“Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there” – Haile Gebrselassie
The truth is at the heart of every successful person, you will most definitely find self-discipline. Whether it is success achieved in their personal lives or their professional lives, it all starts with an inherent ability for self-control through discipline. It is easy to aspire for several lofty goals but it is very important to understand how to discipline yourself, because it is one of the keys to achieving success in every area of life.
Referring to our ability to succeed at any endeavour, Aristotle once said “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” But good habits can’t be formed without having a handle on our ability to discipline our actions and behaviours. Theodore Roosevelt once said “With self-discipline, almost anything is possible.” Most recently Jim Rohn stated that “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” And our dear friend, Robert Kiyosaki asserted that “Confidence comes from discipline and training.”
But how is discipline built? What allows one person to wield total control over his/her behaviour and actions while others falter and fail? Here are eight habits that help you discipline yourself by creating a foundation for achieving your goals in life.
1. GRATITUDE: Have you noticed how much time we spend just wanting things? Living a life of gratitude helps move us away from constantly wanting what we do not have and towards appreciating what we have. It is only when we do this that we’ll begin to experience a remarkable shift in our lives. Living a life of gratitude has a great power to move us from a life of want to a life of abundance. Living an ungrateful life causes us to spend much of our mental capacity on worrying about what we do not have and living in a state of fear, thereby forgetting what we have. Living a grateful life does not mean that we are ignoring what we want/need, but that we are grateful to God for what we have and it is also a strong sign that we do trust God to come through for us in all other areas we might be experiencing lack.
2. FORGIVENESS: In as much as you are tired of other people constantly erring, believe me there are other people who feel that exact same way about you. When we spend a larger of portion of our days in a state of anger, regret or guilt, we create more problems than solutions. The truth is hate and anger consumes far more energy than love and forgiveness combined. Without the habit of forgiveness, we would never be able to achieve self-discipline. When we choose to forgive, regardless of whether the person asked for it or not, we do not do it for them; we do it for ourselves. By forgiving, we let go of every weight and negativity that zaps our energy and ability to be self-disciplined. While it might not seem like a discipline trait at first glance, it is one of the most important ones that exist.
3. MEDITATION: Meditation has the power put our minds at ease. It provides us with a spiritual centeredness that acts as an avenue of growth. When we chose to meditate, we cancel out the noise all around us and develop the ability to efficiently focus on what’s ahead of us.
4. ACTIVE GOAL-SETTING: Notice I said active. This is because I am not talking about passive goal-setting, where all you do is set goals in your mind. They are passive because they lack concrete details, since you have not properly defined them; all they do is live in the abstract. Active goals are definitely different. With active goals, they are written out and have profound meanings. They are specific and measurable and you have developed plans towards their attainment. Active goal-setting instils discipline because it gives us direction and helps us to avoid distractions by seeing just what needs to be done in our daily lives.
5. HEALTHY EATING: A lot of us do not realise that the human body spends a large portion of its energy processing and digesting foods (10-25% of it). When our diet is rich in carbohydrates, fats and even proteins, the body is using more energy to process that food, some of which is largely useless to us. The amount of energy we have plays a large role in how focused we are. When we are focused, we can approach our goals with discipline and when we are too comatose from the food we have consumed, everything becomes harder to achieve. We spend most of our time feeling too sluggish to get anything done.
6. SLEEP: Sleep is directly connected with our ability to discipline ourselves. Getting the right amount of shuteye is definitely a prerequisite for getting anything done. When we get enough sleep, it has a huge effect on our mood, ability to focus, our judgment, and our overall health. Several studies have shown that people who are deprived of the proper amount of sleep on a regular basis are at a greater risk for certain diseases. The lack of sleep also has a great impact on our immune system. Getting enough sleep will help you improve your memory, curb inflammation and pain, lower stress, spur your creativity, improve your grades, sharpen your attention, help you avoid depression and ultimately help you be more disciplined in life.
7. ORGANISATION: In order for us to achieve self-discipline and ultimately achieve our goals, we need to be organised. Organisation is a habit that needs to be wholly embodied not only in your professional life, but also in your personal life. An organised life is a disciplined life. When your life becomes organised, it helps you to be more self-disciplined. It is the little things that we do on a daily basis that have huge impact on the quality of our lives.
8. TIME MANAGEMENT: Without the habit of time management, it would be virtually impossible for us to get anything done. Our ability to properly manage our time helps us to create room for the things that really matter. Our ability for self-discipline is largely derived from our ability to effectively manage our time. The prominent time managers of the world are also some of the most successful people in their respective fields. They have learnt the art of using time as a benefit rather than a detractor. Considering that we all have the same amount of time in the day, we must work consciously never to waste it because it is a great equaliser.
About the Writer: Eniola Adeniji is a woman after God’s own heart, a motivational Writer, Speaker, Fashion and Photography addict. She is also a Business Developer, Social Media Manager and the founder of Woman Of Value. She blogs at ennmae.wordpress.com