How to build self discipline to excel in life

How to build self discipline to excel in life

Self-discipline simply means that you are able to consistently work on your goals without any external force. It means that if you have decided that you won’t drink for a week then you will not, even if everyone is pushing you too much. Self-discipline comes from self-love. And self-love doesn’t mean doing the things that you love to do. Self-love means doing the things that are good for you in the long run. For example, you decided that you will exercise daily and you decided this out of self-love. Because you love yourself, your body you had decided that you will exercise daily to keep yourself fit. But continuing it without being distracted is self-discipline. Self-discipline just means being true to your goals and to yourself.

What you can achieve from self-discipline

Self-discipline can give you whatever you want to achieve. It is the center of all material success.
You will start gaining self-respect from self-discipline. As wherever we aren’t able to do a task we start hating ourselves. And think that maybe I am not that good that I can achieve it. But when you start achieving the daily goals that you set for yourself by being self-disciplined than you will start respecting yourself and ultimately will achieve your goal also.
You will start receiving confidence in yourself that yes you can do whatever you want to do.

How to develop self-discipline

  • Develop self-love. This is the very first step for achieving anything in your life. You have to take your own sole responsibility i.e you should be responsible for your happiness, sadness and so on. If you love yourself then start doing the things that are good for you not what you love to do. For eg, if you love drinking than start realizing that it is not good for you then there will be self-love.
  • Create a goal, deadline. Once you have figured out what is good for you and what is not, according to that make your goals. For making a full-fledged plan take out copy and pen and start writing. First write your goals than what you need to do daily to achieve it, than in how much time you will achieve them, etc. Write everything exactly not approximately. You should have a proper date. This is very important for achieving anything. Then paste that paper at the place where you see it every time or at least before going to bed and after awaking. You should do this process for both your short term as well as long term goals. Short term goals mean goals with 2-3 month duration and long term goals mean goals with 1-2 years duration.
  • Start small, Go big. While planning your daily tasks, do not plan too much for a day in the starting because you are just starting. Make an achievable task for a day and start working on it. Otherwise, you will not able to achieve discipline from the first day. You need to take your goals slowly and consistently.
  • At least have one cheat day for yourself – As you have planned everything out but in the staring, everything will look too tough. So, at least keep one day on which you can do whatever you what to do i.e eat whatever you want to eat, Don’t study if you don’t want to, etc. On this day you can do whatever you want to do i.e that you love doing.
  • Stop judging yourself by other’s point of view. Many times we get out of our track when we listen to other people’s opinions. If there people in your life who tell you that you cannot do it, it is impossible, stop listening to them. These types of opinions always waste our time. Always leave us in a situation where we aren’t able to concentrate, focus, etc.
  • Don’t think about other’s faults, take responsibility. Many times there are people in our lives who hurt us and leave us in a big trauma. They could be your friend, partner, and so on. We need to understand that it is our responsibility to get ourselves out of the situation that is affecting us and in any way distracting us from our goals. We should be solely responsible for our happiness, pleasure, and everything not anyone else.
  • Start appreciating yourself by giving some rewards. As now you are really working hard and most importantly you are consistent but we humans always need pleasure. But our goals cannot give us pleasure instantly. But we can give rewards to ourselves after completing some particular deadline. In this way we will remain in the sink of happiness as well as struggle.
  • Start forgiving yourself. Sometimes it happens that we aren’t able to full fill our deadline on time, at that time learn to forgive ourselves. Imagine, what would happen, if you had never started. You would not able to achieve this much that you have achieved today. So, it’s ok if you missed this, you will surely grab another.
  • Don’t hurt yourself. Many times people start hurting themselves when they aren’t able to achieve their goals. Like you had decided that I won’t drink but by mistake you drank after struggling for 2 months. So, in this type of situation, people start drinking even more or torturing themselves like I had done this mistake, so I won’t eat for a day. Which leads to more problems. So, start forgiving as mentioned in the above point.

Remember, one thing, you can achieve anything that you want. You just need to be self-disciplined for it. And for self-discipline, First, you need to love yourself i.e self-love. And for self-love you need to know what is right for you and for that you need to hang out with the right people. Because we are the average of five people with whom we spend most of the time

Learn, one more important skill to achieve your goals and that is how to overcome Laziness.

How to build self discipline to excel in life

How to build self discipline to excel in life

It may be hard to believe when you’re facing a hot-fudge sundae or the prospect of sleeping in versus hitting the gym, but studies show that people with self-discipline are happier.

People with a higher degree of self-control spend less time debating whether to indulge in behaviors that are detrimental to their health, and are able to make positive decisions more easily. They don’t let impulses or feelings dictate their choices. Instead, they make level-headed decisions. As a result, they tend to feel more satisfied with their lives.

There are things you can do to learn self-discipline and gain the willpower to live a happier life. If you are looking to take control of your habits and choices, here are the 10 most powerful things you can do to master self-discipline.

1. Know your weaknesses.

We all have weaknesses. Whether they’re snacks such as potato chips or chocolate chip cookies, or technology such as Facebook or the latest addictive game app, they have similar effects on us.

Acknowledge your shortcomings, whatever they may be. Too often people either try to pretend their vulnerabilities don’t exist or cover up any pitfalls in their lives. Own up to your flaws. You can’t overcome them until you do.

2. Remove temptations.

Like the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” It may seem silly, but this phrase offers powerful advice. By simply removing your biggest temptations from your environment, you will greatly improve your self-discipline.

If you want to eat healthier, don’t buy junk food. If you want to improve your productivity at work, turn off notifications and silence your cell phone. The fewer distractions you have, the more focused you will be on accomplishing your goals. Set yourself up for success by ditching bad influences.

3. Set clear goals and have an execution plan.

If you hope to achieve self-discipline, you must have a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish. You must also have an understanding of what success means to you. After all, if you don’t know where you are going, it’s easy to lose your way or get sidetracked.

A clear plan outlines each step you must take in order to reach your goals. Figure out who you are and what you are about. Create a mantra to keep yourself focused. Successful people use this technique to stay on track and establish a clear finish line.

4. Build your self-discipline.

We aren’t born with self-discipline — it’s a learned behavior. And just like any other skill you want to master, it requires daily practice and repetition. Just like going to the gym, willpower and self-discipline take a lot of work. The effort and focus that self-discipline requires can be draining.

As time passes, it can become more and more difficult to keep your willpower in check. The bigger the temptation or decision, the more challenging it can feel to tackle other tasks that also require self-control. So work on building your self-discipline through daily diligence.

5. Create new habits by keeping it simple.

Acquiring self-discipline and working to instill a new habit can feel daunting at first, especially if you focus on the entire task at hand. To avoid feeling intimidated, keep it simple. Break your goal into small, doable steps. Instead of trying to change everything at once, focus on doing one thing consistently and master self-discipline with that goal in mind.

If you’re trying to get in shape, start by working out 10 or 15 minutes a day. If you’re trying to achieve better sleep habits, start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. If you want to eat healthier, start by prepping lunch the night before to take with you in the morning. Take baby steps. Eventually, when you’re ready, you can add more goals to your list.

6. Eat often and healthy.

The feeling of being hangry — that angry, annoyed, irritated sensation you get when you’re hungry — is real and can have a substantial impact on willpower. Research has proven that low blood sugar often weakens a person’s resolve, making you grumpy and pessimistic.

When you’re hungry, your ability to concentrate suffers and your brain doesn’t function as well. Your self-control is likely weakened in all areas, including diet, exercise, work and relationships. So fuel up with healthy snacks and regular meals to keep yourself in check.

7. Change your perception about willpower.

According to a study by Stanford University, the amount of willpower a person has is determined by their beliefs. If you believe you have a limited amount of willpower, you probably won’t surpass those limits. If you don’t place a limit on your self-control, you are less likely to exhaust yourself before meeting your goals.

In short, it may be that our internal conceptions about willpower and self-control determine how much of them we have. If you can remove these subconscious obstacles and truly believe you can do it, then you will give yourself an extra boost of motivation toward making those goals a reality.

8. Give yourself a backup plan.

Psychologists use a technique to boost willpower called “implementation intention.” That’s when you give yourself a plan to deal with a potentially difficult situation you know you will likely face. For instance, imagine that you’re working on eating healthier, but you’re on your way to a party where food will be served.

Before you go, tell yourself that instead of diving into a plate of cheese and crackers, you will sip a glass of water and focus on mingling. Going in with a plan will help give you the mindset and the self-control necessary for the situation. You will also save energy by not having to make a sudden decision based on your emotional state.

9. Reward yourself.

Give yourself something to be excited about by planning a reward when you accomplish your goals. Just like when you were a little kid and got a treat for good behavior, having something to look forward to gives you the motivation to succeed.

Anticipation is powerful. It gives you something to obsess over and focus on, so you’re not only thinking of what you are trying to change. And when you achieve your goal, find a new goal and a new reward to keep yourself moving forward.

10. Forgive yourself and move forward.

Even with all of our best intentions and well-laid plans, we sometimes fall short. It happens. You will have ups and downs, great successes and dismal failures. The key is to keep moving forward.

If you stumble, acknowledge what caused it and move on. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in guilt, anger or frustration, because these emotions will only drag you further down and impede future progress. Learn from your missteps and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and refocus on your goals.

How to build self discipline to excel in life

Self-discipline is a regular challenge in any aspect of your life. You may decide that you want to lose weight, set yourself up for promotion, or simply work through a set of tasks faster than you have previously. But good intentions only take you so far. No matter how diligent you start out, you can easily find yourself struggling and demoralized a few weeks into a new routine.

So how do you develop more self-discipline? Is it a matter of grit, or are there ways you can make change easier to embrace? Members of Forbes Coaches Council offer the following advice:

Members of Forbes Coaches Council share their insight.

All images courtesy of Forbes Councils members.

1. Set Priorities

Before you can excel, you must be invested. To boost productivity and focus, start each day by prioritizing tasks. Identify where your efforts are best spent, then dedicate appropriate time for them. This will ensure you don’t end each day feeling defeated because efforts were wasted on low-priority items. Build self-discipline by managing your schedule and controlling where you focus energy. – Adrienne Tom, Career Impressions

2. Find An Accountability Partner

It can be a colleague, friend or peer. Make a shared document, then track progress and give each other praise when warranted. Also, make sure you hold each other accountable. Don’t let excuses fly. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you know someone is going to check on you. – Maresa Friedman, Executive Cat Herder

3. Start With One Non-Negotiable

It’s easy to want to accomplish a lot of things at the same time, get overwhelmed and then judge yourself for not having self-discipline. Even if you want to eat better, work out more, meditate — choose one. Focus on that one thing and make it a non-negotiable. As you begin to see results, you will find that it becomes a habit and you can make something else your non-negotiable. – Tanya Ezekiel, CareerCoach.com

4. Know Your Pain Tolerance

The root of self-discipline is overcoming the pain. Determine what suffering you are willing to do to achieve your goal. Not all goals are worth suffering for, and not all suffering yields results. Start by asking,”What suffering am I willing to do today?” Be honest here: We all have a pain tolerance. Honesty opens us up to finding ways to achieve our goals that are within our limits. – Jennifer Thompson, Deviant Thinking

5 . Be Consistent

If you make excuses — about your kids or having no time — you will have neither self-discipline nor true happiness. So what’s most important to you? Carve out a time to do this, every day for a month. Whatever it is, start small. Commit, no matter what: Do 10 push-ups a day or five minutes of meditation. The key to self-discipline is consistency. – Cha Tekeli, Chalamode, Inc.

6. Take Time To Visualize

Self-discipline is like a muscle: The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. A starting point to get you unstuck is to take time to visualize how great it will be to get things done, imagine and paint a mental picture of the benefits and the sense of satisfaction you’ll have once it’s done. Keeping a broad vision of your goal or project in mind keeps you motivated. – Maria Pastore, Maria Pastore Coaching

7. Understand Your Personality

Our personality traits make certain tasks energizing or draining. A vetted personality assessment helps you understand triggers for undisciplined behavior. Self-awareness not only helps you understand how these situations affect your stress levels and quality of life but also manage your natural reactions to achieve the best outcome, even if that means hiring a workaround for what you hate to do. – Judy Nelson, Judy Nelson Executive Coach

8. Focus On Power Of Choice

Self-discipline is easy when you focus on the power you have to choose. When we exhibit behaviors that are not aligned with our goals, we often overlook our power to choose and revert to our default behaviors. Slow down and ask yourself what you are choosing in each moment when you are working on greater discipline. It’s OK to make “off-course” choices sometimes, just notice and learn from them. – Jenn Lofgren, Incito Executive & Leadership Development

9. Eat At Regular Times

Low blood sugar often weakens a person’s resolve. Hunger makes it difficult to focus, as the brain is not functioning to its highest potential. It makes one grumpy, with a weakened sense of self-control in almost all areas of life. Eating at regular intervals regulates blood sugar levels, improves concentration and helps with decision making. To have better self-discipline, fuel your body. – Parul Agrawal, Viva La Coach

10. Remind Yourself, So You Don’t Forget

Developing more self-discipline typically involves beginning or re-engaging in a new set of behaviors or a new routine. Write it down, schedule it or create a visual reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish, so it doesn’t slip through the cracks of your busy day. – Lizabeth Czepiel, Lizabeth Czepiel, LLC

11. Set Reminders

Self-discipline is hard! To stay focused, keep your goals top of mind. For example, if you want to start going to bed earlier, willpower alone may not be enough to get you to shut off the next Netflix episode. But setting a phone reminder for 10 p.m. with a message related to your goal — “Go to bed so that you can actually enjoy breakfast with the kids tomorrow !” — may get you to shut the TV. – Jessica Glazer, Center for Creative Leadership

12. Ask ‘What’s Next?’

Define your 30,000-foot vision of where you want to be and when. Working backward, break down the vision into very small steps and start with the first “doable quickly” step. Ask “what’s next?” then move forward with the next “doable quickly” step. You will surprise yourself with how much you get done using one small step after another. Factor in time for mini rewards too, to keep you motivated. – Sharon Sayler, Competitive Edge Communications

How to build self discipline to excel in life

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of leading business coaches and career coaches. Find out if you qualify at Forbes Councils.…

How to build self discipline to excel in life

Self discipline is the key to success in life. You cannot succeed in life without it. Successful people will always suggest you to stay discipline. But the question is “why self discipline is important for success in life”?

Self discipline helps you to become unstoppable force of energy to reach greatest level in your life.

If you want to become successful in life, the first thing you need to do is discipline yourself.

Let’s get to know 6 Reasons Why Self Discipline Is Important For Success.

How to build self discipline to excel in life

1. Self discipline creates a habit.

Habits can make you or break you. Self discipline creates a habit in your life that builds up only through discipline.

Most people never remains disciplined in their lives because they are lazy. However, laziness is form of habit as well.

Successful people discipline themselves to work and stay consistent to it. And it becomes a habit. This is what attracts success in their lives.

2. It helps you get things done.

Self discipline is important to get things done. It can be anything, either you commit to read books or complete a task in a timeline.

When you discipline yourself to finish every single thing, you form a personality around it.

This habit makes you an achiever in your life.

Self discipline is important for success. Because it helps you to remain consistent in life and when you’re consistent, you will achieve anything you want in life.

3. It helps you to focus.

We live in a world full of distractions. Self discipline helps you to focus on your goals. It helps you stick to the work you want to get it done in order to achieve success.

When you are focused on your goal, you will complete every single thing that needs to be done.

Successful people have lazer sharp focus.

They are always looking forward towards their goals and achievements in life.

This helps them achieve great level of success in their lives.

4. It boosts your self esteem and work ethic.

Success comes to those who believe in themselves and who’s the hardest worker in the room. Self discipline helps you to boost your self esteem and work ethic at the same time.

When you discipline yourself, you are actually improving your work ethic by sticking to it.

It will help you to achieve your objectives.

However, when you complete your objectives everyday, you will start to boost your self esteem and confidence in your work.

This is the reason self discipline is important for success.

5. It helps you to achieve mastery.

Success comes to those who are masters not beginners. If you want success, you need to be master at something.

You become master by putting the work and spending upto 10,000 hours on one thing.

Mastery comes with discipline. Most people fail because they don’t master anything. Whereas, successful people do one thing and master it.

So, this is how self discipline will bring out mastery and mastery will bring out success.

6. It helps you to become best version of yourself.

Success comes only when you deserve it. You cannot become successful with the personality you currently have. So, you need improvements every single day.

You need become best version of yourself to become successful in life.

Self discipline helps you to improve yourself daily. When you do something consistently, you become better and better everyday.

So, this is why self discipline is important for success and growth in life.

Conclusion

Self discipline is the most important part of success. If you want to be successful in life, you need to have discipline. Otherwise, you will be knocked out by the people who are disciplined.

You have unlimited potential to reach greatest level in your life. All you need is self discipline.

So why wasting time, go and start doing things that will take you closer to your goals in life.

Don’t forget to share with your friends and family who needs it.

How to build self discipline to excel in life

Discipline is often a touchy subject to read or think about. As kids we (hopefully) were faced with it growing up as our parents did their best to train us to be productive adults. As adults, we tend to want to avoid having to face discipline in our lives, either from our boss at work, a spiritual leader at church or even from God, because it means we have to face a bad choice (or series of choices) that we’ve made. There is actually something we can do in each of our lives to lessen the discipline that comes from others. It’s called self-discipline.

Self-discipline is a proactive measure we can take in our lives that will limit the reactive nature of being disciplined from outside sources. Self-discipline causes us to make right choices in our lives that lead to positive results. This Dictionary of Bible themes defines discipline as “Loving and corrective training that leads to maturity and responsibility on the part of those who experience it.”

Self-discipline is exactly this, only the loving and corrective training comes from ourselves and we train our minds and bodies to do what is right. The process of exercising self-discipline is the key for ensuring we experience the next level in our lives that God wants for us.

Self-Discipline Prepares Us

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Luke 16:10).

One of God’s principles for advancement is the requirement to be diligent with what we have and where we are before he will advance us to bigger and better things. Being faithful requires self-discipline. God knows that if you aren’t disciplined to take care of that which you have right now (not just material things, but also your body, your family, your job, your ministry position, and so on) then you will not be ready for God to bring you more responsibility and influence in your life.

Jesus illustrated this exact point in the Parable of the Three Servants when he told of the master who gave his faithful servants more after they demonstrated that they could be trusted and took away from the servant who proved himself unfaithful (Matthew 25:14-30). He summed it up in verse 29:

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

Being faithful and “using well what you are given” is not easy and does not come naturally. It requires work and discipline to make right choices daily. Just like students in school need to be disciplined to do their homework and study for their tests in order to advance to the next grade, we too need to have the discipline to do what it takes to be ready for the next level God has for our lives.

Self-Discipline Keeps Us Healthy

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

It can be easy to think of self-discipline in our physical health as an act of vanity. After all, the average person only goes to the gym and diets to be thin and look better (which is why they often don’t stick with it, because that motivation won’t keep you for the long haul). However, taking care of our physical health is actually extremely important to our spiritual lives, because if we are sick and exhausted, we physically can’t do the things God wants us to do and we find ourselves held back. By disciplining ourselves to be active and choose healthy foods to eat, we are giving our bodies the fuel they need to carry out God’s plans through us.

Obviously physical health is very important, but it is just one aspect of health in our lives. Spiritual, emotional and even social health all bring balance to our lives and help us to live out the lives that God wants us to live. We need self-discipline to prioritize quiet time with God and to spend quality time with our family and friends. These things don’t naturally happen in our lives if we don’t make them a priority. Our flesh is constantly waging war against us and our desires to do the right things and we have to fight it every day.

“The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions” (Galatians 5:17).

Making right choices takes serious discipline. If we want to be spiritually, physically, and relationally healthy, we have to work at it.

Self-Discipline Increases our Focus and Productivity

“Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper” (Proverbs 13:4).

Hard work is always a part of experiencing the next level God has for us. Promotions are a result of being diligent and producing results where you are at. When you exercise self-discipline in your life, your mind is freed up to focus on what you need to focus on, instead of all the things you feel like you should be doing. Negative thoughts attack us every day, and when we lack self-discipline in our lives and neglect to do the things we know we need to be doing, those negative thoughts attack hard. These thoughts can make us feel ashamed of ourselves and when we walk around with shame and self-hatred, it consumes our focus and steals our productivity. On the contrary, when we feel good about ourselves and the majority of choices we are making (since we won’t ever make ALL good choices), we have more confidence in ourselves and God working through us and when we put our hands to things, they prosper.

The bottom line is that a self-disciplined life brings us closer to God and puts us in a better position to hear from him. It causes us to make better choices and walk in the path God has for us because we take time to listen to his voice. We experience his peace when we walk through hard times because we are disciplined to study his word and we remember his promises about carrying us through. We are able to bless others by making ourselves available to speak God’s word into their lives. A spiritually strong life is a wonderful life to live, but it doesn’t come without effort. Staying close to God is the only way you will have a strong sense of purpose and peace in your life like Paul had.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7).

How to build self discipline to excel in life

How to build self discipline to excel in life

It may be hard to believe when you’re facing a hot-fudge sundae or the prospect of sleeping in versus hitting the gym, but studies show that people with self-discipline are happier.

People with a higher degree of self-control spend less time debating whether to indulge in behaviors that are detrimental to their health, and are able to make positive decisions more easily. They don’t let impulses or feelings dictate their choices. Instead, they make level-headed decisions. As a result, they tend to feel more satisfied with their lives.

There are things you can do to learn self-discipline and gain the willpower to live a happier life. If you are looking to take control of your habits and choices, here are the 10 most powerful things you can do to master self-discipline.

1. Know your weaknesses.

We all have weaknesses. Whether they’re snacks such as potato chips or chocolate chip cookies, or technology such as Facebook or the latest addictive game app, they have similar effects on us.

Acknowledge your shortcomings, whatever they may be. Too often people either try to pretend their vulnerabilities don’t exist or cover up any pitfalls in their lives. Own up to your flaws. You can’t overcome them until you do.

2. Remove temptations.

Like the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.” It may seem silly, but this phrase offers powerful advice. By simply removing your biggest temptations from your environment, you will greatly improve your self-discipline.

If you want to eat healthier, don’t buy junk food. If you want to improve your productivity at work, turn off notifications and silence your cell phone. The fewer distractions you have, the more focused you will be on accomplishing your goals. Set yourself up for success by ditching bad influences.

3. Set clear goals and have an execution plan.

If you hope to achieve self-discipline, you must have a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish. You must also have an understanding of what success means to you. After all, if you don’t know where you are going, it’s easy to lose your way or get sidetracked.

A clear plan outlines each step you must take in order to reach your goals. Figure out who you are and what you are about. Create a mantra to keep yourself focused. Successful people use this technique to stay on track and establish a clear finish line.

4. Build your self-discipline.

We aren’t born with self-discipline — it’s a learned behavior. And just like any other skill you want to master, it requires daily practice and repetition. Just like going to the gym, willpower and self-discipline take a lot of work. The effort and focus that self-discipline requires can be draining.

As time passes, it can become more and more difficult to keep your willpower in check. The bigger the temptation or decision, the more challenging it can feel to tackle other tasks that also require self-control. So work on building your self-discipline through daily diligence.

5. Create new habits by keeping it simple.

Acquiring self-discipline and working to instill a new habit can feel daunting at first, especially if you focus on the entire task at hand. To avoid feeling intimidated, keep it simple. Break your goal into small, doable steps. Instead of trying to change everything at once, focus on doing one thing consistently and master self-discipline with that goal in mind.

If you’re trying to get in shape, start by working out 10 or 15 minutes a day. If you’re trying to achieve better sleep habits, start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night. If you want to eat healthier, start by prepping lunch the night before to take with you in the morning. Take baby steps. Eventually, when you’re ready, you can add more goals to your list.

6. Eat often and healthy.

The feeling of being hangry — that angry, annoyed, irritated sensation you get when you’re hungry — is real and can have a substantial impact on willpower. Research has proven that low blood sugar often weakens a person’s resolve, making you grumpy and pessimistic.

When you’re hungry, your ability to concentrate suffers and your brain doesn’t function as well. Your self-control is likely weakened in all areas, including diet, exercise, work and relationships. So fuel up with healthy snacks and regular meals to keep yourself in check.

7. Change your perception about willpower.

According to a study by Stanford University, the amount of willpower a person has is determined by their beliefs. If you believe you have a limited amount of willpower, you probably won’t surpass those limits. If you don’t place a limit on your self-control, you are less likely to exhaust yourself before meeting your goals.

In short, it may be that our internal conceptions about willpower and self-control determine how much of them we have. If you can remove these subconscious obstacles and truly believe you can do it, then you will give yourself an extra boost of motivation toward making those goals a reality.

8. Give yourself a backup plan.

Psychologists use a technique to boost willpower called “implementation intention.” That’s when you give yourself a plan to deal with a potentially difficult situation you know you will likely face. For instance, imagine that you’re working on eating healthier, but you’re on your way to a party where food will be served.

Before you go, tell yourself that instead of diving into a plate of cheese and crackers, you will sip a glass of water and focus on mingling. Going in with a plan will help give you the mindset and the self-control necessary for the situation. You will also save energy by not having to make a sudden decision based on your emotional state.

9. Reward yourself.

Give yourself something to be excited about by planning a reward when you accomplish your goals. Just like when you were a little kid and got a treat for good behavior, having something to look forward to gives you the motivation to succeed.

Anticipation is powerful. It gives you something to obsess over and focus on, so you’re not only thinking of what you are trying to change. And when you achieve your goal, find a new goal and a new reward to keep yourself moving forward.

10. Forgive yourself and move forward.

Even with all of our best intentions and well-laid plans, we sometimes fall short. It happens. You will have ups and downs, great successes and dismal failures. The key is to keep moving forward.

If you stumble, acknowledge what caused it and move on. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in guilt, anger or frustration, because these emotions will only drag you further down and impede future progress. Learn from your missteps and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and refocus on your goals.

How to build self discipline to excel in life

Discipline is often a touchy subject to read or think about. As kids we (hopefully) were faced with it growing up as our parents did their best to train us to be productive adults. As adults, we tend to want to avoid having to face discipline in our lives, either from our boss at work, a spiritual leader at church or even from God, because it means we have to face a bad choice (or series of choices) that we’ve made. There is actually something we can do in each of our lives to lessen the discipline that comes from others. It’s called self-discipline.

Self-discipline is a proactive measure we can take in our lives that will limit the reactive nature of being disciplined from outside sources. Self-discipline causes us to make right choices in our lives that lead to positive results. This Dictionary of Bible themes defines discipline as “Loving and corrective training that leads to maturity and responsibility on the part of those who experience it.”

Self-discipline is exactly this, only the loving and corrective training comes from ourselves and we train our minds and bodies to do what is right. The process of exercising self-discipline is the key for ensuring we experience the next level in our lives that God wants for us.

Self-Discipline Prepares Us

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Luke 16:10).

One of God’s principles for advancement is the requirement to be diligent with what we have and where we are before he will advance us to bigger and better things. Being faithful requires self-discipline. God knows that if you aren’t disciplined to take care of that which you have right now (not just material things, but also your body, your family, your job, your ministry position, and so on) then you will not be ready for God to bring you more responsibility and influence in your life.

Jesus illustrated this exact point in the Parable of the Three Servants when he told of the master who gave his faithful servants more after they demonstrated that they could be trusted and took away from the servant who proved himself unfaithful (Matthew 25:14-30). He summed it up in verse 29:

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

Being faithful and “using well what you are given” is not easy and does not come naturally. It requires work and discipline to make right choices daily. Just like students in school need to be disciplined to do their homework and study for their tests in order to advance to the next grade, we too need to have the discipline to do what it takes to be ready for the next level God has for our lives.

Self-Discipline Keeps Us Healthy

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

It can be easy to think of self-discipline in our physical health as an act of vanity. After all, the average person only goes to the gym and diets to be thin and look better (which is why they often don’t stick with it, because that motivation won’t keep you for the long haul). However, taking care of our physical health is actually extremely important to our spiritual lives, because if we are sick and exhausted, we physically can’t do the things God wants us to do and we find ourselves held back. By disciplining ourselves to be active and choose healthy foods to eat, we are giving our bodies the fuel they need to carry out God’s plans through us.

Obviously physical health is very important, but it is just one aspect of health in our lives. Spiritual, emotional and even social health all bring balance to our lives and help us to live out the lives that God wants us to live. We need self-discipline to prioritize quiet time with God and to spend quality time with our family and friends. These things don’t naturally happen in our lives if we don’t make them a priority. Our flesh is constantly waging war against us and our desires to do the right things and we have to fight it every day.

“The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions” (Galatians 5:17).

Making right choices takes serious discipline. If we want to be spiritually, physically, and relationally healthy, we have to work at it.

Self-Discipline Increases our Focus and Productivity

“Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper” (Proverbs 13:4).

Hard work is always a part of experiencing the next level God has for us. Promotions are a result of being diligent and producing results where you are at. When you exercise self-discipline in your life, your mind is freed up to focus on what you need to focus on, instead of all the things you feel like you should be doing. Negative thoughts attack us every day, and when we lack self-discipline in our lives and neglect to do the things we know we need to be doing, those negative thoughts attack hard. These thoughts can make us feel ashamed of ourselves and when we walk around with shame and self-hatred, it consumes our focus and steals our productivity. On the contrary, when we feel good about ourselves and the majority of choices we are making (since we won’t ever make ALL good choices), we have more confidence in ourselves and God working through us and when we put our hands to things, they prosper.

The bottom line is that a self-disciplined life brings us closer to God and puts us in a better position to hear from him. It causes us to make better choices and walk in the path God has for us because we take time to listen to his voice. We experience his peace when we walk through hard times because we are disciplined to study his word and we remember his promises about carrying us through. We are able to bless others by making ourselves available to speak God’s word into their lives. A spiritually strong life is a wonderful life to live, but it doesn’t come without effort. Staying close to God is the only way you will have a strong sense of purpose and peace in your life like Paul had.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7).

How to build self discipline to excel in life

What’s at the core of achieving the good life? It is not learning how to set goals. It is not learning how to better manage your time. It is not mastering the attributes of leadership.

Every day in a thousand different ways, we are trying to improve ourselves by learning how to do things. We spend a lifetime gathering knowledge—in classrooms, in textbooks, in experiences. And if knowledge is power, if knowledge is the forerunner to success, why do we fall short of our objectives? Why, in spite of all our knowledge and collected experiences, do we find ourselves aimlessly wandering? Settling in for a life of existence rather than a life of substance?

There might be many answers to this question. Your answer might be different from everyone else you know. Although there might be many answers to this question, the ultimate answer might be the absence of discipline in applying our knowledge. The key word is discipline, as in self-discipline.

It doesn’t really matter how smart you are if you don’t use your knowledge. It doesn’t really matter that you graduated magna cum laude if you’re stuck in a low-paying job. It doesn’t really matter that you attend every seminar that comes to town if you don’t apply what you’ve learned.

We spend our lives gathering: gathering knowledge, gathering skills, gathering experiences. But we must also apply the knowledge.

We spend our lives gathering: gathering knowledge, gathering skills, gathering experiences. But we must also apply the knowledge, skills and experiences we gather in the realms of life and business. We must learn to use what we’ve learned.

And once we’ve applied our knowledge, we must study the results of that process and refine our approach.

Finally, by trying and observing and refining and trying again, our knowledge will inevitably produce worthy, admirable results. And with the joy and results of our efforts, we continue to fuel our ambition with the positive reinforcement of continued progress. Pretty soon, we’ll find that we’re swept into a spiral of achievement, a vertical rise to success. And the ecstasy of that total experience makes for a life triumphant over tragedy, dullness and mediocrity.

But for this whole process to work for us, we must first master the art of consistent self-discipline. It takes consistent self-discipline to master the art of setting goals, time management, leadership, parenting and relationships. If we don’t make consistent self-discipline part of our daily lives, the results we seek will be sporadic and elusive. It takes a consistent effort to truly manage our valuable time. Without it, we’ll be consistently frustrated. Our time will be eaten up by others whose demands are stronger than our own.

It takes discipline to conquer the nagging voices in our minds: the fear of failure, the fear of success, the fear of poverty, the fear of a broken heart. It takes discipline to keep trying when that nagging voice within us brings up the possibility of failure.

It takes discipline to admit our errors and recognize our limitations. The voice of the human ego speaks to all of us. Sometimes, that voice tells us to magnify our value or accomplishments beyond our actual results. It leads us to exaggerate, to not be totally honest. It takes discipline to be totally honest, both with ourselves and with others.

Be certain of one thing: Every exaggeration of the truth, once detected by others, destroys our credibility. It makes all that we say and do suspect. As soon as a business colleague figures out that we tend to exaggerate, guess what… he or she will think we always exaggerate. And they’ll never quite hold us in the same regard again. Never.

The tendency to exaggerate, distort or even withhold the truth is an inherent part of all of us. It starts when we’re kids. Johnny says, “I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it!” Well maybe Johnny didn’t do it, but he probably had something to do with it. And then it continues when we’re adults: exaggerating the benefits of a product to make a sale, exaggerating our net worth to impress old friends, exaggerating how closer we are to closing a deal to impress the boss. Only an all-out, disciplined assault can overcome this tendency.

It takes discipline to change a habit, because once habits are formed, they act like a giant cable, a nearly unbreakable instinct.

It takes discipline to change a habit, because once habits are formed, they act like a giant cable, a nearly unbreakable instinct that only long-term, disciplined activity can change. We must unweave every strand of the cable of the habits, slowly and methodically, until the cable that once held us in bondage becomes nothing more than scattered strands of wire. It takes the consistent application of a new discipline, a more desirable discipline, to overcome one which is less desirable.

It takes discipline to plan. It takes discipline to execute our plan. It takes discipline to look with full objectivity at the results of our applied plan. And it takes discipline to change either our plan or our method of executing that plan if the results are poor. It takes discipline to be firm when the world throws opinions at our feet. And it takes discipline to ponder the value of someone else’s opinion when our pride and our arrogance lead us to believe that we are the only ones with the answers.

With this consistent discipline applied to every area of our lives, we can discover untold miracles and uncover unique possibilities and opportunities.

With a minimum of effort, change the way you see your world.

How to build self discipline to excel in life

I have been treating patients using cognitive therapies for almost 15 years, and one of the most successful exercises I have ever seen work to help them re-engage their sense of well-being is so simple that each and every time I convince someone to do it, I am still remarkably struck by how effective it is.

Before I share this exercise with you, I want you to know that the difficult part is not doing the activity. It is making yourself believe that the activity will have enough benefit that you will put forth the actual effort to do it, and experience the results.

Often when I give this assignment to patients, they come back for two or three weeks afterward, still not having tried it. That’s OK; I’m so certain they will not try it initially, that I generally don’t even assign it until I have been working with them for several weeks and have had sufficient time to coach them into understanding the benefits of shifting their attention and thinking; how it relates to brain functioning; and how it affects their mood, so that they understand the value of what I am asking them to do.

OK, so what is the exercise?

  • Keep a pad of paper next to your bed and every night before you go to sleep, write down three things you liked about yourself that day.
  • In the morning, read the list before you get out of bed.
  • Keep adding three new things to your list every day to keep the list growing.
  • Do this every day for 30 days.

These don’t have to be big things, like I am a kind person; they can be simple, such as I like that I held the door for my co-worker, or I like that I didn’t lose my temper in traffic today, or I like that I am making the effort to try this exercise even if I’m not sure it will work.

For someone who is depressed, this activity feels like a lot of effort. Why? Research shows that people with depression have what is referred to as an attentional bias for negative self-relevant materials. They also have impaired attentional control, which means that once a negative schema is activated, they tend to ruminate on it and have difficulty disengaging and shifting their attention to something else; consequently, there is sustained negative affect. (1) Essentially, people with depression generally spend a good deal of time thinking about what they don’t like about themselves—and they have a hard time stopping.

The more time you spend thinking about something, the more active it becomes in your mental space—and the easier it becomes to access. Also, the more you think of something, the more it primes your brain to keep looking for similar things in your environment, creating a selective filter that not only causes you to sift your environment for things that match up with what you are thinking about, it actually causes you to distort ambiguous information in a way that matches up with your dominant thoughts.

Someone with depression who goes to a party might get 10 compliments, but if one person mentions the shirt he is wearing is “interesting,” that person may likely go home and fixate on the ambiguous comment and turn it into a stream of thinking like this: I wonder what was wrong with my shirt, I probably looked silly in it, I bet they all thought I looked like an idiot. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I ever get anything right? This is so humiliating. The 10 compliments have long been forgotten.

So how will this exercise help you?

Research also shows that it requires more attentional effort to disengage from a negative thought process than a neutral one. (2) This simple-to-do but nonetheless effortful exercise essentially helps you build the strength to disengage from any negative thought stream; redirects your attention to positive aspects of yourself; and retrains your selective attention bias.

As you do this, you not only start to become aware of more of your positive attributes, they become more available to you as you interpret events around you. Compliments become something you can hear and accept because they are more congruent with your new view of yourself. You start to interpret events occurring around you in a less self-critical way. If you stick with it, over time this has a compounding effect that elevates your overall sense of self-worth—and, subsequently, your well-being.

But remember: There is no benefit to your mental health in just understanding how the exercise works, just as there is no benefit to your physical health in knowing how to use a treadmill. The benefit comes from the doing.

1. Rudi De Raedt, Lemke Leyman, Evi De Lissnyder. (2010). Mood-congruent attention and memory bias in dysphoria: Exploring the coherence among information-here. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48 (3), 219–225

2. Marie-Anne Vanderhasselt, Simone Kühn, Rudi De Raedt. (2011). Healthy brooders employ more attentional resources when disengaging from the negative: an event-related fMRI study. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 11(2), 207-216

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