The Power of Self-Discipline

  • Our actions (or inactions) are directly responsible for our current physical and mental situations

  • This means that success is a result of developing a habit of taking positive, constructive actions

  • This habit is the essence of self-discipline

  • Self-discipline is all about keeping focused on an end result while resisting impulsive distractions that will break that focus

  • The development and maintenance of these positive habits in the face of day to day distraction is the backbone of self-discipline

  • Self-discipline is important is important not only because it helps us reach goals, it also produces several collateral benefits, including:

    • Increased productivity and

    • Increased self-confidence

  • These collateral benefits act synergistically to reinforce the positive habitual behaviors involved in self-discipline which, in turn, promotes even more self-discipline

  • Effective self-discipline is built on a foundation of internal external elements, including:

    • Internalizing a rationale

    • Being accountable and

    • Developing a behavioral code.

The Self-Discipline Process

  • Developing self-defense is easy as long as you follow certain steps that help you through the process

  • These steps include:

    • Deciding on a specific goal

    • Understanding the behaviors that prevent you from reaching your goals and reducing their effect

    • Emulating  the actions of someone who has already attained a goal similar to the one that you have set for yourself

    • Developing a compelling motivation as to why you want to reach the goal you have set for yourself

    • Developing an actionable and specific work plan that lays out what you need to do in order to reach your goal

    • Following your work plan once it has been adopted

  • An essential part of the self-discipline process is maintaining that self-discipline over the long haul, especially in the face of adversity

  • There are several thing that can be done to maintain self-discipline, including:

    • Staying positive

    • Eliminating excuses

    • Being brutally honest with yourself

    • Avoiding procrastination.

Self-Discipline Tips

  • Decide what it is that you want.

  • Make these goals as specific as possible – be meaningfully specific, as opposed to generally unfocused.

  • In addition, make sure that the goals you have set are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. 

  • Develop an action or work plan that specifically sets out the work that needs to be done, every day, in order to get to your goal.

  • Set progress milestones in your plan – daily, weekly and monthly.

  • Schedule daily tasks that will ensure your progress towards your milestones.

  • Start small – make sure that what you are taking on is achievable.

  • Do something every day, no matter what.

  • Finish what you start, no matter what.

  • Concentrate on one thing at a time.

  • Identify those things that distract you from working or tempt you away from work.

  • Take the necessary steps to mitigate these distractions and temptations.

  • Everyday decide what needs to be done and then do the thing that you least want to do first.

  • Develop a backbone, not a wishbone – take the actions that you need to take in order to get where you want to go.

  • Be brutally honest with yourself – tired isn’t the same thing as lazy and too busy isn’t the same thing as scared.

  • Learn to say no to yourself – avoid negative behaviors by simply saying “no”.

  • Be accountable for what you do – to yourself and to others you admire.

  • Learn to forgive yourself – self-compassion is as important as self-discipline.

  • Take care of yourself - eat healthy, get adequate rest, exercise regularly and remember to reward yourself with a sufficient number of daily breaks.

  • Remember to enjoy life - all work and no play, right?