5 Steps to Develop Self-Discipline

border collie dog keeps cake on her noseSelf-discipline is one of the keys of a highly successful and meaningful life. Discipline enables you to do all the things you know in your heart you should do, even though you may not feel like doing them. Without self-discipline, you will not set clear goals, manage your time effectively, persist through the tough times, look after your health or think positive thoughts. Find out how you can become more disciplined with these 5 steps:

1. What does self-discipline mean to you?

Determine your own meaning for self-discipline. Work on a self-discipline goal for each area of your life, such as health, career, and family. Create a list of all the aspects of your life that you want to work on and become more disciplined in.

2. Face obstacles – now

In most cases, you can pre-determine the types of obstacles you may face when you’re training to be more disciplined. Common obstacles include procrastination, impatience, lack of motivation, insecurities, and wanting to stay in your comfort zone. Figure out the potential challenges you could face on your self-discipline journey and find solutions for them. If any of those challenges come up, you now have solutions on hand and know how to overcome them.

3. Set up routines

Even if it’s a simple morning routine to get ready for your day, routines help you stay organised and disciplined. Find areas in your life where you can create processes, systems and routines to make your day go much smoother. Simplify your routine as much as possible, so you don’t have to do extra ‘work’ and waste time.

4. Make SMART goals

A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic (or risky!) and Timely. Don’t settle for vague goals, such as “I want to get healthier.” If your goals are SMART goals, they will be clearer and more meaningful. You will know how to achieve them and when you need to achieve them by. By knowing exactly what you want, you’ll always have that clear vision in mind and create specific action steps to get there.

5. Start small

If you have trouble getting things done, start with small tasks first. Take tasks from your to-do list that require 5-10 minutes of your attention. Get those out of the way. This helps build up your momentum so that you have an easier time working through bigger tasks. Another way to do this exercise is to break bigger tasks into smaller ones where you can complete them in 5-15 minutes. Breaking down large projects into smaller steps will help you overcome resistance to them.

If you feel overwhelmed by attempting to do all of this at once, focus on one step at a time until you feel comfortable with it and start making some progress. Then, move on to the next step and continue to build your self-discipline.