Discipline is one of those elusive characteristics that we never manage to master. Whether it's our weight-loss objectives, academic goals, professional ambitions, or efforts to establish habits that would help us achieve our goals, the art of discipline continues to elude us.
You can practically smell the excitement of thousands of individuals re-dedicating their lives to a new cause or habit as New Year approaches. Hundreds will commit to unrealistic body-aesthetic objectives, only to abandon them after two weeks when they realize that
Those who are serious about taking up a side business to supplement their income will give up after three weeks of putting in long hours for little to no pay. In reality, some aspiring entrepreneurs will lose money, call it a day, and return to their day job glumly.
Discipline seems to be virtually unnecessary in a culture fueled by immediate pleasure, driven by shortcuts and get-it-done methods. Grafting and hard work are the domain of the eccentric entrepreneur, the gym rat, and the straight-A student.
Discipline is one of those qualities that you want to have but don't possess. Discipline has become a catchphrase that we resurrect at the start of the year, only to see it go away in less than a month due to a lack of vision, desire, and drive to see it through.
Many of us believe that we have the right to do anything we choose. In some ways, we have a right to it as long as we pay the price. Lacking discipline and expecting results is like going into a store and attempting to leave with something you haven't paid for.
The money with which you may get access to vision is discipline. You won't be able to see your vision until you've paid your discipline dues.
You can't expect to have a beach body if you consume a lot of sugar and processed foods and do little to no exercise. If you spend the bulk of your evenings watching Netflix, browsing around social media, or going out partying, you can't expect to earn an A on that test you have next week. You can't expect your relationships with people to improve if you're reluctant to invest time in genuinely engaging with them and repairing the harm that toxic behaviors have caused.
Discipline instills a well-deserved expectation of success. Time, on the other hand, goes hand in hand with discipline. We are an impatient generation that demands immediate gratification.
So, how can you make discipline a part of your daily routine?
Many of us fail long before we even begin because we set unreasonable and overly detailed objectives for ourselves. One of them is losing 25 kgs in two weeks. It's one thing to expect your grade to go from an F to an A with one assignment. Another is believing that you can learn a second language in three weeks. Keep things basic and achievable.
Rather than attempting to drop 25 kgs in two weeks, how about making long-term adjustments like halving your portion sizes for two weeks and exercising at least three times each week? While you may not notice any significant changes, you will notice a difference and find it simpler to keep up with these adjustments.
Let go of that A and focus on each assignment grade by grade, hoping to improve by at least one grade each time? It will relieve some of the strain.
When an action becomes a habit, it becomes a discipline. You can't just be on your A-game whenever you want. Even when you don't feel like it, you must be on your A-game.
Do you believe gym rats are constantly motivated to go to the gym and crush every session?
Do you believe it's enjoyable for entrepreneurs to make a loss or barely break even on their work?
Discipline isn't only about what you do; it's also about your ability to keep doing it even when you don't want to. Commit to completing your chores over a period of time – maybe a month at first, and then adjust as needed.
Don't overestimate your ability to avoid responsibility. It might be as simple as setting the alarm to remind you to go to the gym, keeping a food diary of everything you eat, making a daily to-do list, or simply checking in with a friend weekly to see how you're doing.
External accountability measures, in whatever form they take, are required to keep you on track. It makes the task's importance and urgency more palpable, and it works.
It's critical to keep track of your progress since it ensures that you're making progress toward your objectives. You'll need to keep this in mind: advancement isn't always linear and may take many different shapes.
For example, if you're trying to lose weight, your success could be evaluated by your body fat percentage, waist circumference, amount of time spent in the gym each week, or even how fast you can run.
Progress check-ins enable you to keep track of your progress and see the results of your hard work. Recognizing little victories will eventually snowball into a more significant accomplishment.
This may sound paradoxical, but planning to fail, or at the very least having a backup plan in case things don't go as planned, is critical to long-term success. Dealing with setbacks and having a strategy in place for when you fall provides you with the strength and ability to climb back up. If you're a student, you should expect to have a lot of obligations to manage.
To make up for a missed time, you'll have to complete some reading a week ahead of time for certain essays. If you're on a diet, expect to get tempted and fall off the wagon on occasion. Make a strategy to go back to it as soon as possible.