I am going to teach you how to build discipline and turn your flaky motivation into something concrete and useful. You might wonder why this is so important, or why this is useful at all. Motivation is not something you have endless amounts of. You will also not always feel motivated or want to get out of bed at 6 a.m. That is why you need to have discipline. The dictionary definition of discipline is “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.” This is boring as heck. Discipline is doing things when you don’t want to get them done. I would also like to add that rewards for success are better than punishments for failure. Discipline is a brain-muscle like motivation, but it is a muscle useful in every way to get you to do that task that you just don’t want to do.
You can’t build and use self-discipline in one day. It doesn’t work like that. You have to repeat your habit enough times, day after day until it is not a drag to do and you don’t think about it. You might dread it right now, but your body will adapt, and so will your mind. Repetition is key. I have talked about this in this post. One day of skipping your habit will lead to two days, three days, and so on and so forth. Breaks will also lead your brain to believe that your habit is something that needs to be taken breaks from. If you are building a healthy lifestyle, you don’t need breaks. Repeat your habit for at least a week. Journal every day, about how you are feeling, and after that week reread your entries. If you want to learn how to journal and more on why check out this post.
Habits lead to discipline because they are not consciously thought about tasks. Your habits you just do. Whether it’s a daily to-do list or weekly goals, habits are something you no longer have to think about or force yourself to do. When you are a beginner to making good habits, you might rely on motivation to do your habit every day. What you really need is discipline. A strategy for using habits to turn motivation into discipline is setting a certain time of day to complete your habit or a certain cue. If your habit is to read from a self-improvement book every day, maybe at five p.m you read your book, or you read whenever you make your coffee. My favorite habit book is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Check it out!
Practice. You know what that means. Pretty much everything requires practice. Do not give up, and you will reach your goals. I am not going to say that much about practice because it is very similar to repetition, but more about persistence. Keep practicing your discipline. Over time you will be disciplined enough to be disciplined about practicing your discipline! (lol) Leave a comment below about any time in your life you have used discipline, or could have used discipline.
Keep a journal, tell someone, videotape yourself… I know it is awkward telling your parents or your siblings about your goals, (trust me I’ve been there,) but there are many ways to keep yourself accountable. I really like videoing myself. Though this does make my family think I am dying in isolation, (especially since I am pretty extroverted) really I just enjoy talking to a camera and I can’t wait to have a whole quarantine “vlog” album at the end of quarantine. Grab your phone, turn your camera on and talk. I prefer to talk instead of write, and that is why I am telling you about this method. Although I also have a journal that I love to use visually, I really like talking because it is so much quicker to get your feelings and thoughts out. Are you introverted or extroverted?