Self-discipline is a soft skill that will always prove to be important in any field or profession. Controlling urges and actions is one of the challenges in achieving your long-term goals.
In an age of instant gratification and constant distractions, you might slip, but that’s fine. The important thing is to get back on the horse and to keep going.
For you to be successful in any endeavor, self-discipline should be present. To shed some light on how you can sustain self-discipline within yourself, here are some tips to help you with that.
Set Clear, Feasible Goals
Without goals, you would not have an action plan or a means to keep yourself accountable.
Psychology Today shares some principles that support efficient goal-setting: set specific yet measurable goals, set difficult yet achievable goals, make short-term and long-term goals, have positive goals, have goals for both practices and the final thing, and lastly, identify the strategies to achieve these goals. With these principles in goal-setting, evaluate yourself. Are you ticking the boxes? Which parts do you think you need to work on?
Maintain Sharp-Edge Focus
Your ability to focus on immediate tasks is integral to achieving your goals. With a plethora of tasks, it can surely leave you feeling overwhelmed from time to time. It’s important to break things down into actionable chunks and take things one step at a time.
Prioritizing is a great strategy for focusing. With a clear picture of an immediate goal in mind, an action plan is determined. Knowing what to finish now and what to complete next makes your mind less cluttered.
A friendly reminder: don’t start on more than one thing at the same time. It’s valid to feel stressed out from everything you still have to do. But juggling more than one task is a recipe for disaster. This can only cause burnout and exhaustion on your part. Going down that road will only cause you to realize that multi-tasking doesn’t get as many things done as you initially thought.
Build Good Habits
It takes about 90 days for an action to become a habit. On the other side of that coin, it takes around 18 to 254 days to break a bad habit. If you’re forming habits, you might as well form good ones, especially when getting rid of them is about twice the time it took to form them.
Building good habits means focusing your energy on practices that will help you in the long run. For example, giving yourself a head start on a task instead of waiting until the last minute to do it. For one, this is a helpful habit because it enables you to move on to other tasks quicker, and second, it’s a form of self-care. People always associate self-care with a long warm bath and a good book after a hectic week. But self-care can look like practicing good habits that help you set yourself up for success too.
Give Credit Where It’s Due
This process isn’t just about work, work, and more work. You have to celebrate your victories and milestones too. Keep track of your accomplishments and projects. It’s more than just a stellar track record. Your victories bolster confidence in your work and motivation to keep going. It’s a reminder of what you’re capable of doing and how much more you can achieve. Rest, work, celebrate, and repeat.
The Bottom Line
Other things can help you hone your self-discipline, but they still require you to work just as hard. At the end of the day, it still falls under the umbrella of working on yourself. The sooner you realize that it’s not on the sudden rainfall that prevented you from studying, nor is it your sudden change of mood that caused you to skip today’s soccer practice. The only person who is stopping you from becoming the best version of yourself is you yourself.
Self-discipline is something that will always be valuable in any setting. If you’re a student, professional athlete, a practicing physician, or from any other career, it’s a worthy trait to have. This isn’t something you can turn on and off, though. You should put in the same amount of effort in your summer dance camp as you would if it were the final competition. If you want to remain consistent and on track with your game plan, you have to keep at it.