Is there a goal you want to accomplish, but you just can’t seem to follow through? Maybe you know exactly what you need to do, but just can’t seem to do it? Perhaps you’re frustrated because your lack of self-discipline is affecting your confidence, career trajectory, health, weight or relationships?
If you’re ambitious and ready to take your life to the next level but just need a little more support in the follow-through, keep reading.
Distractions and temptations are something that every one is guilty of falling for on a regular basis. Realistically you will not be able to eliminate every distraction or temptation that is in your life.
However, you can work towards minimizing the distractions and decreasing the temptations.
Yes, self discipline involves being strong but in order to work on improving your self discipline it is best to work on temptations and distractions one by one rather than all at once! By understanding how we establish and practice habits each day, we can figure out how to implement beneficial ones (and remove burdening ones).
What Is Self-Discipline?
Self-discipline is defined as:
“the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do.”
It’s about self control, self-regulation, willpower, resolve, determination and drive. It’s how you get yourself to do what needs to be done to move forward and excel in life.
When we begin something new, we must focus a lot of our energy and brain power on it because it’s out of the ordinary and we are learning how to do that thing. But as we repeatedly do it, we need to devote less and less conscious brain activity to it until it eventually becomes second nature.
Habit change isn’t hard. But it is time-dependent, which maybe means it actually is hard in today’s right-now society. If you think about it!
If there’s something in your life you want to change — large or small — utilize your newfound motivation to decide on a new action you’re going to take daily that will help you to change that thing.
And despite the size of the goal, it’s probably going to take little steps to get to it.Don’t set yourself up for failure.The first action might even be so small, it seems ridiculous. If your goal is to start eating healthier go the grocery store, you can literally start with driving to the store, parking, walking in and out, and leaving.
That’s the habit of “going to the grocery store.”
Do it for 2 weeks, consistently, every day.
Before long, you’ll find yourself feeling silly for taking the time to go to the grocery store just to walk in and out. So maybe you begin staying for a little bit. Maybe you walk in the produce section and see their selection. Maybe you start with 5 fruits and 2 Vegetables.
By setting the bar extremely low, you’re not putting much risk of failing on yourself. You didn’t set any meal cooking record goals. You don’t need to cut out a certain number of calories to feel like you “succeeded.”
But you did set a bar so low that, if you don’t reach it, you’ll automatically want to do better. It becomes an internal checkpoint for you to meet because it’s so simple. And achieving goals makes us feel better about ourselves.
Once we’ve achieved that small habit change, we want to add onto it… just like how this example grew. Why not stay for a bit? Why not look around the produce section try that ? Why not take the time to grab a few items, since you’re there anyway?
How long it takes to form a habit
The research on this varies, but it seems to fall in the range of 21 days for a new habit to form .
66 days for that behavior to become automatic.
When setting new habit goals, keep this in mind. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Your brain is working its hardest to lay those new pathways and make that habit automatic. But you should let it do what it’s doing without giving it too much to deal with at once — so stick to one new habit at a time.
Form habits. Create discipline. Stop worrying about when motivation will leave you… because at some point, it will.
Be Nice to Yourself
Change is hard. New habits are hard. Our minds are wired for familiarity and if you’re doing something new, part of you is going to be fighting against it. You are going to face setbacks and failures. Don’t allow obstacles to cause you to give up on your bigger vision or goal. I remember first starting my company, I didn't have a plan at the time only self motivation with this strong urge to just listen to my intuition and create. I knew if I spent at least one hour a day building this company it would eventually become an obsession and I wouldn't have to think to myself if today felt worthy of creating fashion forward pieces I would just do it because I knew eventually I would be successful. Everyday wasn't easy because some days I wouldn't feel like giving 100 percent but I knew if I just gave 10 percent that day it still was an accomplishment for the greater goal
And eventually, from the outside, it will look as though you’re putting forth monumental effort, that you have this endless reservoir of willpower. Yet, to you, it will feel like nothing at all.