Do you have a habit of putting certain things off until the last minute? Do you find it hard to stick to most things you plan to do? Maybe you want to do something more regularly, like studying for an upcoming test or working out in the gym. Whichever area(s) are lacking discipline, try not to lose heart. Fixing this issue starts with making a plan to improve your discipline.
Taking Action to Be More Self-Disciplined
Think about why you want to discipline yourself. Is there a particular goal you’re trying to achieve but you feel certain obstacles are getting in the way? Maybe you want to become an early riser, but have a habit of sleeping really late. Maybe your once-stellar musical skills are deteriorating because of lack of practice. Or perhaps you’re trying to lose weight, but don’t like to exercise. Set some time aside to think through this so that you can narrow down your goal-setting.
Prepare to take action and decide when to begin
Prepare to take action and decide when to begin . Actions will be the steps you must attempt to work towards your goal. After you come up with some meaningful action steps. think of a time to start your new self-discipline goal.
- Your action steps could be anything from limiting time spent on unproductive activities that keep you from completing your workout, or making sure your gym clothes are already laid out the night before.
- If thinking of ideas is something you are finding difficult, brainstorming is a helpful technique for this. You might also find that asking a family relative, friend or someone else you know useful. It’s likely that you will think of multiple actions, for which you will need to include multiple rows. Take as much time as you need, and include everything you can think of.
- You might plan to start today, tomorrow or a later time in the week/month. Keep your plan realistic by taking into account any time restrictions. For example, if the action happens to be “Work out each day at 6am” you are unlikely to find it helpful to work towards this goal today if it’s already afternoon by the time you’ve thought of it.
Anticipate potential problems and strategize to overcome them.
Anticipate potential problems and strategize to overcome them. Consider any difficulties that are likely to occur with the action steps in your plan and devise a plan to handle them as they happen. For example, if you decided to pick the “Work out each day at 6am” action but know it’s a pretty sure thing that when the alarm goes off you’re only going to press the “snooze” button and give in to the temptation to doze off again then you could jot down something like “I’ll just fall asleep again” .
- Alternatively, you can think of solutions which have worked well at some stage in the past. However, if you know deep down something is highly unlikely to work as a strategy from past experience (for example, promising yourself you will talk yourself into getting up early next time when this has already failed on a number of occasions) – discard the idea.
- By trying to re-use methods which already have not worked, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Move on to other ideas. For instance, it’s possible that setting your alarm clock some distance away from where you sleep could be more successful in waking you up as it takes more effort to switch it off.