The ability to control yourself might be the most important skill you can possess. You probably already know how to get in great shape, eat properly, find a better-paying job, and succeed in a lot of other ways. The problem is, you’re not doing those things.
What you lack is enough discipline. Discipline allows you to use what you know. Without it, you’re just a dusty library of information.
Develop the discipline necessary to excel in life with these strategies:
- Rest is important. Fatigue is a killer of discipline. Have you ever noticed that your discipline is weakest at night? That’s when you’re more likely to waste time. You’re more likely to eat poorly. You’re more likely to send an ill-advised text message to your ex. If you have a task to complete that requires discipline, schedule it when your energy is at its peak.
- Get enough sleep each night to be at your best. Plan naps if the afternoon if possible.
- Exercise. Exercise isn’t just good for you, it’s good for the development of discipline. Exercising regularly is challenging both physically and mentally. It’s not easy to get yourself to exercise every day. The slight physical discomfort also requires discipline to endure. You also have the benefit of enhancing your health at the same time.
- Get organized. Getting and staying organized is another gentle way to build your discipline. Start with just one part of your home. Declutter and clean. Then move on to another part of the house. Clutter also saps your discipline and willpower.
- If you’re naturally messy, getting organized might be more challenging than you think. Take small steps and avoid losing ground. It doesn’t do much good if you clean a room, and it returns to a messy state in a few days. Stay on top of it!
- Learn persistence. It’s questionable if you can have discipline without persistence. Fortunately, there are countless opportunities to practice each day. Become a master at completing tasks.
- Fold all the laundry instead of leaving part of it for later.
- Wash all the dishes instead of leaving that gross, greasy dish until tomorrow.
- Whenever you start to feel a little bored, tired, hungry, or uncomfortable, continue with your current task for at least a few more minutes. You’ve learned how to quit easily. Teach yourself how to persist after you want to stop. Even three minutes is an improvement and a good starting point.
- Meditate daily. From a distance, meditation looks easy. After all, how hard can it be to just sit there and focus on your breathing, right? Try it once and see how hard it can be. Meditation teaches focus and the ability to persevere when you’re emotionally and physically uncomfortable.
- It’s hard not to think, “How much longer?” when you’re in the middle of a meditation session. Start with just a few minutes and add a few more minutes each week. When you can sit for an hour straight, you can do anything.
- Learn to forgive easily. Negative emotions consume a lot of energy and make self-discipline much more challenging. When you’re consumed with negative thoughts, it’s hard to do anything productive. Let go of the negative energy inside of you and you’ll have more self-control.
Self-control is the key to making progress. You already know enough. Sometimes, gathering more information is just an excuse to stall. Take the knowledge you already have and put it to work. Learn to do things you don’t necessarily feel like doing. The alternative is to live an unfulfilling life.