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How to Upgrade Your Self Discipline - How many times have you promised yourself to wake up early to go for a run? And how many times have you really gone for a run?

There are people who wake up early, work efficiently in the office, ignore distractions, and devote their full attention to high-value projects. 
Source: by Dave Lowe

And maybe in the evening, they attend a professional online course. How do these people manage to get so much out of their lives and so consistently?

Self-discipline is what drives us to keep up  with our best intentions and goals, even when we don't feel like doing so. It is what makes us motivated to put off pleasure in the short term (or endure short-term discomfort) for the purpose. This why self-discipline is so important.

If you have opened this post, it means that you want to improve your Self Discipline, and I am going to help you with this. Let’s get into it.

Self-discipline is the ability to move forward, stay motivated, and take actions towards your goals regardless of how you feel, both physically and emotionally.  

You demonstrate self-discipline whenever  you intentionally choose to pursue something better for yourself despite factors such as distractions, or unfavourable odds.

Self-discipline is different from  self-motivation or willpower: motivation and willpower, as well as persistence, actually form the cognitive assumptions suitable for creating the ability to self-discipline.

Self-discipline is like a muscle - the more  you work to develop and use it, the stronger it will become. However, it is equally important not to start with too ambitious goals. Instead, set small goals and slowly increase the level of challenge over time: the more you train in the practice of  self-discipline, the more results you will get.

Follow these five steps to start developing self-discipline: 

1. Choose a Goal

Start by choosing a single goal that you want to focus on to develop your self-discipline. For example, maybe you want to start training every night or you want to read a book a week to improve your skills.

You could also practice self-discipline on very small goals like focusing on one piece of work for an hour without checking your email or avoiding junk food for a day.

Remember, starting small is the best way to start developing self-discipline. As your discipline grows stronger, you can focus attention on more areas of your life.

Make sure the goal you set is SMART  - Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-limited - and where you can break the goal down into smaller sub-goals. 

2. Find Your Motivation

After you've chosen a goal, list the reasons why you want to achieve it. Try to formulate these reasons in a positive way.

So instead of saying "I want to train three times a week to lose weight", say "I want to exercise so that I have the energy to fully live my life and work successfully."  

Or, instead of saying "I want to remove this  task from my to-do list", say "I want to do  this task so that I can achieve my goals, progress towards success, and feel satisfied with my day."

When you list the reasons why you want to achieve a particular goal, it will be much easier to get the job done. This is because if the reasons come from within it means that you are acting on the basis of intrinsic motivation, without the need for external rewards.

3. Identify the Obstacles

Now you need to identify the obstacles you may encounter when working towards your goal and devise a strategy to overcome each of them. For example, imagine your goal is  to read a book a week to improve your skills.  

In the past, you have faced a number of obstacles in achieving this goal. For example: find a book you like, find time to read every night, avoid distractions, etc.

Once you've identified the obstacles, find a  strategy to overcome them all. In this example, you can do the following: Instead  of going to the bookstore, buy multiple eBooks and download them to your Kindle, so you always have a book to read.

Carve out more time in your day to focus on reading. For example, you could read during lunchtime or while waiting for the subway: if you always keep your e-book reader with you,  the time available to devote to reading will increase a lot. Also, turn off your cell phone when you want to focus on reading.

Many times, our self-discipline crumbles  precisely because we have not identified all the obstacles we will have to face to achieve our goals and we have not developed strategies to overcome them. When these obstacles arise, we are not prepared to face them, and this  shakes our resolve. Don't skip this step!

4. Replace Old Habits

When we develop self-discipline, we often try to break a bad habit and replace it with something more productive. However, if that habit is linked to a certain time of our day, breaking it can leave a hole.  

If we don't replace this habit with something  else, its absence will become even more evident.

A good example is to stop shopping online  during breaks at work. After you decide to quit, identify a new behavior you can engage in when you need a short break.  

Instead of browsing online stores, you could go for a cup of coffee or take a short walk outside.

These behaviors will help support your goal and strengthen your self-discipline, instead of leaving you with nothing to do during the break. 

5. Track Your Progress

As you work on your self-discipline, pay attention to how you feel as it develops and strengthens. You may feel free, happy, proud, and excited.

Additionally, think about having a diary to write down your self-discipline goals and track your progress. This reinforces the  positive changes you are implementing in your life and gives you a record that you can look back on to see the progress you have made.

Over time, your self-discipline will strengthen and you will be able to apply it to many other areas of your life.

Self-discipline is a very important soft skill. Properly developing self-discipline may seem difficult at first, but it will become very easy over time.

Try to avoid distractions as you begin to develop self-discipline - you make it harder to engage in the activity you are trying to avoid. For example, if you need the self-discipline to focus on work instead of browsing social networking sites, use Chrome's BlockSite plugin so these sites aren't available in the office.

On the other hand, it is very important to  reward yourself as you progress on your path.  

Celebrating your successes will keep things  fun and strengthen your resolve to keep going.

Don't let a fear of failure or an occasional  setback put you off. We all experience setbacks and failures - it's part of life! Recognize that you have slipped, learn your lesson, and move on.

Developing self-discipline in life is very  important. Self-discipline is what allows us to do high-quality work, even when we are tired. It allows us to pursue our goals in difficult times and helps us stay  professional, even when we are not feeling well.

Remember, to develop self-discipline, follow these steps:
  1. Choose a goal.
  2. Find your motivation. 
  3. Identify the obstacles. 
  4. Replace old habits.
  5. Track your progress.
Self-discipline is an essential quality and is a key differentiator between people who are successful in life and those who are not. So, make sure you develop it properly.

But what are the benefits that a good level of self-discipline brings you and why is it so important in everyday life?

1. Productivity

Discipline is the foundation of productivity. 
Without being disciplined you don't get anywhere, you have to put it in your head! Whether it is getting up an hour earlier than usual to work on a project, or staying focused on an activity until it is completed without distractions, it is always a matter of self-discipline.

2. Resilience 

Being disciplined will give you the resilience you need to withstand the obstacles of life; whether it's a discussion you don't want to have or a sudden problem, self-discipline  will be essential in deciding to deal with them.

3. Control

Whoever is disciplined  is undoubtedly someone who is in full control of himself. After all, self-discipline is nothing more than the ability to perform actions without depending on one's emotional state.

By being disciplined, you will be able to control your life based on your goals and not your feelings. If you are too tired to get up from the couch but you are disciplined you will still be able to find that strength to move because you know that you MUST complete that matter, that it is something you want to do ardently and that will bring you advantages or a job that you must necessarily do to completion.

Imagine two people, two smokers, who are giving up the habit of smoking. Our characters are offered a cigarette. The first replies: “No thanks, I'm trying to quit” while the second replies “No thanks, I don't smoke”.

As you can see, the concept is the same, both decline the offer, but there is a small feature that differentiates the two answers, and it is how the ex-smoker sees himself.

In the first case, the character still considers himself a person trapped in that vice that he is trying to get out of, and this puts him in a weaker position than his bad habit.

In the second case, the former smoker sees  himself already out of the smoke tunnel and therefore no longer a smoker.

Although it may seem a rather convoluted speech, the explanation is simple. Your brain tends to act in accordance with the decisions made in the past by projecting the image of yourself with the same habits and with the same choices made previously.

How to change this aspect?

Just project yourself into the future; if you focus on the goal you want to achieve, your brain will be affected by helping you overcome obstacles.

Knowing you is the basis of personal growth.  There's no point in lying, we all have weaknesses, whether it's junk food, sitting on the couch all day, or drinking that extra glass.

If you are thinking that self-discipline is  about eliminating all these weaknesses from one second to the next, we are sorry to tell you but you are completely off track. Self-control does not lie in destroying your weaknesses, but in knowing how to keep them under control.

As mentioned above, moderation is the basis of self-discipline. The advice is therefore to focus not on eliminating your bad habits instantly but rather on moderating them as much as possible.

Life is not all roses and flowers. You will find yourself faced with situations that for you will be real mountains, situations that will make you feel on your toes and that in some ways could even "paralyze you".

However, you must not be too alarmed, when you are in a period similar to the one just mentioned, it means that you are learning to get out of your comfort zone and this means that you are growing.

By putting yourself under all this pressure, you are training your willpower. Training will ensure that you are able to get out of these situations in the best possible way and therefore your self-confidence will increase  (as well as the "width" of your comfort zone).

There are many practical methods to "train" in this respect, one of them is definitely starting to take nice frozen showers. Nobody likes the idea of jumping under frozen water, which is why it is ideal for training your discipline.

Taking a shower like this every day you will find a way to accept "discomfort" and overcome it, in addition to this the cold  shower has many other benefits. If you want to become successful, you have to stop being a slave to your moods.

Hope this post was helpful for you. See you soon!

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