5 Ways To Improve Your Self-Discipline

Whether you are looking to lose weight, stop overspending, or focus more on what is essential in your life, self-discipline is crucial for changing your habits and, therefore, your behaviors. If you are looking for ways to become more self-disciplined, we have five strategies that are guaranteed to work.

#1. Get Rid of Temptations that Can Derail Your Efforts

The first step in planning to change your behaviors is knowing all the things that are likely to tempt you back into your old ways. Getting rid of temptations is a way to plan for success and help you use your self-discipline more effectively. When you remove easy and ready access to those things, behaviors, or people that are most likely to tempt you back to the “dark side,” you have to expend a lot more effort to be led astray.


#2. Make Sure Your Goals are Working for You

If you want to achieve something or adopt a new behavior, you first must be very clear about what it is you are trying to accomplish and why. A clear vision will help you know where you are headed and understand why it is important to you can help keep you motivated when things get tough.

Once you have your end goal in mind, you need to determine smaller milestones you can reach along the way, to give you more short-term aims to accomplish. Only living for a dream that is months or years in the future will make it hard to stay focused. Create an action plan with measurable steps that gives you something to track as well as reward.


#3. Always Have a Backup Plan

When trying to change your behavior, it is important to know which things in your life are going to offer you the most resistance in your efforts. Maybe it is certain people; maybe it is different situations or experiences. Whatever it is that is most likely to trigger a relapse into your old ways, you need to know it from the beginning.

Then, develop an alternative plan for how to handle these triggering situations. Going into a tricky situation with a plan means you are much more likely to stick to your guns and exercise your self-discipline than walking in blindly and hoping for the best.


#4. Learn, Forgive, and Move On

Along your journey toward a new you, there will be setbacks, problems, and fumbles. It is a part of learning, not something that should cause you to stop trying. Having the right mindset about these setbacks is crucial to developing self-discipline. Every time you have a setback, you need to ask yourself, “What can I learn from this situation to make my next attempt even better?” Once you have examined your lessons learned, you need to forgive yourself for whatever mistakes you made, resolve to learn from the experience, and move on with renewed determination. Failures are only negative if we do not learn and keep repeating our mistakes.


#5. Become Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

One of the reasons change is hard is because we are having to use our brains in new ways. Habits are constant because we do not have to think about them anymore. We just do them. So, when you are learning to change those habits, you must think a lot harder about your choices, what you want to do, and why this is important to you.

You are using different parts of your brain, which can feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar. But, when you know that is what is happening, you can learn to appreciate that the uncomfortable feelings you are having mean you are learning and growing, not that something is wrong. Your brain is resisting the change because it has to stop running on auto-pilot, which is definitely not a bad thing.

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