You have already heard many variations of the saying, “Hard work trumps talent.” That is because the statement rings true for anyone who is aspiring to accomplish anything. Talent may give you an initial leg up in achieving your goals, but it is hard work that truly propels you forward to growing and evolving as a person.
If you want to set yourself up for success in the long term, you have to learn the difficult, but valuable art of discipline. Self-discipline is a quality that helps you grow across every aspect of your life—from your passions to your career. It is the secret to nurturing a happy and fulfilled life.
Simple Ways to Build Self Discipline
Building a habit of self-discipline often feels burdensome because it seems so abstract. But discipline is developed through small, consistent acts. Start with these six practical tips:
1. Practice with your pets
Sure, it seems odd, but the road to discipline is often intimidating. Make the path more pleasant for yourself by involving your favorite furry friends!
Taking care of a pet does not just add joy to your life. It is also a wonderful way to learn discipline. How? When you have a pet, you have the responsibility to follow a routine that makes sure they live healthily and safely.
You feed them, walk them, bathe them, and play with them regularly. Even when your puppies undergo formal training, you make sure these lessons are reinforced when you come home.
The routine you follow with your pets teaches you to concentrate on the task at hand. It also shows you that you are capable of being disciplined when you put your mind to it.
2. Set clear goals regularly
When you know you struggle with discipline, you have to give yourself clear goals to follow through with. Setting vague objectives only leaves you with too much room to compromise because you don’t have a concrete action plan.
While big goals are great to have, it is even wiser to break these down into smaller tasks that outline steps you will take to achieve the big goal. It also helps to have a to-do list that lets you visualize your progress through the days and weeks. Having a record of your lists gives you something to look back on, helping you celebrate your victories and note points for improvement.
3. Remove distractions
Just because you have written your goals down, does not mean that the road to ticking things off your to-do list is going to be straightforward. There will be things that tempt you to get sidetracked. Note the things that threaten your progress, and take them out as you work towards your goals.
For instance, sometimes you need to work using your computer but find yourself scrolling through social media instead. If simply closing the tabs is ineffective, use an app or browser extension that blocks certain websites until a certain time of day. Don’t expose yourself further to the things that tempt you!
4. Have regular meal times
How and when you eat largely dictates how you go about your day. When you don’t have meals at the right time, you become irritable and stressed. The drop in your blood sugar can lead to a bad mood that also makes you feel tired throughout the day.
Set meals at regular times daily to make sure your body has the fuel to accomplish tasks. Food supplies you with the energy and nutrition that lets you power through and make wise decisions.
5. Give yourself rewards
Again, the journey to becoming more disciplined should not have to be boring. Stay motivated by treating yourself to something you like after you have accomplished a goal. It gets you excited and it gives you a reason to keep working hard.
Rewards also help you not get obsessed about the lofty goals you have in mind. It introduces a fun element to your routine that makes things simpler whenever you feel overwhelmed about whatever you are hoping to achieve.
6. Cut yourself some slack
No one on this planet does anything perfectly all of the time. Yes, that includes you. You will have days when you won’t tick off all those boxes on the to-do list. However, don’t beat yourself up for it.
When you encounter failures, view them as valuable lessons and then get back on your feet. Just keep going. Discipline also means knowing when to extend kindness to yourself. Go, set those goals, and move forward.