Recently, a friend had shared the following quote “Every day when you wake up, you have a choice. You can choose to be negative or positive. Simple as that.” The quote is simple and reflects a sensible way of being. This quote led me to reflect on self-discipline and the important role it plays in leading a positive, productive and happy life.
It takes work to be positive and productive as it is relatively ‘easy’ to fall into a rut of negative thinking or laziness. Maintaining a productive lifestyle and positive mind frame takes an abundance of self-discipline. However, the amount of success one can gain from practicing self-discipline is well work the effort. Self-discipline is a way of life, a habit or practice and those that apply this quality to daily living are bound to meet and exceed their goals. After reading much about this quality, I realized that I have some room for improvement in this area and decided to get reading and get active!
There is an abundance of literature out there and many techniques we can apply to our day to day which would help us succeed.
‘Fortunately the quality of self-discipline is something that you can learn by continuous practice, over and over, until you master it. Once you have mastered the ability to delay gratification, the ability to discipline yourself to keep your attention focused on the most important task in front of you, there is virtually no goal that you cannot accomplish and no task that you cannot complete.’ – Brian Tracy
Here are some tips I’ve found while researching how to increase and maintain my self discipline:
Drop the excuses. We will always find an excuse to complete a task instead of tackling the big one; we do this because it is easy. It takes effort to apply our attention and focus on the completion of a task. I recall finding the most ridiculous task, like organizing my sock drawer, instead of attacking my university papers. They would get done, but often done after many other ‘not so pressing’ tasks. This quality has improved greatly, however, in today’s very much connected world, distractions are everywhere and can certainly interfere with what I’m trying to accomplish.
Remove temptations. Set yourself up for success by removing the distractions: turn off your cell phone at work, block social media distractions during your work day or reserve it for break time, make time for exercise, remove the junk food from your cupboards…and desk drawers. You know the old saying: out of sight, out of mind.
Avoid the nay-sayers. Distance yourself from negativity and surround yourself with those who are like minded, those who share a common goal, those who bring out the best in you. De-clutter the noise and negativity so you can focus and be optimistic of your goals and achievements.
Set goals. By writing out your goals you become accountable, you can visualize what you are striving for. Goal setting gives us direction, helps us to avoid distractions and maintain our discipline. Create your daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals; track them and celebrate your achievements…with discipline of course!
My daily goal is to maintain focus and avoid distractions. I understand my goals and the work I must do to achieve them. It will take work and effort, but nothing worth having ever came easy. I encourage you to do the same. Good luck!