Have you ever wondered why on some days you are able to say “no” to the donut but then on other days you say “yes” to about a dozen of them?
Self-discipline can be a stubborn animal to tame. The importance of self-discipline in our lives, particularly the role it plays as the key to achieving our personal goals can hardly be over-emphasized. The great former president Teddy Roosevelt made the profound statement,
“The one quality which sets one apart from another- the key which lifts one to every aspiration while others are caught up in the mire of mediocrity- is not talent, formal education, nor intellectual brightness; it is self-discipline. With self-discipline, all things are possible.”
Thankfully, modern research had helped us to understand that willpower is much like a muscle that can be exercised. Do not resign yourself to the false notion that you are either just wired as a very discipline person, or are just not made for it. Start working out that willpower and self-discipline muscle and watch it grow!
Here are 5 simple yet effective ways to get you started on How to strengthen your Self Discipline!
Close your eyes and take ten deep long breaths. Count each breath and simply focus on the air that you are inhaling and the air that you are exhaling. There will be different thoughts that will enter your mind- keep them out and stay focused on the task!
This is a common meditation technique that may seem unrelated to self-discipline, but the idea is to get your mind laser-focused on one very specific goal- your breathing! If you can narrow your focus on your breathing, you can start to apply that elsewhere too.
2. Look but do not touch…
If your weakness is candy or sweets, place a chocolate bar or whatever is your greatest temptation on the counter where you walk past every single day. Resist the urge to eat it and watch as your willpower grows.
3. Quote a little Shakespeare…
Memorize a favorite quote, passage, poem, or verse from your favorite book. Make sure it is at least 3-4 sentences long. Keep adding more sentences as you progress- you will be amazed at how much you will be able to remember!
Not only will this work out your intellectual willpower, you will also be able to impress friends when you randomly quote things off the top of your head.
4. Bye bye French fries…
Cut out a certain type of food from your diet for 7 days. It could be something dairy, wheat, or sugar. Choose something that perhaps is low on the nutrition part and something that you already have been trying to cut out for a while. You will become stronger and healthier physically and so will your self-discipline.
5. Sleeping Like a baby…
You have probably noticed that when you are well rested you are able to make better decisions than when you are worn out and grumpy- that’s usually when you dig into the ice-cream right?! Begin wrapping up your evening 30 minutes earlier than usual- this will force you into better time management and ensure you get the right amount of sleep. Figure out what is the ideal amount for you. Most experts will advise from 6-8 hours as ideal.