7 Strategies to Build Unbreakable Self-Discipline

7 Strategies to Build Unbreakable Self-Discipline

In this article and video, we’ll talk about 7 strategies to build unbreakable self-discipline. Here are some tips/strategies to help you build your self-discipline and get rewarded in the long run. A word of caution, you may not be able to implement these tips most perfectly from day one itself. There will, of course, be some resistance while implementing these changes. Give it some time and be patient, you will get there!

Learn to take stock of your weaknesses

  • Being aware of your pitfalls is the first step towards tackling them.
  • These can be in the form of bad habits, addictions, or issues with your attitude.
  • Ignoring your vices will not help you in any way to get disciplined.
  • Just list them down.
  • When you have an exhaustive list, you will be able to come up with ways to tackle them and discipline your mind in the process.

Come up with an action plan

  • Now that you have come up with your list of weaknesses, think of ways to overcome them.
  • There need not be only one solution to your addictions or weaknesses.
  • List all possible solutions and see how you can implement them.
  • Come up with a revised schedule for the next week, to see how these ideas fit in.
  • Again, this does not have to be a perfect plan.
  • You can also revisit this and tweak, to better address your weaknesses.

Having a written plan will give you a sense of direction and purpose.

  • It can also be a source of reinforcement when you think that you are being tempted by your vices!
  • Come up with a routine, based on your schedule.
  • A daily routine can help you discipline your mind easily, over time!
  • For instance, if one of your weaknesses is an addiction to social media, think of ways to handle it.
  • If temporarily deactivating your account is an option, then go on and do it.
  • If that’s not feasible, come up with a plan to reduce the number of hours you spend on social media.
  • If your schedule is filled with other activities, then you will invariably be left with less time for social media.
  • Hence, increase the time that you spend outdoors.

Stay committed

  • It is not important if you just come up with a plan.
  • You must put it to action and stay committed to the plan.

Here are some ways to ensure that your plan is put into action:

  •  If there are any objects in your surroundings, which are capable of distracting you, remove them from your vicinity.
  • If you are a TV/Netflix addict, it could be as trivial as removing those posters of your favorite TV shows from your room.
  • These posters can remind you of these shows and make you watch them.
  • By removing them, you are controlling your addiction for watching TV shows.

Ensure that you are surrounded by positive reinforcements.

  • For instance, if you are trying to reduce your tendencies to procrastinate, then make sure you have some post-it stickers on your table to remind you of the importance of the deliverable or decision.
  • There are various scheduling apps available today, which can be used for going through each item on your agenda.
  • You will also get a sense of accomplishment when you cross items off the list.
  • These apps can also serve as a visual aid to help you stick to your schedule.
  • Have a sound reward system in place.
  • I’ll touch upon this aspect in a bit.
  • Having a reward system will motivate you to follow your plan effectively.

Come up with a list of non-negotiables.

  • When you have a list of things that you can’t compromise on, you will be disciplined to follow it, no matter what.
  • You must learn to stick to your plan.
  • By doing so, you are conditioning and disciplining your mind.
  • Of course, it will be difficult to follow your plan initially.
  • But, with patience and sufficient reinforcements, you should be able to stick to it easily.

Learn to prioritize

  • Not all of us are gifted with the ability to prioritize our tasks in an effective manner.
  • This is not only concerning our work but also applies to our emotions.
  • Hence, by practicing the art of prioritizing, you are disciplining your mind to look at important tasks first.

For example, when your mind is disciplined, you will be able to approach a situation calmly.

  • You will not give priority to your impulsive reactions.
  • You would only prioritize your solutions.
  • So, learning to prioritize is important to discipline your mind and body.
  • Having a written schedule or plan will help you spend time assessing and ranking these tasks, based on priority.

Increase your tolerance levels.

  • All of us like playing to our strengths and staying within our comfort zones.
  • When we are asked to do something out of our comfort zone, we feel lost and struggle to complete it.
  • Hence, engage in activities that will make you step out of your comfort zone.
  • This way, you will not be caught off guard later.
  • By doing this, you are disciplining both your mind and body to stay composed, even when faced with a bizarre or an uncomfortable challenge in the future.
  • Similarly, do not run away from short-term discomforts because it might end up causing issues in the long run.

Increase your tolerance for such discomforts.

  • This will prepare your mind as well as your body for bigger challenges.
  • Controlling your body and mind will not be an impossible task, to begin with.

For instance, if you don’t want to suffer from the temporary discomforts of following a gym routine, you will end up facing health issues in the long run.

  • If you accustom your body for a routine of 30 minutes, you will not find it difficult to increase the time to 45 minutes, if your physician so advises in the future.
  • Hence, learn to prepare your body and mind for any kind of situation.
  • When you anticipate anything, and are certain about the uncertainty, disciplining your mind amidst chaos won’t be difficult.

Come up with a sound reward system

  • Disciplining your mind is not a joke at all.
  • You will have to be patient and try continuously.
  • This will ensure that you can get there someday.
  • You might have to find ways to motivate yourself to stick to the plan.
  • One easy way to ensure that you stay motivated is to have a sound reward system in place.
  • This will ensure that you follow your plan, no matter what.

Having a reward system in place helps you in the following ways:

  • For the longest time, discipline has been considered a form of punishment.
  • This is one important reason why we consciously stay away from discipline.
  • To eliminate that mental constraint, a reward system can help.
  • It can be used to recognize good and positive behavior or actions.

When there is a reward tagged to your schedule or plan, you would be motivated better to ensure that you complete your tasks on time.

  • In a way, you will be channelizing your efforts and time towards the completion of the task.
  • Over time, you will be able to channelize your time and effort to words priority areas, without the need for a reward.
  • Rewards need not always be materialistic.
  • They can also be in the form of positive reinforcements.
  • These can help in further disciplining your mind.
  • For instance, your reward can be in the form of an evening out with your friends.
  • These rewards can also be used to help you deal with your addictions.
  • You would spend less time on social media when you have an evening planned with your friend.

Here are some pointers to help you come up with a sound reward system:

  • You must time your rewards in an appropriate manner.
  • For example, if you are testing a schedule for this week, make sure that you reward yourself, for following the schedule, during the weekend.
  • If your reward is not timely, the purpose of having a reward in the first place is lost.
  • As I mentioned before, rewards can also be in the form of positive reinforcements.

Rewards need not be entirely materialistic.

  • When you choose an experience as a reward, you will learn more in the process.
  • Do not go for rewards, which are capable of affecting your resolve to discipline yourself.

For example, you already know that you are addicted to social media.

  • So, when you’re deciding on a reward for completing a certain college assignment, do not set it as spending 20 minutes on social media.
  • By doing this, you are giving in to your temptations and reinforcing addictive behaviors.
  • Every time you come up with a plan to tackle your weaknesses and discipline yourself in the process, think about the rewards that come along with it.

When I say rewards, I don’t necessarily mean only the ones set by you.

  • Think about the long-term benefits of disciplining yourself.
  • Self-discipline can help you in numerous ways.
  • Visualize your rewards, how your life can change for better if you discipline yourself.

Review your progress.

  • Just like how important it is to have a plan in place and execute it, it is equally important that you review your progress from time to time.
  • You can choose the frequency of the review, depending on your motivation levels.

For instance, if you are not so confident about your ability to stick to the plan, you can review it on a daily or a weekly basis.

  • On the other hand, if you are confident about your ability to follow the schedule, without any deviations, you can also go for a fortnightly or monthly review.
  • Only when you review your progress, will you know if your ideas are working well.
  • This review process will help you make any changes to your plan, as and when required.
  • You can also take the help of a friend or relative to be an independent reviewer and help you stay on track.