Is this You?

How many of us have said, “I would like to be fitter, lose a few extra pounds?”

So you put together a bit of exercise plan and think “Yes I can do this” but deep down that little doubt creeps in, “Do I have the self-discipline to achieve my goal”?

You decide you want to get to the gym at 7:00 AM every morning. You are excited because like a lot of people you joined a gym and have not yet been. So I have finally made the decision and can’t wait to get up in the morning to go for your first session at the gym.

You wake up with the alarm at 6:00 AM. And now you do something that is the worst thing possible. Deep down you know you shouldn’t do it. But you do. Its a force of habit. And what is it you have done, your worst enemy. You start to THINK.

“I could do with an extra few minutes in bed. It’s only 6:00 AM and I have plenty of time before I go to the gym at 7:00 AM anyway”

“And also I had a late night last night and I didn’t much sleep, so I need the extra time in bed so I can have a good day at work”

“Any way the weather is pretty cold and there is a bit of snow on the roads”

“I can go to the gym once I finish work”

“I will make up for today and spend an extra hour in the gym tomorrow”

Who are you kidding? It will never happen. You have decided your excuses are rational and logical. You feel good about yourself. It creates an impression that it is somehow OK not to do what you decided to do, even if you know you should do it. You keep going on why you shouldn’t go to the gym, you find more excuses, till finally, you are tired of thinking about it. This leads to one thing – inaction.

How many times has it happened that you decided something and didn’t follow through? How many times did you rationalize your inactions and indecisions?

Let’s say in an alternate reality, you made the decision (after a lot of thinking) and after that, you stopped thinking.

The good news is that self-discipline can be learned and strengthened over time. The bad news… it doesn’t come easy.

If you’re interested in understanding discipline and it’s role in human behaviour, read behaviour Willpower – by Roy F. BaumeisterJohn Tierney

 

Three crucial points that aid in understanding why we allow ourselves to procrastinate, what we need to do to avoid it, and the key to never procrastinating again

How To Be A Disciplined Person?

It’s hard because everyone is different and we all have different priorities in our lives, some things are more important than others. Every single day, we’re challenged to practice restraint – self-discipline – when temptation inevitably presents itself.

So how do we stay the course? Well, a lot depends on…you.

Self-Discipline

And your interpretation of the following three things.

Do More Of What You Like.

Sounds simple. But, alas, it’s true. It’s easier to wake up early and go for a brisk walk before work if exercising makes you calm, happy and fulfilled. It’s easier to sit down and write for three hours after a long day at work if you’re passionate about developing your skills. It’s easier to attend networking events if you enjoy making conversation with strangers. If you find that you’re struggling to find the motivation to complete a task, consider it a sign that you probably don’t value the experience as much as you think.

Understand Your Triggers.

As much as we try, we aren’t robots. Part of being alive involves being predisposed to certain triggers – words, places, people, sounds, smells – and recognising when they will most likely arise. Once we can anticipate them, we can start building healthy responses to them. This won’t eliminate our emotions – which is in some ways unavoidable – but it can manage our actions following exposure.

Try Reverse Engineering. Establish Your Values.

It’s much easier to train yourself to perform a certain task or sustain a particular habit if the action reinforces a core value. Dig deep. What’s important to you? For example, I value trust so every day I read two or three editorial that presents a different view that opposes mine. Another example: I spend time raising funds for the Air Ambulance, I have an interest in helicopters so I thought this service plays a vital role in saving lives, how can I help them? It’s much easier to do things that, at their core, perpetuates a deep-seated belief that you hold. Its all about and involves self-reflection. What makes you tick? What motivates you?

There are many keys to self-discipline, but only through practice can you figure out the best combination for you. Try doing some of the following:

Related Article: How Jordan Peterson and his 12 Rules For Life get it all wrong

Victories in Success & Failure

A big mistake a lot of people make is that they make a mistake, and get discouraged by this. They feel bad about messing up. This causes them to just give up and not want to think about developing self-discipline.

But really: failure is actually a victory.

Why: Because failure means you made an effort, you tried. So it’s a victory from the start. You took action.

But, whats more important is that you have learned something — you now know that what you tried didn’t quite work. Next time, you can try something a bit different. Add more accountability, just because you failed once doesn’t mean you fail again if you come from a different angle. Because of your failure, you have new information. You’ve learned, and that helps you get better. We all learn from our mistakes.

Failure is a victory. Success is also a victory. No matter what your result, you can see it as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to get better. Remember that we only grow from having an open mind-not closed.

This is not about being perfect it’s about dedication, perseverance, and to just keep trying.

The next time you fail at whatever you’re trying to do, instead of letting it get you down, see it as a victory. Then just keep going, no matter what, because if you give up you will never taste the victory on the bitter taste of defeat

Let’s Take It A stage Further With My Five Key Disciplines To Master.
Focus.

Like any other kind of lifestyle, leading a self-discipline life starts when you start the day—in the morning. That’s the time when you set the tone to the next 12–18 hours of your life. You can choose to be reactive, which can mean you wake up, get your phone, and start checking emails, and your social media. You might catch up on the news and get engrossed in the headlines, none of which you have control of. Or, you might answer calls or respond to text messages that your friends start sending you during breakfast.Why not try something different each morning. If you’d like to create a different beginning to your day, start by getting proactive. Train your brain to be focused as soon as you wake up. Try it.

Here is a quick and easy way to do this?

Start your day with this question: “What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?” This technique trains your brain to focus on which goals are important to you right now, and it forces you to prioritize the goal you believe to be the most relevant in this moment. How do you start? Put it in writing. Write it in big bold letters on a sheet of paper and hang it in your bedroom or bathroom wall. Read it out loud as you start your day, for example as you’re brushing your teeth or getting ready for work or school. Come up with an answer on the spot and answer it out loud. Then follow up by taking action—focus your energy throughout the day to completing your one thing.

Self-Discipline

Timing.

There are a time and place for everything in life, but things have to be done in a certain order. It’s your priorities that come first, work before pleasure has always been in the back of my mind at the start of every day.

There’s time for spontaneity, and then there’s time to do what you need to do. In other words, timing—just like in most other aspects of your life—is everything. Being self-disciplined means you do your hard work first before you do anything for relaxation and pleasure. It means you are aware of which times of day should be devoted to doing hard work, and which times can be allotted to the nicer things in life, like entertainment and socializing with family and friends.

Here is a quick and easy way to do this?

Try and get up early in the morning, try and make the most of your mornings. Build a habit of doing your hard work early when you at your best. This means taking full advantage of your circadian rhythm (your body’s biological clock), which is your natural rhythm that “knows” what are the optimal times for you to perform certain tasks.

Huffington Post: 

Canadian researchers studied brain rhythms in a small number of subjects and observed that optimal functioning occurs increasingly in the morning as we age. The findings provide strong evidence that ageing adults should perform their most demanding tasks in the morning. Read

For most people, the early morning hours are optimal for doing deep work—work that requires a lot of concentration. Specifically, the brain’s peak performance is 2-4 hours after we wake up. So if you wake up at 7, then your peak times are between 9 and 11 a.m that when your brain is at its optimal performance level, basically you get more done in that time frame.

The number one reason to build self-discipline is that by exercising self-control in one aspect of your life will overflow into other area’s of your life as well.

Delayed Gratification.

What’s the point of doing something difficult first in order to reward yourself later? You’d be surprised how this change in attitude will transform your life. If doing your hard work early helps you focus better and get those responsibilities out of the way, the flip side of self-discipline is that you start to reorganise things based on your priorities, you move the important things to the first actions of the day and the more pleasurable aspects of your day will only happen when you have completed all your tasks.

Related Article: Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle Using Time Effectively, Not Just Efficiently

In a study performed by Stanford University scientists, results showed that delayed gratification can increase your chance at succeeding in many areas of your life—your education, career, short and long-term goals, even your personal life choices. This study is now famous and is called the Marshmallow experiment.

Here is a quick and easy way to do this?

This is not easy to do, but it’s not as hard as it sounds. You can start by observing the things you’d like to indulge in whenever the opportunity presents itself—for example, you fancy having a McDonalds for lunch. Then, resist the temptation to immediately choose to treat yourself by thinking of one reason why not to have the McDonalds: maybe you’re starting off the new year with new fitness goals or having a better diet. And follow up—take your attention away from the distractions and focus on your priorities for the day: completing an assignment for work, going for a swim, listening to your favourite band on the radio or catching up on a film you recorded. Anything that takes your mind away from the McDonalds.

No Distractions.

Would you like to say No more often?  By leading a self-disciplined life means that you can learn how to say no more often. For example: Giving in to your temptations to take part in pleasant activities, stopping your desire to procrastinate on your daily priorities, and not letting distractions take over your day.

These may seem harmless, but distractions can easily take your mind away from your work. One minute you’re just catching up with an old friend on Facebook, and before you realise it two hours have gone by and you are behind on completing an important report which needs to be with your manager by the end of the day which means you are going to have to work late to complete. But when you turn off what distracts you, have a better chance to actually do what’s important.

Here is a quick and easy way to do this?

Be aware that distractions come from different sources, not just your electronic devices. Your goal, if you’re going to lead a self-disciplined life, is to dial down all types of distractions so they’re not in your way. How do you start? First, set your phone to Airplane mode when you need to focus on your work—try it for a 2-hour period to begin. Next, let people around you (family members, friends, or roommates) know you won’t be available to talk to them in the next few hours. Check your email and social media apps only 2–3 times a day; start around lunchtime and then check them later in the afternoon. Avoid browsing the Internet or reading news throughout the day; close all tabs in your browser to avoid any temptations to just check that one thing on Google.

Attitude.

Like with all other areas in your life, self-discipline is for the most part all about attitude and mindset. How do you define self-discipline? Does it sound like a practice that is difficult, uncomfortable, hard? If it does, maybe it’s time to take a hard look because the attitude you have towards self-discipline will either help you or stop you from instilling it in your daily life. For me, it’s never been about what I “should” do or what feels uncomfortable to do. It’s all about what it can afford me. And I’ve realized this: self-discipline = freedom. With daily practice, self-discipline trains my brain to prioritize the things I can control, allows me to let go of what I cannot, and frees me up to focus on what will get me to my ultimate goal: becoming a better version of myself.

Here is a quick and easy way to do this?

Instead of just living life day by day, start thinking about the big picture of your life. Even if practising self-discipline may feel like you’re sacrificing some things right now (time out with friends or indulging in a delicious dessert), think about what leading a self-disciplined life will afford you. Write down a list of new habits you’re practising (or want to start practising) that can add up to bigger results a year from now. Make sure you create time in your calendar to devote to these new habits so you can make progress—even a 30-minute session of practising a new skill or habit is enough to begin. When you understand the benefits of leading a self-disciplined life, you are much more likely to invest in it and nurture it. It will then become a lifestyle that can afford you your future—the future of the best version of yourself.

What Does This For You?

We all have pleasures in life and we know certain things aren’t good for us, but we enjoy them too much to give up. Live your life; it’s the only one you have. Make sure to enjoy yourself, although don’t make it to the detriment of your health, job or home life.

In today’s culture, most temptations have adverse effects on our health, mood, and productivity. Becoming more disciplined over your actions will help you exert self-control when necessary. That said, there are a time and a place when you should spoil yourself. But make it on your schedule rather than losing self-control at will.

And when using discipline, it’s not an all or nothing experience. You can use it in some area’s of your life and maybe not others. Some of your tendencies that required discipline won’t anymore as they become a habit.

Don’t ever let it get to the point that someone else needs to make decisions for you. They can help guide you where to go but in the end, you must make the decisions to improve your life because only you can do what’s in your best interest.

Learning self-control will become a powerful tool that can be used whenever you need it. It will help keep you focused, you will become more motivated by seeing results and changes. You’ll have more confidence in yourself based on your overall mood and success in exerting discipline. Understanding the ups and downs of how willpower works in your life will give you greater control over it.

 

 

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