We all fall prey to the urge of devising a routine that allows us to do our daily activities with minimal effort and conscious concentration; a reality that might have no negative consequences if we use the time saved by our routines to good use. But the harsh reality is that we don’t do anything like that. We apply the routine-observing propensity to our whole lives, becoming more flaccid, timorous, and less adventurous intellectually and spiritually with each day we spend surrounded by the rigidity of habit.
But wait, you could benefit from sticking to a well-thought-out strategy that includes daily mental discipline techniques that, when followed, help you establish new habits and make desired life changes. Not as easy as it sounds, but a little pain goes way further than the regular ‘use to’ pain of complacency.
Now, no matter how driven you are, it’s all about establishing a baseline that allows you to behave in accordance with your long-term goals. There are things you can do to improve your self-control and willpower so you may live a happy life. Here are the ten most effective ways to master self-discipline if you want to take control of your habits and decisions.
Goals should be set and met on a daily basis.
This is easy to understand. Set precise objectives for yourself for the coming year that are both achievable and flexible. Then, in order to create monthly and weekly objectives for yourself, prioritize them and select which ones will be completed by when. Allow these longer-term objectives to serve as a guide for the everyday objectives you establish for yourself. Set the short-term goals which would act as the ‘warm-up’ and as the ‘reinforcers’. These short-term goals can be as trivial as you want them to be, like making your bed, or reading every day, or even trying something out of normal ordinary every month. Formulate a list of your daily goals, keep crossing them off on finishing. Review and update your long-term goals on a regular basis.
Limit the speech
The second practice is to go an hour without saying anything except in response to direct inquiries every day. This should be done in the midst of your regular group, without giving the appearance that you’re grumpy or have a severe headache. Present yourself in the most unassuming manner possible; simply do not talk. Answer inquiries just to the point that they can be answered, no more assistance, and no needless expansions. A daily time of silence enables you to relax and lower your stress levels. Quiet breaks during the day may help us connect, relax, and reconnect with ourselves. This practice aims at reducing the unnecessary load our mind takes to constantly react to, or respond to something, thus, reducing distraction and giving us the opportunity to observe the world around us in a more objective manner.
This is a notion I originally learned about in Dorothea Brande‘s book, “Wake up and Live,” which happens to be one of my personal favorites.
Take away all temptations.
This may sound ineffective, yet it contains sound advice. You may substantially increase your self-discipline by just removing your biggest temptations from your environment.
If you’re seeking to improve your eating habits, don’t include the junk food in your cart in the first place. Turn off notifications and quiet your phone if you want to increase your productivity at work. You will be more focused on achieving your goals if you have fewer distractions. By removing negative influences from your life, you may set yourself up for success.
Concentrate on your personal identity.
Simply said, while trying to modify your behavior, focus on the change in identity you want to happen rather than the objective you’re trying to attain, the external consequence. So, the overall notion is that once you’ve accepted a change in your identity, you’ll find yourself acting in accordance with it. If you’re wondering why this happens, it’s because humans have an inherent urge to act in accordance with their previous judgments. So, begin to consider yourself in terms of your desired identity, which itself would instill that sense of self-discipline, that’ll make it smooth to follow through.
Establish and maintain your own personal standards and boundaries.
To maintain your personal standards and boundaries, you must exercise extreme self-discipline. Set your expectations for how you will treat others in your life, as well as how you expect them to treat you. Maintain consistency in your standards and limits. For example, it’s not acceptable to verbally criticize others while expecting no one to criticize you. Communicate your limits to the people in your life, and let them know if they don’t respect the ones you’ve established. Living the life you want with others who respect your personal limits is part of respecting and loving yourself.
The 30-minute consistent thinking practice
Learn to focus solely on one issue for half an hour each day. As simple as this seems, it is really difficult to execute at first. The novice should start by thinking about his single subject for five minutes a day, gradually extending the time until he reaches a half-hour. To begin, choose a tangible object such as a flower, a bottle of ink, or a scarf. Do not have it in front of you; create it in your imagination.
Now, this is something I’ve read in many of the books, same concept, different names. But this practice certainly builds up that essence of self-discipline, levels up the threshold of distraction.
Reward yourself for your efforts.
Plan a reward for yourself after you achieve your goals to give yourself something to look forward to. Having something to look forward to motivates you to achieve, much as when you were a youngster and earned a treat for excellent conduct.
Anticipation has a lot of power. It offers you something to think about and concentrate on, so you’re not only thinking about the issue you’re trying to improve. And once you’ve achieved your goal, set a new one and a new reward to motivate you to keep going.
Marking up the reminders
The eighth strategy is to remind yourself regularly of why you’re being disciplined in the first place. At the end of the day, if we want to do anything consistently, we need a compelling reason to do it. This is something that you will undoubtedly find useful. Try putting down your goals or the persona you want to take on a sticky note next to your desk or near your computer so you can see it every day and remember why you’re exercising self-control. That is the reason for all of my efforts.
Prayer and/or meditation should be done on a daily basis.
You can get a sense of oneness, great gratitude, and tranquility via prayer or meditation. It’s a time to nourish and feed your spirit, as well as connect with your creative, loving Source energy. When you do it on a daily basis, you will feel calm and confident. Appreciate and make use of the help you’ve received. Meditation or mindfulness practices have been found to quieten the constant thrashing of thoughts and ideas in mind, and provide a clearer view of what you need and what you’re working on, plus what are further steps needed to be taken or to be followed through.
Give yourself a dose of discomfort on a daily basis
Finding methods to accept discomfort and the reluctance you feel towards accomplishing something that requires hard effort or is unpleasant is strategy number 10. Do something that you feel unpleasant about, you see how when someone has a chronic disease, the doctor prescribes some medications, and over time the doses of that medication need to be increased because now the body has gotten used to or has built up that tolerance for that particular drug. Just like this, your body and mind build up a tolerance for discomfort, leveling up your game of perseverance and thereby, pushing your self-discipline practices to a better place.
So, we are already at the end of this article, I hope you’d consider incorporating some of these practices in your daily life. And after you find success in doing so, let me know how it feels to be on the top of your game, will you?
In all that we hold the personal vision of success, we need something that would strengthen our minds. Often, the greatest challenge that lies before us is our own mind, it can be a friend or an enemy, depends on how well we’ve trained it. Believe it or not, what we do, what we value, how we perceive and manage our life, it certainly is in our control. All we need is to sit with ourselves, get to know ourselves, what is it we’re looking for, what is it we desire, I think this is the very first step in building that discipline. A vision, a value, a goal, a sense of purpose what is it we’re doing this for, the practices, these concepts, they come after.