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Happiness and the achievement of goals in life results from having a wide range of positive qualities. And no quality is more important in the attainment of long-term sustainable success than self-discipline.

Whether you seek to enhance your relationships, work ethic, or health, nothing beats self-discipline as the principal trait needed to achieve your goal.

However, self-discipline doesn’t always come naturally. The good news is that it can be a learned behavior. Try out these techniques to attain greater self-discipline.

Remove temptation

Removing temptation from your environment is a critical first step on your journey to increased self-discipline. The development of self-control as an attribute is one instance in which the saying “out of sight, out of mind” rings so true. 

For instance, if you are looking to cut down on distractions (such as social media) and focus on your job, you need to turn off your mobile notifications and block all social media until you get off work. In the example of weight loss, you would want to remove the unhealthy foods from your cabinets and pantry to make achieving your goal that much easier.

Never think there will be a perfect time

Kick the habit of waiting for all things to align perfectly before embarking on your journey to self-discipline. If you are looking to enhance self-control, it has to start with you. Embrace simple things such changing your daily routine, breaking bad habits such as negative thinking, and instead actively developing new habits even if it does not feel right in your mind. But simply start now, instead of thinking there will be a better time.

Reward yourself for achievement

Being self-disciplined does not mean you have to become miserable or adopt a cold-turkey, drill sergeant type of life. In fact, by being too rigid, you are opening yourself up to disappointment, failure, and the possibility of falling back into the old habits.

Instead, have days when you relax your regimen. When you reward yourself, you relieve the tension that may result from self-disciplined living.

Don’t beat yourself up for backsliding

At some point, you will fall into some old habits. However, the important thing is not to beat yourself up, but rather to pick yourself up and recommit to the journey. 

You have to accept that there will be spectacular failures and fabulous successes. Don’t get too hung up in frustration, guilt, and anger, but rather acknowledge mistakes as an essential part of the learning process.

Ultimately, developing self-discipline will allow you to live more freely by making choices that are more positive and healthy.