How often do we wish we could just sit down and work through our task lists without being distracted.
Some days are easier than others.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could “trick” ourselves into completing things?
Everyone has habits (or addictions) that they want to overcome including procrastination and lack of assertiveness. Developing will power and self-discipline will help ignite your inner strength and build up your self-mastery and decisiveness.
What Is Self-Discipline (And How Do You Know You Have It?)
Will power is the ability to subdue laziness and procrastination. It allows you to command or reject impulses. It also allows you to make a decision and follow it through.
Self-discipline is the stamina to hold on to your dream no matter what gets in the way. It provides you the power to reject instant gratification to get something better later on.
If you are consistently failing to reach your goals, even minor ones, you need to build up your self-discipline and will power. It helps when you have a strong “Why” pulling you along.
Often, we say we want to change our diet to a healthier option. But unfortunately, it usually takes a health scare before we make long lasting changes. And even then, most people go back to the way they were.
Smokers may quit at their first heart attack, but a year later, are back to smoking.
Having a strong “Why” connects you to your inner character. If you are the kind of person who wants to exercise daily on the inside, then you will eventually become a person who exercises daily on the outside.
What Self-Discipline Isn’t
We often think motivation is self-discipline.
Motivation is what happens when we continue to build up our positive habits with self-discipline.
5 Benefits of Self-Discipline
There are many more, but I’ll list out the five biggest buckets.
One of the best benefits of having good self-discipline is being more patient and tolerant of yourself. You may stumble, but you’re going to get back up and keep moving towards your dreams.
This patience will also help you overall in life.
We’ve become a world of desire for instantaneous results and instant gratification. But the people who are truly excelling have the ability to wait. They spend the time learning and testing instead of rushing to release.
An individual with a disciplined mind controls what they say before they say it. This helps with maintaining long term relationships.
Strong self-discipline also helps improve your mental clarity. You will be the calm in the storm. You will be able to see opportunity everywhere.
You’ll appreciate your life more as you’ll discipline yourself to focus on the positive. And it’s always so fun seeing that when you go in with a positive outlook, you get a more positive experience.
It will be easier for you to shed old habits that no longer serve you. Procrastination is a big dream killer. You’ll start achieving more things because you leave behind bad habits and addictions and move forward with mindfulness.
Does this mean you’ll never have bad habits again? No. Every habit we acquired was a strategy against some problem in our life. So as we grow, we will have new problems and old habits holding us back.
Being self-disciplined and mindful will make it easier to refine ourselves when we become aware.
7 Strategies to Build Unbreakable Self-Discipline
Are you ready to build up your will power and self-discipline?
Dr Stephen Covey said that between stimulus and response is a space where we can choose. The stronger your self-discipline, the greater the space and the easier it is to choose the best path.
No matter which strategy you choose first, spend time each week reflecting on your progress. Reward yourself for your victories.
Keeping Yourself Accountable
You can change what you can measure.
So make sure your dream is specific. And then find an appropriate time to re-measure.
If you want to lose weight, you may wish to weigh yourself every other week. This gives you time to see real results, or have time to make adjustments to get back on track.
Some people like weighing every day, and others prefer to weight at the beginning and end of the measurement period. Figure out what will motivate you the most.
Then make sure you journal your progress and your feelings regularly.
When you are well hydrated, nourished, and refreshed, you will be able to tap into your will power more easily than if you’re hungry, sleepy, and cranky.
Learning to Set Boundaries
This is often the most difficult strategy for people to use.
Many of us are people pleasers and feel like we would disappoint someone if we say no to them.
But if you say Yes to everyone else, you’re saying No to you. And that’s not a good habit to have. And don’t feel guilty for putting yourself first. There’s a reason why airplanes tell people to put their own oxygen mask on first before helping others.
So set boundaries so you’re saying Yes to yourself first, and then evaluate what else you say Yes to.
Then work on building up your discipline to protect those boundaries. It also helps keep negative people out of your life.
Will you have to compromise sometimes? Yes. That’s just part of life. But go in mindfully.
Replace Poor Habits with Positive Ones
This can be the best way to ignite your dreams. When you become aware of how a habit is holding you back, you can slowly make changes to completely replace the bad habit with a good one.
Just be aware that often people want to replace all their bad habits at once, and this leads to complete failure. Then when you slip up the first time, you get an all-or-nothing mindset.
So to set yourself up for success, choose one small goal to achieve to build up your self-discipline.
Keep track of the other habits you want to incorporate. Then you can schedule them in. It gets easier as you go along.
It’s important to be honest with yourself with your shortcomings. If you tend to spend too much, it’s not going to do any good to say you’re going to get better at managing money.
Come up with an action plan that makes small adjustments regularly.
So maybe for one month, you write down what you spend without judgement. Then you will become more mindful and can kindly work with yourself to build up will power and self-discipline to spend your money more wisely.
Visualize Your Success
Every day, connect to your goal and your “Why.” Then visualize with feeling how your life will be six months after you have achieved it.
Remove Your Obstacles
If you find yourself slipping into negative thoughts, trust me, you aren’t the only one who suffers from this.
Common mental obstacles:
- I can’t do this.
- It’s too difficult.
- I’m too busy. I’ll do it later.
- I’m going to fail.
- People will laugh at me when I fail.
- I quit. I’m not good enough.
When this happens, just become more aware of it. Then you can say “Thank you” and go back to what you’re working on.
If you need to, spend some time journaling about the negative thought and what it means to you. Then think about ways to prove that it’s not true, and what you will do the next time it pops up.
Coping with Fear and Self-Sabotage
Will power and self-discipline are like muscles. They grow stronger as you use them regularly.
When you aren’t able to stay on track, take some time to meditate. Is this really what you want for yourself? Or are you doing this for someone else?
Is it possible that your goal will take more time or cash than you’re willing to invest? If so but you still desire the end result, it’s time to get creative and find alternate paths. This is where meditation and being open to possibilities helps.
Check in with your gut. It may be telling you something important.
If you promised someone you’d do something, but you really don’t want to do it, then there’s a situation you need to spend some time reflecting. Giving your word should be meaningful.
If you’re often promising and not following through, start working on not promising.
You can also look into renegotiating your promise.
And sometimes in life, you have to just push through and finish it. Hopefully this won’t happen too often. But we all had that class in school that we hated but was required for graduation.
I’ve recommended before setting a timer. You can make yourself do anything for twenty minutes. You may find at the end you have the desire to continue. Excellent!
If not, schedule an appointment when you work for another twenty minutes. And then hold yourself to that commitment. You will start to develop momentum which will help build up your self-discipline and will power.
My Final Thoughts
Some fun ways I read to develop self-discipline is to change up your daily habits. For example, if you prefer sugar in your tea or coffee, drink it one day without.
Take a different way when you drive somewhere. Get out of bed at a different time. Read a book on something you think is boring. (Or start with an article. Maybe you’ll find something interesting about it.)
The key is to make it a game to mess up your mind’s reliance on old habits.
But what if your habit is something like gossiping with coworkers or finding fault with yourself and you want to pull away from that negativity?
Try to find a way to go be alone for a few minutes and journal out your feelings. Remind yourself that you want to be a more positive person.
When you feel powerless, dig deep. You have more power than you realize You just need to develop it.