A study was completed in 2006 concerning self-discipline in students and how it impacts their SAT scores. The results showed certain students were able to achieve higher scores because of their dedication to studying and inherent self-discipline. The others struggled and never managed to reach their full potential.
Studying is not the only activity in life where self-discipline leads to better success. Self-discipline is important in fitness and nutrition for better health.
Here are five tips to improve your self-discipline as soon as possible and reach your full potential sooner.
They are not easy to follow and there will be challenges along the way, but when your mindset is in the right place, you can make it happen.
1) Set a Goal and Finish the Job
Let’s say you are hoping to write a novel shortly. You want it to be about 120 pages long. You have written down the plot and are ready to start.
What is the best way to tackle this project and remain disciplined? Do you just set goals and hope for the best?
No. To be successful you have to not only set goals (i.e. when it should be done), but also to finish the job. Some writers will write as they please but that is the wrong approach; it leads to procrastination, and you never actually finish the book or the project you are working on.
Instead, every day you should choose a specific number of pages to complete and work your way up to that full 120-page count.
This tip applies to any walk of life where discipline is required. You have to both set the goals and finish the job. You cannot set goals and then leave it.
The reason some people are not able to stick to their diets is because they set the goals but do not finish the job. You have to be committed. If you procrastinate, you will never succeed. This might be the most important of the 5 tips to improve self-discipline.
2) Hold Yourself Accountable
Are you holding yourself accountable? Some people know what they are doing wrong but are not willing to hold themselves accountable. If you are making mistakes, you have to become aware of these errors and then fix them.
You cannot just let the same things happen again and again. The people who do that are the ones who fail.
If fixing errors is one of the hardest things for you to do, you will have to set out mini punishments for your mistakes. You have to do what it takes to hold yourself accountable.
Being self-disciplined is not as easy as getting up in the morning and turning on a switch. You have to work for it.
3) Forget Negative People and Their Opinions
People around you are going to talk, and they will put you down. Some of the most successful people can identify a long list of individuals who didn’t think they would be where they are right now.
There will always be people ready to drag you down. Most of them are not enemies but in fact are people who care about your “well-being.” Even so, you have to tune them out.
You have to forget their opinions and remain dedicated. If you let them change your stance, it means that you have lost trust in your ability. Self-discipline demands self-confidence; that is the only way you will be able to meet the goals you have set.
It is not supposed to be a free ride, and you should not treat it as such. You will have people who don’t like what you are doing, but push forward anyway [or nonetheless or despite them].
4) List Distractions and Purposely Ignore Them
What are some of the distractions in your life that have to be ignored? Do you listen to a lot of music on your phone? Do you use the laptop to surf the web all day long? Do you watch TV shows in binges and never take the time to do something productive?
Distractions vary from individual to individual. Success is going to come down to self-awareness. Are you ready to seek out these distractions and eliminate them? Be patient and look for all of the distractions in your life.
I’m not telling you to remove them forever; that is drastic and unnecessary. Instead, set a time limit on each of these distractions and stick to it. This is what self-discipline is all about.
5) Remove Unnecessary Decisions
What are you going to eat in the morning when you get up?
This is a question some people have, and they are not decisive with their answering and tend to waste time and not make the right choices. Do you want to keep spending valuable time on this question?
It is better to have your meals prepared a 3-4 days or a week in advance. Need help with meal prep? Contact me for more information.
This approach will allow you to move on with the rest of your day. Stop spending 10 to 15 minutes standing in the kitchen looking at your options. Have breakfast ready beforehand and simply prepare it.
This is why people who eat cereal in the morning are often disciplined. Making breakfast is easy, and does not take up a lot of time.
This tip is not just about choosing the food you are eating, but about all of those unnecessary tasks that people end up doing. You have to eliminate them as soon as you can.
If you are spending too much time making these kinds of decisions, you will never get a chance to work towards bettering yourself as a person. You will get lost in the details.
These five tips to improve your self-discipline take work. Being disciplined is not a skill, and you will have to be patient. You will have ups and downs because self-discipline does not come naturally to everyone. You will have to be mindful of the mistakes you are making and remain honest with yourself.
If you make a mistake, accept it and get better. People who don’t learn from their mistakes are the worst at making improvements, and will never increase their self-discipline.
You have the potential to become better. It begins with your mindset.