When we have a goal in mind it's so easy to succumb to distractions and excuses that leave us feeling stuck and guilty. If it's something we have to do consistently in order to move forward, there may be some momentum and motivation initially but eventually, resistance is introduced and we begin to slip.
This is why it's important to cultivate discipline in order to achieve the things we want in life. Discipline is how we accomplish things we may not like doing but we know that doing those things will reap a longer-term reward.
Here are some steps you can take to develop self-discipline:
Know Your 'Why?'
Get clear on why you want the goal. This should be a 'why' that elicits a deep, strong positive or negative emotion within you, something you can easily summon whenever you feel tempted to procrastinate.
What Are You Choosing?
When it's time to do a task and perhaps you're sitting in front of the TV, a good approach is to think about the importance of what you are choosing at that moment. Every choice you make will either move you towards what you want or away from it. Reflect on the two decisions in front of you ie 1. To do the task or 2. To watch TV. Then consider which choice will take you one step closer towards your goal and enhance your life and which will move you one step away from your goal, keep you where you are or even worsen your situation. This builds the habit of thinking of each choice as important - Will this next decision move me forward or backwards in life?
Do it anyway
You may not enjoy doing what you have to do but make a commitment to do it anyway. Gradually, momentum will take over, habits will be formed and you will find yourself doing that task automatically as your brain assigns it to your autonomic system, which is considered to be the realm of the subconscious mind. Once the subconscious mind is on board you have the power of the Universe behind you.
Design your life so that distractions or temptations are removed. This could be locking your phone away for a couple of hours when you get home or not having unhealthy snacks in the kitchen, not turning the TV on for an hour or two so you can do some focused work, or not working in your bedroom if you tend to fall asleep. It may also be helpful to do that disciplined tasks first thing in the morning so it's out of the way and not on your mind anymore, erasing any guilt.
Obey Your Own Authority
Many of us don't like being told what to do by others but we don't always take action on our own requests either. This means we spend most of our time doing what other people want us to do. One way to take action on your own requests is to take time before you go to bed to write down what want your 'future self' to do the next day. Your 'future self' then doesn't have to overthink things as they can just look at the list and do what your 'past self' has assigned them. This is a great way to build self-authority and self-empowerment.
It can be even harder to maintain discipline if it involves tasks that we can't rely on others to do for us, i.e. we have to be the ones to do them, like eating healthily, exercising, meditating, saving money or progressing a project. Find someone who can support you, encourage you and call you out if you slack. Most of us fear judgement so much that the prospect of being seen to fail by others is a big motivator.
As always there are many other steps you can adopt to build discipline but the ones listed above are great starting points. Let me know what works for you.
Is an expert Life Transformation Coach, Spiritual Business Coach, Accredited Meditation Teacher and Reiki Master/Teacher with a desire to open your mind to new possibilities, whilst gently guiding you towards your goals and personal transformations.
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