Discipline is a vital component when it comes to achieving any goal. It’s what gives us the drive that helps us move on, even when we do not feel like it. It’s what gives us the ability to keep to our promises and effectively deliver our goals while meeting the set deadline.
Tom Bilyeu, the co-founder of Quest Nutrition, quotes, “Excellence is not an act, but a habit. Taking action is what creates excellence: doing what must be done every single day. No amount of meditation, contemplation, or dreaming will take the place of doing.”
Collins English Dictionary explains self-discipline 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 taking small and consistent actions to gradually develop habits that serve your dreams and goals. It is what gives you the power to stick to your decisions and follow them through, without changing your mind. Hence, one of the important requirements for achieving goals.
Although many associates the word self-discipline with difficulty or being uncomfortable but the result is always satisfying and highly rewarding.
Why do you need to be self-disciplined?
You see, the top achievers in every field started off as regular people, but grew into the person who would be able to overcome the obstacles required to achieve a goal because they learned how to discipline themselves to take consistent actions that eventually led to their success
Discipline is the difference between being in control of your future and letting your environment dictate your destiny. Self-discipline empowers you to resist temptations and distractions that tend to stand in the way of attaining aims and goals.
Self-discipline helps you to focus on your goals, which will help you complete every single thing that needs to be done to achieve your goals.
Also, self-discipline helps you become a master in your field. And it is only when you attain a certain level of mastery in a field that you achieve success. Experts recommend spending up to 10,000 hours on one thing to become a master at it.
Now that we know why we need to discipline ourselves if we must achieve success. Let’s discuss about how we can discipline ourselves to become successful.
Set clear goals
If you are going to discipline yourself at all, you must have a plan that puts you up for one.
Your goals should clearly state what you want. Without a clear goal, you won’t have the opportunity to create the specific steps you’d need to accomplish it.
This is important because if you don’t have a clear goal, you won’t be motivated to do the difficult things required to achieve success.
Develop an action plan
Once you’ve created a clear goal, you’ll need to outline a comprehensive step-by-step action plan necessary to achieve this goal. Your action plan should comprise information and ideas you have already gathered while brainstorming about your objectives and your strategies, as well as all action steps that address all proposed changes.
Your action plan should also be measurable and attainable and identify who is responsible for each action step and who will be supporting them.
Setting these things in place plays an important role in achieving success faster. But remember that you can only create a powerful action plan when you have a clear purpose, vision, or goal in mind.
Realize that every day matters
As stated earlier, taking action is what creates excellence: doing what must be done every single day. It’s about taking small and consistent actions to gradually develop habits that serve your dreams and goals.
You need to wake up every morning with thoughts of your goals in mind, thoughts of how to accomplish them, and thoughts of your daily To-Dos. In essence, your goal should be your priority and you should spend an ample amount of time daily doing what it takes to achieve your goal.
Let’s take an athlete, for instance. He or she knows the importance of training every day, even if the competition is still months ahead. They know the consequences of missing out on just a day’s training. Hence, they discipline themselves enough to stick to their plan or schedule.
You can start by preparing a routine that will help you commit to your plans on a daily basis. For instance, you can set out a particular time each day to carry out a particular activity that can prepare you for success. If you stick to this routine, it will soon become automatic and a daily habit.
Set deadlines and build a mindset that says no matter what
Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. However, by setting a strict deadline in advance, you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
To be productive and meet your goals, you must be able to set deadlines that are realistic.
Also, to meet up with these set deadlines, you must develop a “no matter what” mindset. A mindset that pushes you to accomplish things when you said you would. No matter what.
You have to put pressure on yourself to meet up with your realistic deadlines otherwise, nothing will get done.
Commit to your success
Commitment is the state, or quality of being dedicated to a cause or an activity. And you will change your life only if you’re committed enough to make a change.
Commitment requires that you choose to stick to a thing while you get better and attain a level of mastery in it. Commitment requires discipline and only if you are fully committed and dedicated to your goals will you become successful.
Record your progress
Tracking your progress can be done by journaling, an effective method to remain focused, motivated, and disciplined.
A good number of people do not accomplish their goals, not because they lack the skills, but because they lose sight of what they want to achieve.
Monitoring your result periodically will help you determine what is working and what needs to be adjusted. Until you learn to track and record your progress, you might not be able to achieve success.
Make it simple and fun
Choosing to and acquiring self-discipline can feel challenging at first. Your mind will try to do everything to convince you not to do it and get back to your comfort zone. The chances that you’ll go back to your comfort zone are high if you make your new habits and goals difficult.
Instead of trying to change everything at once, focus on doing one thing consistently. Also, find ways to enjoy the process of each task and activity, so that you can look forward to it and not abandon it halfway.
In conclusion, no one has ever become successful in life without experiencing the pains of discipline. Do what you know you have to do, no matter what. Remember what Nike says, “Just Do it!”