Updated: Jan 28
The importance of self-discipline
Self-discipline is one of the most important qualities for success. Most successful people have a high degree of self-discipline and work hard to achieve their goals. In theory, your goal is to achieve your next goal more quickly and with less pain. The key to self-discipline is having a schedule that gets you to your goal on time.
How to start building self-discipline
Self-discipline is a skill you can learn and improve with time. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1) Focus on one thing at a time
Multitasking is a great way to make yourself feel productive, but it’s a terrible way to get things done. Instead, focus on one task at a time with a solid goal in mind. It might look like this:
At the beginning of each day, write three things you’ll be disciplined to do during that day.
Make sure each is a task worth performing against a specific timeframe. It could be twenty-five minutes, an hour, or longer.
Decide when you’ll start and stop those tasks.
Every time you perform a task, record its completion.
Doing that allows you to view your goals and the tasks you’ve chosen to do against a timeline. This is self-discipline at work. Seriously, it will make you a better teacher, leader, husband, and doer of business.
2) Repeat the schedule
No matter how perfect your schedule and plan might seem, it will never feel like doable work unless you force it. Focus, then as you get going, come back and do it again the following week, week, and week over week. It might seem excessive at first, but you will be so much more productive if you force yourself to do these things every day. Plus, they will become part of your DNA over time.
How to develop the right mindset for self-discipline
To develop the right mindset for self-discipline you need to be able to see things clearly and then take action. You need to be able to recognize the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
It’s important to understand where you are, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. The fastest way to do this is to monitor the micro-sculptures within your mind. Consciously commit to improvement (daily, weekly, monthly). This means that when you think about your progress, it is always based on concrete things happening in your life. The more you think in terms of days, weeks, and months, the more you will develop self-discipline.
Why is discipline difficult to develop?
Being able to break out of a habitual pattern in order to become more self-disciplined is not impossible. It requires self-reflection and the ability to confront life and the chain of automatic habits, actions, and reactions we have in ourselves created.
Learning to harness your own inner discipline has to involve you changing the way you think and behave. So it needs to come from within your personality—you need to identify the traits that are important for you to be able to sustain it. As it turns out this isn’t just about identifying optimal self-discipline. It is the combined effort of adopting these traits that will ensure you achieve optimal discipline.