It is tough to be disciplined without supervision because falling prey to the lure of something more agreeable often overrides our deepest desires. Invariably it is a third party with authority, like a parent, a teacher, a coach, a boss who can forcefully discipline us. Unfortunately, we cannot have such authoritarian figures around us all the time, hence we have to make our inner most urge and our conscience our self appointed disciplinarians. The trick is to find ways and means to identify what we want most and super impose it on what we want now, so that we do what is needed to be done most, now!
Have goals – Each of us has to make the effort of having various goals for the varied dimensions of our life. Having a passion that will become a profession would be an ideal long term goal. However, profession is just one dimension of our life and finding our passion is in itself a challenging goal. In addition to a professional goal, each individual must also have a financial, social, personal, and academic goal. Goals enable one to have focus and a purpose. These will define the actions you take that will bring you closer to each goal that you have set. Remember that there is also a time element that has a major bearing on how much of the goal you achieve. E.g. the earlier you start to save, there is higher chance of having a larger savings.
Have milestones for each goal – While goals provide a focal point, often they seem to distant and we begin to think that we have ample time to reach those goals. On the other hand if one has short duration milestones which together enable you to reach your long term goal, it will help you focus on what needs to be done the most now. E.g. If your goal is to score an aggregate of X marks, you have to further break it down into the marks to be scored in each subject and then allocate time for studies for the respective subjects. You may even have to allot time for breaks for yourself so that you can relax, distress and recharge yourself.
Measure progress – While making goals and milestones is relatively easy, the key to progress is by measuring how much you have achieved. This will force you to do what needs to be done, make you aware of how well you are faring and give you a realistic picture of how realistically you will achieve your long term goals. Measuring progress will also help you revise your plans, revise your milestones and action plans so that you are able to progress towards your goals.
Make fear an allay – The goal gives you the focus, the milestones help you make progress and the measurement of your progress will provide you both the carrot and the stick for self discipline. The stick comes in the form of fear. If you are lagging behind, it will definitely give you a jolt for you will have put in extra efforts to attain your goal. This will automatically make you more disciplined. The stick called fear will be your ally in making you realize if you have drawn up a realistic goal or if you have majorly slipped in being disciplined.
Visualize success sweeter – The carrot that the measurement of progress provides is in the form of joy and satisfaction with the progress you are making. This in turn motivates you to continue to be disciplined because you have already tasted the sweetness of success. Self discipline becomes etched in your psyche because you know it is the most rewarding habit that you can form.
‘Fear will force you to be self disciplined; success will make you addicted to self discipline. Use both these forces to be self disciplined so that you can say NO to what is not to be done now and instead DO what has to be done now so that you attain what you want MOST.
- Make a list of all the pending jobs that you have as of now. It should include official work, personal work, leisure time activity, your family time activity etc. Now regroup them under some meaningful categories, perhaps on the same lines as mentioned above i.e. personal work, official work, family related etc. Are you in a better position to focus on the urgent and important work listed? Do not make this a onetime activity but use it as a tool to be updated and profited from.
- List out the following
- Three instances where you had to pay a price for not being self disciplined.
- Three activities that you dislike but cannot avoid.
- Three instance where you felt really happy that you were self disciplined.
- Three activities that you love but cannot indulge in.
This post is courtesy www.actspot.com
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