How to Improve your Self-Discipline {Infographic}

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How to Improve your Self-Discipline

Good intentions are important but you’ll never get much done without the willpower to see them through. Whether you’re trying to complete a creative project, get a promotion at work, or get your body in shape, you require not just an initial burst of energy but the self-discipline to work towards success every day of the week.

This is not as simple as it seems. It is easy to become distracted, tempted, tired, or bored – and in these moments, those good intentions will just evaporate if you don’t have decent techniques in place to keep yourself on track.

So what kind of techniques are needed? For one thing, visualizing the results of your eventual success can motivate you to keep on keeping on even when the going gets tough.

But there comes a moment when you need to stop imagining, and start putting some concrete strategies down on paper. That means making a list of exactly why your goals are important to you. These are the long-term, meaningful reasons for pursuing the endeavor for which you are trying to remain disciplined. By concretizing your deeper values rather than dwelling on the immediate satisfaction of eating a donut or knocking off work early, you will adjust your focus and strengthen your self-control.

Then come the practical steps to ensuring these values are embodied in your daily activities. Think ahead to the potential distractions that can tempt you from the straight and narrow. If you’re trying to write a book, but find yourself going online every few minutes to research some non-essential tangent, recognize this weakness: make a vow to yourself that whenever you are tempted to go online, you will instead make a note of what was on your mind and look into it later. If you’re watching your waistline, set a rule that should anyone offer you dessert, you will ask immediately for a piece of fruit instead of a calorie-packed pudding.

Then there’s people management to think about. Consider yourself your own boss on this project, and consider what you need to do to make sure your errant employee – yourself – stays on the straight and narrow. Hide temptation out of sight, and ask your colleagues – be these your family, friends, or actual work colleagues – to keep an eye on you, and report you to yourself should you be about to transgress your good intentions. Regular reminders are a great way to form good habits and do away with the bad ones.

How about something, well, nicer to help you develop that self-discipline? Well, naturally you are more likely to feel positive towards a particular chore or routine if you have happy associations with it. Try pairing your least favorite tasks with something you like to do, and you are more likely to get on with them. For example, if you detest the work of updating your accounts every week, try taking your laptop to a café or pub and having something nice to drink while you do so. Soon you will come to look forward to this perverse ritual!

But do think about what you eat and drink. Alcohol can be a really bad influence. It reduces your inhibitions, so you’re more likely to give in to temptation when it arises. And keep an eye on your blood-sugar levels. Willpower has been linked to glucose levels, so if your resolve is waning – have yourself some honey on toast. (You might even pair this idea with that of doing something nice while doing a chore you dislike).

If you’re planning a new start with better intentions and stronger resolve to see them through, try running through this new infographic. It’s full of ideas on how you can train yourself to be better disciplined, and offers some sure-fire fuel to see you through to success on your next project.

Editorial Team
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