Don’t you miss the days when you could eat that extra slice of pizza without thinking about it? The thing about adulthood, however, is that it impresses on you the need to be more self-disciplined than the child inside you ever had to be.
That means saying no when you really want to say yes. Putting down the phone when your thumbs twitch for a quick game of Clash of Clans. And postponing binge-watching the latest season of your favorite TV show on a Monday night for some healthy slumber.
It is now well accepted that the capacity to control our emotions and conquer our weaknesses is an important aspect for achieving life success.
This ability known as self-discipline may have been taught to some of us when we were younger. Some of the best teachings on self-discipline are reiterated as we grow older.
- Commit to daily incremental improvement. The majority of our daily activities are a result of habit: routines that were not formed in an hour or a day, but over time by repeatedly repeating the activities that eventually became our habits.
- The same is true for developing self-discipline. By committing to certain acts and performing them in small doses over time, we can improve our self-discipline.
- For example, in order to force ourselves to be more punctual, we could attempt leaving a few minutes early every time we need to get there on time.
- We may then increase it as we become more accustomed to the new schedule, until we are satisfied with our punctuality. We can gradually improve our self-discipline and apply it to achieve greater success.
- Tolerate discomfort. Being human entails dealing with discomfort for an extended period of time. What do we do when we’re cut off by another driver on the road? What does it feel like to be in line behind that shopper who is just so slow?
- We learn a bit of self-discipline to control our impulses every time we delay reacting when we experience a surge of emotions, especially unpleasant ones. This comes in handy when we have to choose between a piece of fried chicken and a bowl of vegetables.
- As we mature, we strive for new goals. They will not always be simple or comfortable, but as we gain discipline by accepting discomfort, we will be able to accomplish things we never imagined possible.
- Prioritize properly. As we grow older, the number of activities, interests, and ambitions vying for our attention grows exponentially. Self-discipline can be achieved by being able to put these into perspective and focusing on the most important.
- In contrast to the apparently endless demands, we must come to terms with the restricted resources we may have, such as time and money.
- Taking stock of what matters most when deciding where to invest our resources, such as money and time, can help us build the discipline we need to achieve the success we all desire.
- Learn to say no. It can be the hardest thing to say at times but learning how to say it properly is vital to us developing self-discipline and achieving success.
- This can be saying no to the seductive advertisement which clamors for you to spend on them instead of saving for your future or that friend who needs something you cannot reasonably give them.
- It is important that when confronted with decisions, we learn to say no to the less beneficial choices or we risk losing out on our goals.
Keep in mind that self-discipline also entails taking care of oneself. You are certain to make mistakes while you attempt to improve this crucial skill. What counts is that you remain committed to showing up every day ready to try again, and it will undoubtedly bring you the success you seek.