Former President Theodore Roosevelt once said that most anything is possible with self-discipline. Research has correlated self-discipline with higher grades, more self-esteem, and fewer risky behaviours.
However, cultivating self-discipline may be more challenging than ever before, with many distractions getting in the way of achieving your goals.
To develop self-discipline, you need a plan, fewer temptations, and a third almost unknown secret we’ll discuss in this article.
1. Remove Temptations
You may think that self-discipline is teaching yourself how to resist temptations. While this is a common opinion, scientific research shows this thinking is flawed.
Research from Roy Baumeister shows that willpower is, in fact, a limited resource that we expend and manage throughout the day.
If we don’t control our willpower levels carefully, we can easily slip into bad habits once our willpower is expended. If willpower is a limited resource, how can we manage it effectively?
One of the best ways to conserve your willpower is not to resist but to remove temptations. Out of sight, out of mind.
By removing temptations, you won’t have to expend your willpower on pointless things, meaning you can use it for productive tasks.
2. Learn to Prioritize
It can sometimes feel like you have a million things to do in a day. If you have been in this situation, you know it only leads to stress and little else.
Therefore, to develop self-discipline, you need to prioritize where you put your energy. As noted by the job board Indeed, prioritization has many benefits, including improved focus, less stress, and higher productivity.
Learn to focus on what truly matters for your goals, prioritize it, and you’ll be stunned by the amount of progress you make.
3. Practice Discipline Daily
The philosopher Aristotle noted that we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. If you want to become stronger, you need to lift weights frequently.
If you want to do well in school, you must study daily. The same principle is true when it comes to discipline. Discipline is like a muscle; you must put it under pressure to grow it.
Working on small habits daily, such as writing a to-do list every morning, is the best way to develop self-discipline.
4. Create Beneficial Habits
James Clear, the author of the best-selling Atomic Habits, states that you do not rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems.
Habits are the systems we all use to get through life—what we do automatically every day without thinking. To develop world-beating self-discipline, you need to assess your habits.
The first step is to list all your habits. Even small acts you do consistently can hugely impact your future. For example, if you note that before going to bed every night, you browse social media for half an hour, critically examine this habit.
Does browsing social media help you calm down, educate you, or make sleeping more difficult? Once you know, take action and develop a better habit if necessary.
If you struggle to put these habits into practice, there are many places you can go for motivation and information, but I recommend onlinetherapy.com.
They have many qualified therapists who can help you take the steps necessary to change your life. If you want a professional to help you, check out the link in the description below.
5. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Self-awareness is one of the most vital components of self-discipline. After all, how can you discipline yourself, improve your habits, and avoid temptations if you don’t understand your virtues and vices? If you want to develop self-discipline, you must first honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses.
There are many ways to perform this assessment. One of the simplest and most effective is to write strengths and weaknesses in as much detail as possible.
By writing a list down on paper, you can focus on particular areas needing development. For example, you may discover that you struggle with time management.
You can take the necessary steps to overcome this weakness, improving your self-discipline. Research has shown that self-awareness is rare.
The Harvard Business Review states that only 10 to 15 percent of people are genuinely self-aware. By working on this skill, you can rapidly level up your self-discipline.