Self-discipline is something many people struggle with. Here are some tips to help you become more disciplined, focused and purposeful about your goals.
Identify what makes you thrive.
Identifying what does and does not work for you is a crucial element of self-discipline. Some people thrive while working with others, some work better alone. Some people are incentivised by rewards, others by consequences. Answer the questions below to get more clarity about what you need for optimal self-discipline:
Am I more productive working on tasks/ goals with people or alone?
Does being around people distract me or help me focus?
Does a reward motivate me?
Does taking away a privilege or the threat of it being taken away motivate me?
What gets in the way and what challenges impact my self-discipline?
When you’ve answered these questions, you need to consider removing distractions so you can concentrate and get things done.
If you tend to get distracted by things that have nothing to do with your goals, you need to review it. For example, if you drop what you’re doing when you hear your phone ping, you need to put the phone out of reach as you carry out the task you need to do. If you find talking to someone about random day-to-day things interferes with “focus time”, limit the conversation until after task completion.
Know Your “Why”
Your “why” is your reason for wanting to achieve self-discipline in the first place. Your why will give you the fuel to propel you towards the achievement of your goal, especially during times of challenge. That said, it is very important to know your why with clarity. Write down your goal at the top of a page and divide the page into two columns. In the first column list all the benefits of achieving your goal. In the second column list all the consequences of not achieving your goal. Connect with what gives you most incentive and remind yourself of your why often.
Clarify Your Goals
I have written about goal setting before, but it is important to mention it here as ultimately self-discipline is connected to goals. The key is to know exactly what you want to achieve so you can work out a plan that suits your discipline style. For example, if you have a goal and you feel achieving it will be easier if other people are involved, you need to make it part of the goal so you can create an action plan that will work for you. Writing down your goal gives clarity and makes it more likely that you will achieve it. Chunk the goal down into smaller action steps so you can create daily habits and monitor progress.
Having discipline and achieving your goal is not a race. It’s important to do things steadily and execute each step of your plan one piece at a time. This allows you to create good maintainable habits, which will help you have self-discipline. Be patient with yourself and remember that every time you complete an action step, you are one step closer to it becoming a habit. After a while it will become second nature to you. What daily habits might you need to create so your goal is easier, and you can be more disciplined? Do you need a routine? Do you need a check-in with a friend? Do you need reminders?
Sharing your goals with someone you trust is linked to a better chance of achievement. This may involve a mentor, a trusted family member or a supportive friend. Let them know what your goal is and ask them to help you maintain self-discipline. Knowing someone is on the side-line watching your progress can provide you with positive pressure and a sense of urgency, both of which support discipline and goal attainment. Speak with them about your progress, air challenges to find solutions, and celebrate your wins. I am happy to help and support you with this. Check out my membership club for details as it has proven to be an invaluable resource. I will send you weekly focus videos, we will have monthly live webinars, you will get access to information, tutorials and audios etc. See https://www.donnakennedy.com/join-donnas-club/
Monitor Your Progress
As you work on your self-discipline, pay attention to how you’re feeling as it develops and strengthens. Keeping a journal to track your progress can be really beneficial. It reinforces the positive changes that you’re implementing in your life, it allows you to make steady progress, and gives you a record that you can look back on to acknowledge how far you’ve come and to refine strategies if needed.
It’s important to understand that perfection is not necessary for self-discipline or goal achievement. The key is consistency. If you have a slip, don’t worry about it. Let it go but don’t give up. Rest if you need to, refine the strategy if you need to, or change your environment, but no matter what continue on the path to your successful outcome with a forward focus. Revisit your why to remind yourself of the benefits of achieving your goal.
Your brain loves it when you acknowledge success and wins. In fact, it will motivate you to achieve more, as it releases a chemical called dopamine in response to the reward you give yourself. The reward doesn’t have to be major, as long as it feels like a reward. Setting rewards in advance is a great way to motivate yourself to have self-discipline. “When I achieve this, I will get X but not until.” Write down some rewards ahead of time.
Self-discipline can take some people years to master, so don’t beat yourself up if it’s slow at first. If your goals feel too big at any stage or you feel overwhelmed, chunk them into some easy sub-goals so that you can experience the feeling of achievement and then level up. Self-discipline is a skill and just like any other skill, it needs practice to master. It’s not a race or a competition so give yourself a chance. Set the goal, progress steadily and consistently and make progress a daily habit. You will get there!
I’d also like to give you a gift, a FREE ebook that you can download here https://donnakennedy.com/#ebook and as mentioned above, if you need additional support consider joining my membership club. It will help you keep on track to ensure you achieve all you desire.
EBOOK LINK https://donnakennedy.com/#ebook
MEMBERSHIP LINK: https://www.donnakennedy.com/join-donnas-club/