By Carla Helené Ezell
A disciplined life is a balanced life. While we can not always control our circumstances or experiences, what we can control is our responses to the things that happen to us. Below are 10 ways to develop a healthy lifestyle of self discipline.
1. Create good habits. Replace bad habits with positive ones. Start with small actions and intentionally repeat those actions until you no longer have to think about doing them. When you catch yourself doing the behavior you are trying to eliminate, make a mental note of it and change your behavior to the new habit you are creating. Hold yourself accountable for doing these actions on a regular basis. If necessary, enlist an accountability partner to help you stay honest about your progress. It takes time to create new habits but with a little planning and conscious thought, it is completely doable.
2. Eliminate distractions and remove temptations. Declutter your work space. Turn off your social media notifications and mute your phone for a set amount of time. Close all tabs in your browser that you do not need open. Give yourself a time frame where you focus on the specific task at hand. It is easier to focus on one thing for a shorter period of time than it is to try to stay focused for hours upon hours. This exercise will help create a mindset of discipline in every area of your life.
3. Take small breaks at regular intervals. Stopping for a few minutes every hour or so and resetting your frame of mind is an efficient way to accomplish more over longer periods of time. It also trains you to stay on task better as you adjust and come back to what you were doing after a short break. The activity of picking up where you left off builds mental muscle and stamina over time.
4. Stop procrastinating. Figuring out why you are putting a task off until later is the key to changing your procrastinating attitude into an action attitude. The why is a powerful answer to change your behavior. Once you understand why you are doing (or not doing) something, you can address the real problem, not just continue managing the symptoms of the problem. Time magazine online has a detailed article about this. You can read it here.
5. Set deliberate goals. If you have read any of my other posts in the Living With Purpose series, you know that this is a theme in the Living With Purpose series and in life in general. Setting goals helps keep you focused on what you want to do.
6. Get organized. Make lists. Start by identifying what you want to do, then create a plan to do it. By breaking your overall goals down into smaller, actionable steps you can accomplish immediately will help you to reach your goals effectively and efficiently.
7. Stay committed to your goals. When we are in the thick of it, it is easy to get discouraged. This is when sheer willpower comes into play. Keep going.
8. Be accountable. Hold yourself responsible for the plan you have created. If you need outside help, enlist it from a trustworthy friend or mentor. Accountability partners are excellent for reminding us of our commitment to change when we are trying to modify our behaviors because you do not want to disappoint them. This is the same concept as AA sponsors. Someone to encourage you along the way and help you stay strong when you want to give up is always a good for morale and achieving success.
9. Reward your wins. When you do something right, give yourself a treat to build your confidence. This action is like putting money in your savings account. Once you see the money begin to build up, you feel more accomplished. This exercise builds security because it visually and mentally reminds you that you have wins under your belt. Rewarding yourself is enjoying the moment in a tangible way.
10. Forgive your failures. The only failure is failing to try again. Take responsibility when you fall short of your goal but do not beat yourself up over it. Cut yourself some slack too. The process of developing self discipline takes time. You can not rush through it. Give yourself space to grow organically so the changes you are making become permanent aspects of your character.
Resources & Further Reading:
Psychologists Explain Why You Procrastinate And How To Stop
By Jamie Ducharme
How To Eliminate Distractions
By Emma Johnson
The Power If A Good Habit
By Rebecca Vodola
10 Ways To Remove The Distractions At Work That Keep You From Doing The Beat At Work
By Sylwia Rytarowska
Life Designer University
How To Set Intentional Smart Goals
By Janelle Brown
My name is Carla Helené. I am a cheeky naturalista, serial entrepreneur, speaker, educator and self love advocate who encourages women to embrace their truth, love themselves and make margaritas out of life’s lemons. Is there a recipe for this? I’m not sure I but I know we can figure it out together.
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