Out of all the needed ingredients for success – like talent, perseverance, force and imagination – probably the most important one is discipline. Without discipline, it’s hard or even impossible to reach your goals.
Don’t worry if discipline isn’t part of your features yet. It is possible to get more disciplined! To develop this important quality, follow the next steps.
1. Recognize and visualize
First of all, recognize in which areas in your life you lack of discipline – like your diet, finances, etc. Then think of the consequences of that indiscipline: overweight, health problems, economical problems, family conflicts, etc. Think about how these have an effect on your life, stealing your happiness away and your inner peace. Now visualize, in great details, how your life would be without those problems.
2. What should you change?
Note what you should do in order to behave more disciplined in those areas. For example: you should create a schedule with your monthly bills and dedicate one day per week to pay the bills and check your bank account.
3. Plan of action
Create your ‘plan of action’. Here you will describe exactly how you will behave yourself in this area from now on. Don’t ask too much of yourself in the beginning, you have to be realistic. If up until now you couldn’t succeed working out more than once a month, don’t plan to work out one hour every single day. Your goals have to be accessible and reachable, so that you can keep working on them. Discipline is like a muscle, you have to work it day in, day out in order to make it stronger.
4. Go for it
Learn to control your addiction to getting rewarded instantly. You probably won’t see any results soon. Don’t fall for excuses. Excuses will keep you further away from your goals. Look at it as a job you can’t negotiate about. Something you have to do, like it or not, like brushing your teeth. If you think about it too much, you will drown before you can even start. Like the famous words of the brand ‘Nike’: Don’t think, just do!
5. 21 days
Follow the plan during 21 days, which is the amount of time needed to grow a habit, according to the experts. If you fail within those three weeks, you have to start again from the beginning, until you arrive at day 21.
6. Turn your negative voice into positive
Get rid of your negative voice and listen to the positive. If before you could never stick to a diet, maybe there is a voice within you reminding you every instance, or trying to make you believe failure is inevitable. Recognize this voice and remember it’s only a thought in your mind demotivating you and trying to take you to the comfort zone, which is the same thing as your same old routine. But now you know the benefits of being disciplines. Shut this voice up and replace it with a positive voice, the one that reminds you that if you stick to your propositions you will reach your goals.
7. Write everything down
Keep an agenda in which you note your progress and, above all, your failures. It’s important you see whichever detour of your plans as a road bump instead of a defeat. If you sin with candy, this doesn’t mean your diet is ruined forever. Accept your mistake and get back to the plan right away. Just like the Japanese say: ‘If you fall eight times, get back up eight’. At the end of the story, discipline is not different from consistency.