2 factual ways to achieve your goals with self-discipline
There is a very popular saying that our dreams are on the other side of our comfort zone.
This simply means that in order to get what we want, we must be willing to encounter some form of discomfort.
This is super scary for people like me who have always had to fight hard to stay disciplined.
It’s like saying we will never achieve what t we want as long as we refuse to exercise control over ourselves.
Okay!! Calm down let’s think about this logically.
Comfort zone + Dreams = Success
We all have dreams, all we need to actualize them is stepping out of our comfort zone.
Now the big question is, how do you get away from your comfort zone?
The answer to this question is the major topic of our discussion “self-discipline.
Self-discipline is a major determinant in achieving all our life goals and dreams.
Despite how important self-discipline is, so many people lack this quality and ability.
Self-discipline is so important that we need it to function effectively in our everyday life.
We need to be disciplined to finish our daily tasks at home or at work, to improve our health (physical and mental wise), eating and spending habits.
Sadly despite how helpful self-discipline is, a lot of people lack it.
We make plans and goals but hardly achieve them, we set tasks but are unable to complete them.
The reality is saddening and quite annoying, we look up to people that practice self-discipline and wonder where they got their superpower.
There are so many wrong notions about self-discipline and as much as I will like to correct them. I can’t completely change the mindset of people.
However, I will try to answer some questions and deal with certain myths attached to the word “self-discipline”
Most of these questions I will answer are popular opinions attached to self-discipline. Hopefully, I will address one that can help you build up self-discipline.
But before that let’s talk about what self-discipline is all about.
What is self-discipline?
Is it self-denial or an ability to say no to yourself when you really want to get something done?
There are so many definitions of self-discipline but are they actually accurate.
Let’s talk about the word “self-discipline” as two different words “self and discipline”.
The English dictionary defines self as an individual’s personality, character, demeanor, or disposition.
This simply means “you”. When you are talking about self you are personalizing it to an individual.
For instance, if I say “myself” I am referring directly to me. It is personal and individualized.
Now, discipline is a broad concept that can refer to a lot of things. For the purpose of this article, I picked up three relatable definitions of discipline.
According to the English dictionary, Discipline is;
A controlled behavior; self-control.
Enforced compliance or control.
A systematic method of obtaining obedience.
Therefore, self-discipline is self-imposed control over one’s behavior and abilities.
It is a personal decision to put a limit over one’s self to prevent excesses.
For instance, if you love watching movies as I do and you can literally watch movies all day long. Several other things like your job, your housekeeping, and your social life may also suffer.
We all need to put a limit
Is self-discipline really a superpower? We will discuss more on this through the course of the article.
Popular questions people ask about self-discipline
- Is self-discipline really a superpower
In as much as I will love to believe that self-discipline is a superpower. This isn’t true. If self-discipline is a superpower then we all will have an excuse for our lack of self-discipline.
I know this might sound conflicting but it is the truth. The people you look up to as superheroes are nothing but normal humans like you and me who put in a little extra effort.
It’s quite saddening to know that some people can handle themselves better than others. However, the truth is humans are completely different.
We are different in every possible way, our background, upbringing, environment, and the particular habitat we live in.
This difference is responsible for the disparity in self-discipline level among different people.
- Can an individual learn to be self-disciplined?
Self-discipline is an art that has a step-by-step procedure. It is a skill that can be learned just like any other skill.
Most individuals are lucky to have parents who imbibe in them the virtue of self-discipline. At a very young age, their parents made sure they learned this attitude.
These are most of the individuals we see as superheroes whereas it’s actually a learned skill.
If you weren’t fortunate enough to learn this attitude at a younger age. That’s completely fine, you can decide to learn it now.
The keyword here is “decide” you are grown enough to make decisions yourself. And no matter how someone forces you to learn you might not actually change until you decide to.
If self-discipline is a skill you will like to learn, get on the train, and let’s begin the journey together.
- Is self-discipline contagious?
Wow!! I wish I can easily say no or yes but the truth is I can’t.
Self-discipline can be contagious but it is only temporary for example if you have a roommate that is always achieving their tasks.
You might be inspired to work towards achieving your task too. Depending on how long you stay together her/his zeal might have a mighty influence on you.
However once you no longer stay with this roommate, the trigger is no longer within.
Therefore you either lose your ability to stay disciplined or you make the choice to keep up with the character.
Secondly, there is a possibility of forming a habit out of it. There’s popular knowledge that it takes 29 days to form a habit.
This simply means that if you constantly engage in self-discipline for 29 days. There is a possibility that you might be able to form a habit out of it.
- What’s the difference between self-discipline and self-control
Self-discipline is a more advanced form of self-control. I might have self-control for a particular day or months but it doesn’t mean I possess self-discipline.
For example, I decided to engage in a “free soda month” in April, this is self-control. I have been able to put a hold on my soda consumption with a deadline in view.
However, if I can discipline myself to consume not more than 2 sodas in a week. It becomes part of my lifestyle. This is what self-discipline is all about.
- How effective is self-discipline
Fitness coaches usually say “if you work out consistently for 30 days you will notice reasonable changes.”
Is this true? Of course it is, I’m a fitness enthusiast so I can tell you that this is actually a fact.
Self-discipline is just like setting up a new workout routine. The benefits may not be instantaneous but they always pay off.
Ask people who lost weight, ask the people who rose from mediocrity to stardom and they will all tell you that self-discipline has substantial benefits.
How to achieve your dreams with self-discipline
- Achieve your goals
Self-discipline can help you achieve your goals. I know a lot of people have a wish list but how many actually have goals they really want to achieve.
It about time we stop making wishes and actually start setting goals and striving to achieve them.
But how can you achieve your goals when you lack self-discipline. Self-discipline is the key principle you need to achieve your goals.
If you lack it, your goals might simply remain dreams. For example as a writer, sometimes you don’t feel like writing.
However, if you set a goal of writing two blog posts in a week, you need more than just setting goals to achieve them.
You need that ability to push yourself towards actually achieving that goal.
- Focus oriented
Self-discipline keeps us focused on a particular task till we are able to achieve it.
There are 24 hours in a day and I hear a lot of people say, it too small. I can’t achieve anything with how limited the hours are.
Well, I have made statements like this too however when I read about the life of effective people I realized that I was wrong.
There is enough time to achieve your goals, all you need is self-discipline to keep your focus.
The world is filled with a million and one thing you can do with your time. When you spend your time doing the less relevant things, the relevant things keep piling up and you feel like you haven’t achieved anything with your time.
How to cultivate self-discipline
The big question everyone is asking right now is, how exactly can I cultivate self-discipline?
It quite simple, however, most times the simple things are the most difficult to follow.
- Make the decision
Everyone can talk to you about self-discipline but nothing changes till you decide to change.
If you think self-discipline can be helpful to you, then you need to make the choice to start practicing self-discipline.
- It takes one step at a time
The mistake a lot of us make is, “we are trying to force ourselves out of a habit that has been part of our lives for a very long time”
We grew up with these habits therefore it will be quite tasking to quit them. It doesn’t have to be a 360° change.
You can apply self-discipline to the most little things. Ensure that the change begins slowly.
When you start experiencing the benefits that come with being self-disciplined. It will ignite you to make bolder moves for greater results.
- Trick or treat
Humans are different creation, some respond positively to punishment while other respond positively to reward.
Which kind of human are you?
Try to find out what kind of person you are and use it to your advantage.
If you set a goal and do not achieve it “No movie for the week” or if you set a goal and achieve it, you get to buy yourself a new cloth or shoe.
Choose the most effective one and use it to your benefit.
Don’t hate yourself for your inability to keep up with your new routine.
Be kind to yourself, with consistency and patience you will be able to achieve your dreams.