5 Tips to Increase Self-discipline

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Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. It’s the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to achieve long-term goals. And it’s one of the most important skills you can have.

Self-discipline enables you to stay on track despite distractions and obstacles. It allows you to overcome procrastination and laziness, and persist in the face of setbacks. It helps you stay focused and motivated, even when things are tough.

So how can you increase your self-discipline? Here are five tips that will help:

Tip #1: Start small.

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Start with something simple that you can do every day, without fail. Once you’ve mastered this new habit, increase the difficulty level if necessary. But don’t try to increase your self-discipline overnight; make sure it’s sustainable over the long term by increasing your new discipline gradually.

Self-discipline is like a muscle; if you start lifting really heavy weights, you might increase your muscle mass, but you’ll also increase the chance of injury. It’s better to start small and increase your load little by little so that it’s easier on your muscles (and your joints).

Tip #2: Start now.

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Don’t wait until later to increase your discipline; start developing it right now. The reason why most people never increase their level of self-discipline is because they don’t do anything about it until they absolutely have to. You increase your discipline by starting small and taking action.

Once you increase your self-discipline in one area, it will increase your overall level of discipline. And the more disciplined you become, the easier it is to increase your discipline. In other words: increase your self-discipline now and it’ll be easier to increase later on.

Tip #3: Focus on being productive, not on being perfect.

Perfectionism is at the root of most cases of low self-discipline. People procrastinate and put things off because they want everything to be just right, which never happens. They don’t start a project until it can be done perfectly, but by then there isn’t enough time to complete it. They refuse to get started until their environment is exactly how they want it, but by then their motivation has dissipated.

If you’re a perfectionist, remind yourself that mistakes and failure are essential for learning and growth. Try focusing on being productive rather than being perfect; when you do this, not only will you increase your self-discipline, but you’ll also increase your productivity and enjoy yourself more in the process.

Tip #4: Use positive self-talk to increase motivation.

Your self-talk – the way you speak to yourself inside your head – has a big impact on your ability to increase your discipline. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, then you won’t be able to. But if you tell yourself that you can increase your self-discipline and get things done, then you will increase your motivation to take action.

Remember, the more determined and motivated you are, the easier it is to increase your discipline. Your inner dialogue can increase or decrease your motivation. So increase the power of your inner dialogue by talking to yourself like you would a close friend.

Tip #5: Build self-discipline by mastering the basics first.

When you’re trying to increase your discipline, avoid getting caught up in advanced strategies that are beyond your current level of proficiency. You increase your self-discipline by learning and mastering the basics first, and then applying those skills to more challenging tasks.

For example, if you want to increase your discipline when it comes to cooking healthy meals, begin by making a list of what you need beforehand so that you’re prepared; only cook what you can reasonably finish in one session; and make your kitchen as nutritious as possible. Once you’ve mastered the basics, increase your efforts by adding more complex steps to increase your self-discipline little by little.

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