Get ahead with self-discipline in five easy steps
Abraham Lincoln said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” The only problem is sometimes the motivation to take on tasks simply isn't there. So how do you join the hustle when the motivation escapes you? The answer is self-discipline. Self-discipline is the driving force that pushes us to take on tasks regardless of whether or not we are feeling motivated. Self-discipline is a skill that anyone can have, and the more you use it the easier it will become. Here are 5 strategies to help you build self-discipline that can be used again and again:
1) Set goals
Having clear, concise goals can help you stay focused on what you need to do. Each morning, take a moment to write down your small goals for that day. If you still struggle with self-discipline, set a schedule that assigns a specific part of the day to each task you need to accomplish. For big goals, set a deadline that forces you not to procrastinate. Remember to keep goals realistic and attainable to keep yourself from becoming discouraged.
2) Use the five-minute trick
Getting started is perhaps the most difficult part of taking on tasks you don't have the motivation for. If you just can't seem to get going, tell yourself you will do the job for just five minutes. Whether you’re going to write one work email, read just a few pages of a book you need to finish, or even do five minutes of jumping-jacks as your daily workout, telling your mind that it only has to commit to a small amount of time will make it easier to get going. The best part is that, for most people, once you start the task at hand, odds are you will find the motivation to push long past the five minute mark and get things done.
Encourage yourself to use good-discipline by rewarding your behavior. Rewards could be small, such as going to your favorite-lunch spot after completing a project, or big, like planning a weekend getaway to take as soon as you get that promotion. These rewards help motivate you until self-discipline becomes a habit.
4) Use the power of accountability
When people are expecting something from you, you're more likely to get it done. Plan to lose ten pounds in the next two months? Tell your family and friends. Want to have a project at work done early? Have a coworker ask you for status updates. Accountability is a powerful tool that can keep you pushing on until things get done.
When you start a task, give it your all. It is much easier to get something done when you are 100% committed to what you are doing and not letting your thoughts drift away. No matter what you are trying to accomplish, personal goals, exercise, or work projects, give it your all to get the results you want sooner rather than later.
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