Developing self-discipline – take control of your life

Understanding self-discipline

Self-discipline is essentially the ability to control your actions and behavior, irrespective of your emotional condition. It is being able to delay gratification in order to focus on your long-term goals.

Self-discipline requires willpower to overcome impulses and do what needs to be done, instead of what you’d enjoy doing at this moment.

The first and best victory is to conquer self.

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This type of self-control is a learned behavior. As any other skill it requires practice and repetition in order to master it.

Dr. Baumeister’s research discovered that our self-control is a finite resource. The more we spend it on activities requiring high self-control throughout the day, the harder it gets to control our actions. 

The strength of the willpower is directly linked to the level of energy available in our brain at that precise moment. The more tired you are the harder it is to exercise your self-control.

Don’t let your moods get in the way of your goals

Why self-discipline is important

Self-discipline is what helps us create good habits and keeps us on the right path no matter how difficult it gets. 

People with well developed self-control spend less time debating whether to indulge in behaviors and activities that don’t align with their goals. They are less likely to procrastinate and get more done on a daily basis.

Whether you’d like to improve your diet and fitness, learn new skills or start a successful business, self-discipline is the number one trait needed to accomplish your goals.

And achieving your goals brings greater life satisfaction and happiness. In fact research has proved that people with a higher degree of self-control tend to be happier not only in the long term but in the short term as well.

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A guide to developing self-discipline

  • Create a routine – Decide what action you need to take in order to reach your goals and insert them in your daily regimen. 
  • Start small then scale – Build your self-discipline and your confidence by setting and achieving small goals. You can train your self-control with small things like making your bed in the morning.
  • Exercise daily – Self-discipline is a skill. As any other skill it gets developed with regular training. 
  • Mark your progress – make a chart or just mark the days in your calendar to always keep in mind how far you have come.
  • Reward yourself – Set milestones for your goals and reward yourself when the milestone is achieved.
  • Avoid Temptations – Resisting temptations is harder than avoiding them. Determine how you might slip up and think of ways to prevent that from happening.
  • Keep your eyes on the prize – Always keep in mind what your end goal is and why it is important to you. This will help you keep perspective when temptations arise. 
  • Forgive yourself and move on – When you slip, acknowledge what caused it and get back on track. 

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