09 Jun Importance of Self-Discipline
Everyone has heard of self-discipline and on a fundamental level practices self-discipline daily (we all brush our teeth) but not everyone takes it to the next level. You may be asking what I mean by this, let me explain… Do you know someone that sets their alarm for 4:00 AM so they can get a workout in, read a chapter in their book, and make a healthy breakfast all before they go to work, or their family gets up? Do you know someone that currently works a full-time job, goes to school, and manages to raise a family? Do you know someone that volunteers every Saturday no matter what occasion arises in their own personal life? These are all GREAT examples of true self- discipline.
Self-Discipline has many definitions but MindTools.com says it best, “Self-discipline is the ability to push yourself forward, stay motivated, and take action, regardless of how you’re feeling, physically or emotionally. You’re showing it when you intentionally choose to pursue something better for yourself, and you do despite factors such as distractions, hard work, or unfavorable odds. Self-discipline is different from self-motivation or willpower. Motivation and willpower contribute to it, as do persistence, the ability to follow through on your intentions, and hard work.”
I am sure if we think about it, we can come up with a million reason why it is important to practice self-discipline but below I share some of the most important:
- – Helps you reach your goals
- – Helps you achieve success
- – Helps you stay motivated
- – Helps you avoid acting on impulse
- – Helps create healthy habits for you physically and mentally
- – Help produce high-quality work
- – Improves performance
Okay okay, I am sure we all understand that self-discipline is important but that’s the easy part. The real question is, how does someone work on improving their self-discipline?
- – Set a goal. We hear this time and time again how important goal setting is and this is one more reason on the list. When you set a goal and I mean truly set it, write it down, say it out loud and tell others you signal to yourself that this is something you wish to accomplish and have formed the understanding that this will in the long run be worth any sacrifices made in the short term. Its important to start small and work your way up, same is true for self-discipline. Take the example of working out every day, start by putting your work out cloths on every single day. Then when you disciplined yourself to do that every day add in the next step maybe that’s walking around the block maybe that’s showing up to the gym (even if you don’t get out). Before you know it you will have disciplined yourself to show up every day at the gym and complete a workout all because you set the goal to work out every day.
- – Try to remove obstacles. Do you get distracted by your cell phone? Put it away for an hour a day and refocus your attention to a goal or to a task that needs to be completed. Activating this self-discipline can have huge results just by eliminating a distraction for one hour. Say time is an obstacle, you feel you don’t have time to work out. Start taking walks while you are on the phone, do some squats and pushups while on your lunch break, when you are playing with your kids in the yard do some lunges or truly sprint when chasing the ball. Changing the way you view obstacles and reroute your discipline.
- – Find motivation. This could the thought of what happens once the healthy habits are created, this could be the end goal, this could even be the feeling you get when you realize you stuck to the commitment you made to yourself and that proud moment. Whatever it is try to find what motivates you and use that as fuel for self-discipline to do that thing you maybe don’t feel like doing today. Ultimately you will begin to replace old habit with new and the motivation will continue to grow.
Think of self-discipline as a muscle and know that it can be improved over time with practice. Before you know it, you’ll be the one waking up at 4:00AM every day! We encourage you to set goals in all areas of your life and build those healthy habits.