I want to start that diet plan. I have been planning to try out that new exercise routine for days now. From next month, I will stop spending my hard-earned money on things that I don't need and will start saving up. Many a time, we make these small vows to ourselves assuring ourselves that it is easy and possible. But, we fail to keep up the pace as soon as we face the challenge of putting these preaching’s to practice. It is then that we find ourselves at a loss, slipping into our old and usual routine. How do you overcome this?
Developing self-discipline is itself a process that requires discipline. But it can be learnt if you only put your mind to it. Here are ten habits that will help you in developing self-discipline:
1. Don’t wait for the mood
A common excuse that you give yourself when you procrastinate is that you’re not in the mood, and will do the task later when your mood is fine. This time, force yourself to do the task even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you feel uncomfortable, at least the work will be done.
2. Define your goal clearly
When you can’t see the goal clearly, you can’t see yourself working towards the goal either. Defining what you want to do and how you want to get there can help you set the path towards it and not go off track.
3. Make a step-by-step plan
Don’t let your goal remain a vague light in the distance. Chalk out a timetable, a plan, and activities to do each day. The smaller, short-term goals will look more achievable and you won’t feel the need to procrastinate.
4. Stay away from distractions
Deactivate Facebook for a while, don’t stock your kitchen with junk food, look away every time you pass a fast food centre. In the absence of distractive elements, it can be easier to focus on your goal.
5. Read self-discipline books
Follow the instructions and make it a habit to follow them. They will take you through the process systematically, until it becomes a habit for you.
6. Find role-models
Looking up success stories of people who have done this before you will give you the idea that your goal is indeed achievable. Read inspiring stories that will remind you that your struggle is worth it.
7. Give yourself breaks and rewards
It doesn’t all have to be solemn and serious. Treating yourself every once in a while, is actually important so that you don’t get tired of it all and abandon it for good. Short pauses (that do not result in switching off for the whole day) may give you that extra push that will carry you through the next lap of your journey.
8. Don’t be lenient with yourself
You may convince yourself that you deserve at least one day off, but it is highly possible that your day off can be the starting point of dwindling effort and energy. The moment you step back and relax, you’ll be tempted to remain in that state of inertia. So, wipe out the thought and slog every day.
Meditation helps you take control of your mind and prevents it from wandering. It’ll also help you maintain this same attitude with your work, and you’ll be able to focus better.
10. Analyse your progress
Looking back at how far you’ve come and assessing your progress regularly can help you stay motivated and adjust where necessary. Doing this regularly will help you understand what works well for you, and help you build better, more effective strategies.
Prioritising your goal over everything else is extremely important. Making discipline a habit and not an option comes from practice, and the practice needs a target. So, gear up, because a moment’s delay can result in never starting at all!