Discipline is not a popular word. It is often equated with self sacrifice, a tight routine, a strict set of rules, and in some cases it may involve punishment and a curtailment of freedom. Among the many traits that define a person is self-discipline or the lack thereof.
Because most of your dreams involve many steps and obstacles, you need discipline to achieve your goals. A successful person devotes most of his time and energy perfecting what he does, oftentimes sacrificing little pleasures like hanging out with friends, going on shopping sprees or eating whatever he likes. Discipline in small things amount to a big thing.
While intelligence quotients may differ among people, everyone has a capacity for discipline. Here are some tips that you can use to develop self-discipline:
Know why you want something
The key to discipline is not in blindly following a strict regimen, but in knowing why you are doing it in the first place. An exercise routine leads to a leaner physique. A savings plan can pay off an existing debt. Studying a subject closely may make you an expert in your field. When you are aware of what your goals are, you stay motivated even when your physical limits are being tested.
Develop a system and maintain it
A specific goal requires many steps. To lose weight, for example, you may need a health plan that combines a nutritious diet with an exercise routine. During the first few months of your health plan, you may experience some weight loss but to keep the excess pounds away permanently, you need to observe your health plan all year round.
The problem with long term goals is that you tend to lose steam or interest along the way. It is not unusual to hear of people who lose weight after going on a diet for a few months only to gain the excess weight back immediately after that. To maintain discipline, you need to remind yourself of your goal to stay focused.
Practice time management
Time management skills not only help you get things done, but it also helps you maintain a regular routine everyday. Stars are not made overnight. Behind the success of a person is a tale of hardship and difficulty that may have been overcome with perseverance and discipline. What separates the ordinary individual from a disciplined one is the amount of time that the latter spends doing what he needs to do to achieve his goals. With regularity, you may eventually get the hang of doing activities that may initially seem difficult such as working out or practicing a sport.
Reward yourself occasionally
Human behaviour may be reinforced with reward and punishment. Positive reinforcement works best to keep you on track. Treat yourself every now and then to a massage after working out or a hard day at work. Buy yourself that slinky dress after losing a few pounds as a result of following your health plan. Enjoying the rewards of your efforts inspire you to maintain discipline regularly.