Discipline is something we are taught from an early age, but as we start to grow up, we begin to rebel, turning into teenagers; discipline goes right out the door. Then something interesting happens when we hit our 20’s…we begin to realize there are many benefits to being more disciplined. Mainly, we get more done and in less time. We’re more organized, our day’s go much smoother and there are fewer arguments. The bills get paid and our anxiety level is near zero. Hey, maybe there’s something to be said about this thing called discipline?
But how do you get back to your discipline roots? Try this simple lifestyle hack and see if it works for you.
First, Make A Deal With Yourself
Start by making a deal with yourself. Pick a project. This could be that home diy project you’ve been thinking about for months, or perhaps something you really should be wrapping up at work. Pick something you’ve been putting off for a little while. It's great practice for being better disciplined. Deals can look something like this...
"If I finish my master bathroom in the next 2 weekends, then I will allow myself to splurge on final design details when it's complete; by purchasing color coordinated rugs, towels and accessories." Here's another...
"If I'm able to stick to getting up 1 hour early every morning for the next month to go running in preparation for the upcoming marathon I'd like to participate...then I will splurge on the high quality running shoes I really want to wear in the race." Here's one more...
"If I stick to my diet for 30 days, and lose 10 pounds...I will buy myself a piece of clothing up to $40."
Promise yourself you will get it done by a certain date. Setting this time limit is imperative. Otherwise you keep pushing it further and further back and beats this whole purpose.
Write it down; either in a notebook, your phone or computer and put it somewhere it will be seen often. This makes it “official” and prevents confusion about what it was you promised yourself and by when you’d get it done.
Remove All Temptation
There are things and people that will tempt you from finishing it, including yourself and the temptations that surround you 24/7. But tell yourself that laying on the couch and watching a movie is off limits until you make some serious progress.
If losing weight or eating better is your goal, get rid of the junk food. Get all those tempting cupcakes and cookies out of the house. The rest of your family can live without them for a while.
Bribe Yourself With Rewards
Let’s not forget about the profound effect of the positive reinforcement. As you start to make progress, reach milestones and when you get a project finished, you must reward yourself. Think of these rewards as little personal bribes. Make your “treat” something you enjoy. For example, if you’ve spent the afternoon cleaning the gutters, then go to the movie theater. Or if you’ve been good all week sticking to your diet, go out and buy your favorite cappuccino latte, or get your nails done.
The more you practice self-discipline, the easier it gets, as do most things.
Pick a project you need to get done. Write down your deal, remove as many temptations as you can and don’t forget to work in a reward at the end as well. Challenge yourself to meet your deadline [or beat it.]