you used to stay disciplined?
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments – Jim Rohn