Theodore Roosevelt once said – With self discipline, most anything is possible.
Self-discipline is not just a skill, it’s a habit; a habit that needs to be inculcated and followed with steadfastness. Many a time, there is a vast difference between what we are supposed to be doing and what we are doing. The only way to merge the two is by self discipline.
Irrespective of whether one is a working professional, athlete, mother or a student, self discipline is a great way to achieve set goals. It can make a professional increase productivity, an athlete improve stamina, a mother work a full-time job and a student get high grades. However, with self discipline comes the requirement of great will and determination. If you possess the resolve but are having trouble seeking it out, self discipline is a great way to channelise your efforts in the right direction.
To be disciplined, you need to have a thorough understanding of yourself. What are your problem areas? What tasks do you struggle with? Why do you put things off? Answering these questions can at least put you on the right path. It’s simple really – once you know what you struggle with, you know what you have to work on!
Many people already know what they struggle with, but are still unable to generate the effort to fight. In such situations, focusing on the larger picture can help. For instance, if you have been meaning to hit the gym but haven’t been able to find the motivation to do so, think of why you need to go. Staying healthy in the present can keep you healthy in the future and will prevent unnecessary pain and medical expenditure then. If you have been meaning to begin studying for an approaching exam, think about how much easier it will be on the night before the exam, if you put in a little effort every day.
Setting timelines for tasks can also help generate self discipline. Allot a few minutes a day to deal with tough tasks. Before you know it, it will become part of your routine and you’ll get things done a lot faster! If the first few days are hard, tell yourself things like ‘1, 2, 3, GO!’ or ‘Do it NOW!’ to push yourself to begin. The more you delay, the harder it gets.
Surround yourself with disciplined people so it can boost your competitive streak. When you get things done, reward yourself. If you obediently go to the gym for a week, reward yourself with a relaxed day off. Set smaller goals for yourself with small rewards, and increase the level as you go along.
The benefits of self-discipline are countless – greater focus, productivity, efficiency, effectiveness, performance and attentiveness to name a few. Remember, you need to be disciplined enough to follow the steps to becoming disciplined! As Clint Eastwood once said, ‘Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.’
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