Developing Healthy Habits to make positive change: A Handy Guide to Self-Discipline

Whether you want to drink more water, start an exercise plan or simply be more mindful in your life, in order to make any changes we need to develop healthy habits to support our new lifestyle choice. Let’s face it, you not only have to want to change but you are going to need a little self- discipline.

Self-discipline seems to be the thing that everyone else has, right? While there may be a few that are fortunate enough to be self-motivated most of us require some sort of self-discipline plan to motivate us. Self-discipline is the ability to do something that you don’t feel like doing. We each have a limited supply, but we can grow our capacity for self-discipline over time.

Those with high levels of self-control have been found to be happier than those with low levels. It’s believed this is due to reduced internal conflict. Those with less self-control are constantly struggling to make decisions between competing goals. Those with more self-control make decisions more rationally and much more quickly.
olajuwon quote

Increase your ability to control yourself:

  1. Success without discipline is a myth. Successful people appear to have ten times more talent than the rest of us, but successful people work very hard to be successful. The ability to control your thoughts and actions creates success. Hard work requires discipline, because it usually isn’t fun.
  2. Avoid waiting until you feel inspired to take action. As a creative I am so guilty of this one! I know we all want to be “in the flow.” But with all the forms of entertainment, social media and other distractions, it’s logical to assume that we should feel inspired to do the things that need to be accomplished.
  3. Quality of life and comfort are often at odds. If you are too comfortable you are not growing. Self-discipline can be used to engage in activities that aren’t comfortable. Only then will you enjoy a high quality of life.
  4. Learn to complete tasks. Let finishing become your code. Become a finisher. Regardless of the task, see it through to the end. Don’t let you inner perfectionist stop you either! My coach Caterina Rando always says “Done is better than perfect.” You can always make upgrades later. The important thing is to keep in action.  And when you start something, finish it.
  5. Do the hardest thing first. Your self-discipline is highest early in day. SO get that tough item crossed off your to-do list as soon as possible. For me, it is getting on my treadmill desk to check my morning e-mail so that I can get my 30 minutes in before I start the rest of my busy day.
  6. Learn to stay with discomfort. Do you have the urge to go to the kitchen for a snack? Make yourself wait another 30 minutes. Whenever you’re feeling uncomfortable, make yourself stay with it just a little longer. Teach yourself that your discomfort is only a suggestion. Figure out what it is trying to tell you. Check in with your body and your emotions. You don’t have to cave in.
  7. Take time to enjoy yourself. This is the best way to replenish your willpower. Stress, hunger, and fatigue drain your ability to exercise self-discipline. So eat a good meal and get a full night of sleep. Take care of your body and take care that your spirit is being nourished. Take part in enjoyable activities.
  8. Know your outcome. Make your vision board. Write a manifesto of your desired outcome and put it somewhere that you see it daily. Spend time being with your compelling vision on a daily basis. Keep your eyes on the prize. Self-discipline becomes easier when you’re able to maintain a long-term perspective.
  9. Develop habits. Creating a habit of making your bed each morning eliminates the need for discipline. Habits are powerful. Put yourself on autopilot and use the power of habits to your advantage.
  10. Meditate. Studies have shown that mediation strengthens the part of the brain responsible for self-control. I have created a library of affirmation meditations at my YouTube channel or you can Buy a book or find a local meditation group.
  11. Use affirmations. When you feel your resolve weakening, recite positive affirmations to yourself. This is a great time to utilize the affirmation meditations at my You Tube Channel. Keep your mind occupied on something positive while you get your work done.
  12. Give yourself frequent breaks. Setting a schedule that’s too aggressive will quickly diminish your self-discipline. Give yourself regular breaks to ensure that you stay alert and fresh. Also along these lines I want to remind you to give yourself enough travel time so you can be prepared and feel centered if you are having an appointment outside outside of your office.

Well, what do you think? How much self-discipline do you have? Your level of self-discipline can affect your diet, health, fitness, finances, career, and relationships. Self-discipline is a learned behavior, so you can develop your self-discipline if you choose. With enough self-discipline, you can achieve any goal.

Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you on your path to living a life you love.