We all want more self-control. It is common to fantasize how much easier life would be if eating right wasn’t such a struggle or a trip to the gym wasn’t such a fight with self.
Self-discipline is a trait that you need to develop. You are not born with the ability. In fact, by following a few simple tips, you can start improving your self-discipline skills almost immediately. Here’s how:
Understand What’s Particularly Tempting
We all have a weakness. Whether we can’t say no to the salty snacks or wind up staying up too late night after night, we’re looking at the same problem: A lack of self-discipline. By knowing what our triggers are, it’s a simple matter to defuse them.
Change Your Environment
Once you know what tempts you, the simple solution is to remove the trigger from your environment. Salty snacks? Stop buying them. Staying up late? Remove the lightbulb from your bedroom. Don’t be afraid to get radical and more than a little creative.
Set a Goal
Without a plan, how can you accomplish anything? Ask what you’re trying to change. What does your new future look like for you? Make an action plan to take you there.
Self-discipline doesn’t happen overnight. The only way you’re going to learn it is to practice it. Look at the plan you just created. What steps does it require? Push yourself to act on those steps, daily.
Break Things Down
Change is more natural to make when the steps are kept small and very simple. Break things down to their smallest components. What’s something small you can do today to help you build the habit of self-discipline?
Pay Attention to Your Body
Your physical health will always affect your willpower, so taking care of the basics, such as getting enough sleep and exercising regularly will help you to have better self-discipline.
Gain a New Perspective
The moment you start thinking you have no self-discipline, or that your willpower is a finite resource, you start limiting yourself. By changing your inner dialogue, you’re more likely to have success. Remind yourself often: “I’ve got this.” It truly is about mind over matter.
What’s Plan B?
When going into a difficult situation where you know self-discipline will be challenged, create a backup plan. Know before you begin just what you’re going to do if the worst happens. Implement as needed.
When you succeed in your goals, don’t be afraid to allow yourself a small reward. As human beings, we’re wired to work our best when we know we’re going to get something out the experience we want.
Know How to Move On
Screwed up? Forgive yourself. Keep going. It’s normal for everyone to mess up now and again. It’s what you do next that matters.