“With self-discipline, most anything is possible”, wise words by Theodore Roosevelt. These words couldn’t be more true and relates with every aspect in life. Success in anything is never achieved without the art of self-control, which is top priority when it comes to gaining a healthy lifestyle, running a business, or generally being happy.
Self-discipline is a learning behavior. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. For example, when someone is trying to become more active, they normally try to set up a weekly schedule of when to hit the gym. Some go every other day, others hit the gym early in the morning. However, if you set a goal to hit the gym every day of the week before work and you only go once, that learning curve drops. Self-discipline is learned through repetition. Throwing a football, hitting a baseball, pitching a sale; their all taught through a continuous cycle of a specific amount of reps a day. It’s like your putting your body through practice. Waking up at 5am is hard to do when the body and brain are so used to sleeping in until noon, however, the more you do it the less you’ll have to fight yourself to get out of bed.
It’s hard to tell yourself to do something and then automatically expect to do it when the time comes. Unfortunately, when we get too familiarized with the rhythm of life, we further ourselves from everything else. If hitting the gym isn’t something we are used to doing we tend to focus less on that and more on something we are used to doing every day, for example, our jobs. We don’t discipline ourselves enough to get out of that comfort zone.
Here are couple things I do to practice self-discipline and control.
1. Write goals
I was taught that writing goals down every day is the step to learning discipline. Your forcing yourself to write down exactly what you want and how you’re going to get it. However, it isn’t just about writing them down, it’s how you write them that really makes a difference. First, write three short term goals. Always start with short term because the better you get at mastering those mini habits, the closer you get to those long-term goals. After you’ve written your three short term goals down, then you write down 3 ways you’re going to achieve the goal under each. This not only allow you to hold yourself accountable, but gives you a plan as well. Always keep these close to look at so you can cross out each goal you’ve achieved.
2. Reward yourself
YES! Rewarding yourself is a positive practice and results in extreme progression. That’s why cheat days exist! Give yourself one day of the week where pizza or hamburgers from in and out are acceptable. If you hit a goal of losing 20 lbs, go buy a gorgeous dress. Without the self-celebration, it usually leads to disappointment. We want to uplift, not bring down.
3. Write down a to-do list
Being organized is super important when it comes to self-discipline. Writing down a to-do list gives you a visual idea of what exactly needs to be done that day. Going back to earlier, people tend to focus on their daily routines and forget the extra stuff that needs to be done, for example, grocery shopping, stretching, or hitting the gym. Physically writing it down allows the brain to remember things better than trying to memorize. It also allows you to track your progress. The best feeling in the world is when you achieve something you’re not used to achieving.
4. Be positive
Being negative just keeps you from moving forward. You must be positive about anything that goes on in life because there is no such thing as a perfect human being. We screw up all the time, however, that’s the moment when you pick up your feet and keep moving. If you read about Thomas Edison or J.K. Rowling, you notice that no matter what the obstacle was, they always kept going. Don’t ever think about what you did, think about what you can do!