Self discipline is an incredibly important trait to form, cultivate, and continuously work on to improve yourself and improve your life.
Self discipline can help improve every aspect of your life. Having better than average levels of self discipline can help you achieve both daily tasks better and faster but also help you achieve large and life long goals.
Improving self discipline will help your career, physical and mental health, and any dreams you have.
But as you probably know it is difficult to improve your self discipline.
So where do you start in this journey for better self discipline?
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Step 1) Identify where you can improve.
The first and one of the most important things you can do to work towards improving your self discipline is to identify where you can improve.
What aspects of self discipline are your weakest points?
Grab a notebook and start writing. Be honest with yourself (lying to yourself will not help you achieve this goal of improvement). Do you spend too much time on social media? Do you have a hard time focusing? Do you have a hard time saying no to others? There’s probably something that immediately comes to mind when you think about where you are lacking self discipline.
If you are struggling to think of where you are lacking or where you have areas to improve them look at these 12 time wasting habits. They may be able to help you identify where you have opportunities for improvement.
Step 2) Determine what motivates you.
The next step for improving your self discipline is to determine what motivates you to succeed.
By thinking about and identifying what motivates you then that sets you up to be able to remind yourself of that item when you find yourself struggling for self improvement. Remember this:
“People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
I have found it’s very helpful to get a foam based poster board or even a canvas and paint pens and write out what it is that motivates you. It doesn’t have to be overly artistic or detailed just writing “family” or “my dreams” will help remind you every day of what motivates you.
Step 3) Minimize distractions and temptations.
Distractions and temptations are something that every one is guilty of falling for on a regular basis. Realistically you will not be able to eliminate every distraction or temptation that is in your life.
However, you can work towards minimizing the distractions and decreasing the temptations. Yes, self discipline involves being strong but in order to work on improving your self discipline it is best to work on temptations and distractions one by one rather than all at once!
For more details on tackling this step then go to this full guide on minimizing distractions in your life.
Step 4) Create daily goals and plans.
The next step to improve your self discipline is to work on what you will be doing every day.
The day to day is just as important for achieving this goal as much as the big picture steps are.
What you do every day will be the actual practice of the self discipline and each day is an opportunity to continue to improve your self discipline. Use that knowledge as you plan each of your days. This is 2 parts- the details and the goals.
Daily goals help keep you in line with your larger goals and sticking to these daily goals is a great way to improve yourself. And achieving these daily goals requires a lot of self discipline and allow you to practice and grow your self discipline as your every day goals get closer to your life goals.
For more information on determining, writing, and creating your every day goals list then check out this daily goals guide.
The second part is the detailed daily plan. As you are really committing and focusing on improving yourself it is important to be very detailed in your daily plans. This helps keep you away from temptations and distractions and in a way forces you to stay on track.
The best way to create this detailed daily plan is to get an hourly planner. This planner needs to stay with you at all times to keep you on track.
Also, to keep your hourly planner from getting cluttered and difficult to read use colored pens to coordinate and separate different categories. Fine tip pens are ideal for this as well.
Step 5) Turn these steps into habits.
The final, but still incredibly important, step for improving your self discipline is taking the steps above and turning everything you learned into habits.
Committing for a week or two to motivating yourself and creating daily plans is great but unless you put in the time and effort to make these permanent habits in your life they will never stick!
So take the time and effort to really focus on this goal of self improvement for a whole month. And then at the beginning of each month evaluate the previous month and being honest with yourself if you are putting an honest effort and focus into your self discipline and constantly improving it. You may need from time to time to repeat the first 2 steps to see what now needs to be improved and if anything new is motivating you.
Let’s recap everything:
Improving your self discipline will take time. Start implementing these steps today and working towards achieving your goal of better self discipline.
But be patient with yourself and remember that this is a life long process and there is always room to continue to improve yourself!