How to Be Disciplined
Knowing how to be disciplined is something we all struggle with, but few realize just how easy it can be when you have the proper mindset. With just a few easy changes to your thinking, being disciplined enough to reach your goals could soon be easy for you! Read on to learn how…
Set a Series of Targeted Goals
You probably know what you’re looking to achieve long term. It could be getting a big promotion, graduating college, or losing 10 pounds. But just knowing your goal isn’t going to make it achieve itself!
Big goals allow us to accomplish big things, but can also be very daunting. Achieving something huge might seem so impossible that you never bother getting started. But these big goals become much more realistic when broken down into a series of smaller, more manageable goals.
Determine your big goal and what it will take to accomplish it, then break it down to a series of milestones that you’ll reach along the way to that goal. If you goal is to lose 30 pounds, each milestone could be to lose 3 pounds.
Once you’ve broken your goal into these smaller steps, achieving them becomes much more realistic. You’ll reach these mini-goals much more quickly and often, keeping you motivated along the way. And the day to day steps on how to get to the next milestone will be much more clear.
Once you have learned how to be disciplined, an incredibly effective way to use this knowledge to meet your goals is to develop a solid plan. You are much more likely to achieve success if you create a detailed plan of steps that you can take action on to reach your goal.
Skeptical? “You mean just writing down my goals on a piece of paper will somehow make me more likely to achieve them??” It’s weird, but true. A study by Dr. Gail Matthews found that participants were 42% more likely to meet their goals if they regularly wrote them down.
It works because it allows the imaginative, right side of your brain to connect with the more logical, left side of your brain. When writing down your goals, also take the time to plan how you will meet them.
If you’d like to lose weight, write out a meal plan with plenty of healthy snacks. If you need to study more, make yourself an hour by hour planning chart for each week with designated study times. Once you’ve got it down on paper, you’ll be much more likely to follow your plans!
Get Up Early
We’ve covered how to instill discipline in yourself and make your goals realistic, but those steps along the way will take time! And if you’re constantly rushing around trying to cram everything in to your day, those new goals you’ve set will be the first to go.
An easy way to free up time for yourself, and further the discipline inside you, is to get up early. For many of us, this will be the toughest thing to do that we’ve gone over so far.
But it’s obvious that by getting up a little earlier, you’ll have more time to go over your plan for the day, or have a quick morning workout. You can take small steps with this, as well. Aim to wake up 10 minutes earlier each day until you’re getting up early enough to get everything done.
It can (and likely will) be a challenge. You’re probably going to have to start going to bed a bit earlier also. But once you’ve gotten into the routine it will start to become second nature, and your newfound discipline will overflow into all other aspects of your life.
Deal With Your Stress
This one’s not that complicated. If your head is full of stressful thoughts, then it’s going to be extremely tough for you to break your bad habits and establish new, positive ones that will help you reach your goals.
One of the best (and most useful) ways to bring discipline into your life is to learn how to deal with anxiety and stress. You may not be able to control what causes your stress but you can certainly control how you respond to it.
Try to develop healthy outlets that you can use in different situations when you feel stressed. Exercise is phenomenal for this, but won’t always be an option at the time. Instead, try meditating, temporarily removing yourself from the situation, or even just counting to 10 and taking deep breaths.
Get Rid of Clutter
A cluttered environment alone can be something that causes you stress and prevents you from having the discipline to reach your goals. Oftentimes, jumbled, messy surroundings are also the sign of a cluttered mind, which greatly hinders your ability to get things done.
Getting yourself “in the zone” so that you can practice the discipline needed to reach your goals frequently first requires that you declutter the space around you. Take time to clean out your car, home, and workspace of unneeded items so that you may focus on what’s truly important.
Be Honest With Yourself
To meet your goals and be disciplined, it’s important that you also hold yourself accountable. Being effective at this requires that you are truly honest with yourself. Did you give a half-hearted effort towards reaching your goals this week? Then don’t lie and tell yourself that you gave it your all!
If you slipped up and didn’t track what you ate, or slept in too late to eat a healthy breakfast, or whatever… admit it! Pretending that you did those things hides the problem and keeps you from making any progress towards your goals.
Have the discipline to admit when you didn’t quite reach a mini-goal, or slipped up a little somewhere. It’s okay, and happens to EVERYONE. The way you keep yourself on track is not to lie, but to admit it and make a plan to get back on the right path.
In many cases, this is actually going to be very simple. If, for example, you ate over your daily calorie goal yesterday, don’t attempt to make up for it today by eating even less. Just own that you had a slip up, and get right back to doing what’s right today. That is true discipline.
I hope that this has given you the tools you need to reach your goals, and taught you what you need to know about how to be disciplined. Remember to pin this so you can refer back to it for help in the future if you feel your progress slipping! 🙂