Cultivating Self Discipline

What Does it Mean to Be Self Disciplined?

There is probably a thin line between being self disciplined and being inflexible. If that is the case, I’d like to get close to that thin line.

I define self discipline as:

  • The ability to set limits on what is not productive or not adding value to your life.
  • The ability to prioritize what is most important and be consistent in the pursuit.

What Would You Be Able to Accomplish?

What results could you produce? What aspects of your life, health, relationships, or financial outlook could you improve if you cultivated self discipline?

There are many weeks that I think about how much of my time I could reclaim if I were not committed to writing this weekly blog. There are times when I consider going to every other week or even once a month. I think to myself:

  • maybe I’d finish that book;
  • maybe I’d get my online training content up and running;
  • maybe, maybe, maybe.

The truth is — it is not my dedicated weekly blog writing that is keeping me from accomplishing other tasks. In fact, I often marvel at the self discipline I’ve maintained in this weekly pursuit. It has become my own personal inspiration that if I can do this and stay on track, then I can do many things.

What Hampers Self Discipline?

Some people won’t relate to this post. I’ve met some incredibly self disciplined folks:

  • Some learned it at an early age.
  • Others learned it via the military or sports.
  • Still others are incredibly controlled and well timed as a personal characteristic.
  • Others learned to set priorities and not waiver because of life altering circumstances like illness or loss.
  • Some people are overly disciplined as an antidote to anxiety.

But what hampers those of us who struggle with self discipline? In a phrase- bad habits!

Keys to Cultivating Self Discipline

I’m basing this on what has helped me maintain self discipline about writing my blog. I’m currently using this strategy in a few other key areas.

  1. Decide – Decide that whatever your target action or “being state” is, that it is in fact important to you. The decision to change – to be or to become something – is a critical factor for those who want to cultivate self discipline. If you’re not ready to change, you will have every excuse and reason why you can’t.
  2. Intention – Develop a clear underlying connection to why it matters to you. It is difficult to change something without a good reason why or motivation. Our results are directly connect to our intentions. If we are not getting the right results…we must check what our underlying intention truly was.
  3. Dependability – Recognize that you or others are counting on you. Who is impacted if you don’t follow through? What is the cost to you and/or others? What does is cost your esteem? Your health? Your well-being? Your relationships, personal and/or professional?
  4. Habitual – Get into the habit. Whether it is more than once a day, like healthy eating, or daily, like exercising or getting rest…or weekly, like therapy or writing a blog etc…get into the habit. Shape your day by centering that activity or task.
  5. Receive – Receive the benefits of your self discipline and celebrate your outcomes and experiences. There is a such a thing as healthy celebration. Think about those benefits you wanted:
    • improved health;
    • better or repaired relationships;
    • more free time;
    • more income;
    • more peace of mind;
    • a sense of pride and improved esteem. Celebrate by living the life that your discipline affords you. A life where you don’t feel hurried, rushed, overwhelmed, disappointed or a victim to your prior decisions.

You can decide today to lead a more disciplined life. Let me encourage you…it will involve a lot of “no’s”  or “not right now’s”  for some of you. It may involve “creating the space.”  You can’t build self discipline inside of a cluttered mind or on top of cluttered surroundings without both (the cluttered mind and surroundings)  sabotaging your efforts.

Copyright © 2017 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.

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