3 Proven Methods For Gaining Self Discipline
Oct 23, 2017
In Jennifer Cohen's article from Forbes.com she talks about proven methods for gaining self discipline:
There are many important qualities that can contribute to a person’s achievements and happiness, but there is only one that begets sustainable, long-term success in all aspects of life: self discipline. Whether in terms of your diet, fitness, work ethic or relationships, self discipline is the number one trait needed to accomplish goals, lead a healthy lifestyle, and ultimately, be happy. Despite what many may think, self discipline is a learned behavior. It requires practice and repetition in your day-to-day life. To improve your own self discipline, test out these 3 proven methods for gaining better control. This regimen will help you to establish good habits, break bad ones, and improve your control by making simple changes to your everyday routine. Improved self discipline will allow you to live a freer life by helping you to make healthy choices, not emotional ones. Give it a shot. Your happiness will thank you for it.
1. Remove temptations.
Self control is often easiest when abiding by the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” Removing all temptations and distractions from your environment is a crucial first step when working to improve your self discipline. If you are trying to have better control of your eating, toss the junk food. Ask your office intern to leave you off of the daily lunch order email. If you want to improve your focus while working, turn off your cell phone and remove the clutter from your desk. If you’re really having trouble, download the SelfControl app on your computer to block distraction websites - Facebook, Youtube, even e-mail - for a set period of time. Set yourself up for success by ditching the bad influences.
2. Don’t wait for it to “feel right.”
Improving your self discipline means changing up your normal routine, which can be uncomfortable and awkward. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, explains that habit behaviors are traced to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia - a portion of the brain associated with emotions, patterns, and memories. Decisions, on the other hand, are made in the prefrontal cortex, a completely different area. When a behavior becomes habit, we stop using our decision-making skills and instead function on auto-pilot. Therefore, breaking a bad habit and building a new habit not only requires us to make active decisions, it will feel wrong. Your brain will resist the change in favor of what it has been programmed to do. The solution? Embrace the wrong. Acknowledge that it will take a while for your new regime to feel right or good or natural. Keep chugging along. It will happen.
3. Forgive yourself and move forward
Instituting a new way of thinking won’t always go according to plan. You will have ups and downs, fabulous successes, and flat out failures. The key is to keep moving forward. When you have a setback, acknowledge what caused it and move on. It is easy to get wrapped up in guilt, anger, or frustration, but these emotions will not help build improve self discipline. Instead, use the hiccups in your plan as learning experiences for the future. Forgive yourself, and get back in the saddle ASAP. The longer you’re off your game, the harder it is to keep going in a positive direction.
Original post, here