Sticking to routines you set for yourself, or even those that others set for you, can be extremely difficult.
We can’t always fill our days with fun things that we look forward to doing. We all have to do things that are tough to do in the short-term but help us work toward an overall goal that we know is for the greater good.
So, what can we do to make these tasks easier to face? We find a way to condition ourselves to stick to our routines, and hopefully learn to enjoy what we do at the same time.
There are a few ways to do this, and working on self-discipline is at the top of the list. This article explains why self-discipline is so closely tied to success and how you can train yourself to be more disciplined.
Why Self-Discipline Is Important
If you have good self-discipline, it means you have the ability to control your actions and reactions and overcome your weaknesses. The stronger your self-discipline, the easier these things are to manage.
In a nutshell, if you have good self-discipline, you can set daily or weekly routines and stick to them.
Not many people have enough self-discipline to live their lives in a way that’s best for them physically, mentally, and spiritually. They do, however, all have the power to work on their self-discipline and increase it to stick to routines if that’s their goal.
If you currently struggle to stick to the routines you set for yourself, you should start by working on your self-discipline. Here are some tips to help you work on this valuable attribute:
4 Ways to Improve Self-Discipline so You Can Stick to Routines
Be Honest with Yourself About Your Weaknesses
Everyone has weaknesses. You know, those things you just can’t help doing that you know aren’t helping you get to where you want to be, but you find excuses for why you do them. Examples include cheating on a diet, getting distracted by Facebook, telling yourself you’ll play just one more game…which becomes one more hour.
It’s time to be brutally honest with yourself. You need to jot down every weakness you have that will distract you or hold you back from the most direct path to nailing your ideal routine.
Once you have a list of your weaknesses in front of you, it feels so much worse when you succumb to them. You know what they are now, and there are no excuses.
Remove Temptations and Distractions
Now that you know what your weaknesses are, the next step is to do something to minimize the chance of getting distracted by them.
For example, if you get distracted by social media as most people do, you need to find a way to stop yourself from opening those apps.
There are various tools available to block you from using certain apps or websites if you think you have that much resolve. However, you may be better off just deleting the app so it’s not even an issue. It’s tough going cold turkey on social media. There are even support groups for this very situation.
The bottom line is, if you’re not ready to only get distracted when you have free time, you have no other option than to delete the distraction.
Set a Clear, Measurable Goal
It’s hard to improve self-discipline and formulate a routine without having a clear picture of what you want. Write down what your goals are and how you want to get there. This way, if you drift off course, you can’t change your routine to suit your needs.
If your goals are difficult, great. But don’t make them too difficult, or it will become demotivating.
Break the Process Down into Smaller Pieces
Breaking down larger goals and tasks into smaller pieces is a classic psychological technique used by sports psychologists. They help athletes make small, noticeable gains so they can see they are getting closer to their goals and stay motivated.
This technique also works on any kind of goal or task if you can break down the overall process into smaller pieces. It feels much less daunting seeing a smaller task in front of you that’s quicker to complete.
There’s some overlap between self-discipline and motivation, but they are two very different attributes.
The reason why it’s better to focus on self-discipline when you want to stick to routines is because self-discipline is what gives you the strength to stick to plans, while motivation typically needs an end goal that inspires you to get there.
The routine you want to stick to isn’t always going to be fun, right? You might be trying to stick to a workout plan, diet, or work schedule. Things that aren’t always fun usually improve your life in the end. The key is working toward developing the self-discipline to stick to the plan.