Zoe McKey's book Discipline Your Mind: Control Your Thoughts, Boost Willpower Develop Mental Toughness is available on Amazon Kindle for peanuts. But is self-discipline such an easy skill to learn?

Self-discipline is an art and more of a life skill. In fact, those who master it are proven to be much happier. This happiness comes from willpower to achieve goals, a mind that has well-tamed thoughts and living standards that are marked by good habits. Therefore, self-discipline is the practice of exercising self-control over one's mind to achieve targets and live a consistent lifestyle. 

But truly, disciplining the mind is a life-long process, one that needs constant maintenance. Here are a few proven ways to begin this healthy practice - 

  1. Recognize Your Goals
  2. Know What's Your Issue
  3. A Healthy Disciplined Routine
  4. One little thing at a time 
  5. The Time is Right
  6. Healthy Motivation
  7. A Fresher Perspective To Life
  8. Track Your Progress
  9. Rewards and Reprimands


Developing self-discipline is imperative. Take it from the fourth richest American when he says - 


"We don't have to be smarter than the rest; we have to be more disciplined than the rest."

-Warren Buffett 

Taking after many successful people, like him, here are 9 ways to implement self-discipline in your life.  


Recognize Your Goals

The need to discipline the mind or behavior generally arises with a fast-approaching target. But self-discipline is much healthier as a lifestyle practice. 
However, a quick fix to achieve your goals is to condition yourself for success. Start by understanding your goals. Is it a skill you want to learn or a difficult weight loss target you want to smash? 
Manifest this vision and pen down your intentions. Writing strengthens the mind, builds a positive response, and engages the unconscious mental faculties. 

set your goals

Know What's Your Issue?  

Know what makes you vulnerable. For example, people on a diet often give in to their cravings. But if prepared in advance, that tempting jar of Nutella or flaming hot Cheetos wouldn't be anywhere in sight. Out of sight, out of mind. 
But a lot goes into identifying your issue. 
So, this recognition phase is all about self-analysis. Here is how to go about your analysis - 

  • Introspect your daily routine
  • Try to catch the bug in your activities. This bug is that one behavior flaw that keeps you achieving targets. 

After this healthy session of self-reflection, you will gain awareness of the good and the bad. Use this to your power and drill some changes.  

A Healthy, Disciplined Routine

The above two processes will clearly state that incorporating discipline in life calls for careful routine establishment. In simpler words, discipline comes when a bunch of old and obsolete habits is replaced by newer, more productive ones. They should be powerful enough to change your thoughts or actions for the better. 
People who practice discipline in life train their minds to think constructively by learning useful analytical and creative skills. They make the best utilization of time and greatly merit from each activity they undertake. 
After mental modification, self-discipline requires an overhaul to your daily routine. It is only with effective healthy habits of fine eating, balanced diet, exercising, meditation, and ample socializing that help your mind tools to replenish. 

healthy routine

One Little Thing At A Time 

Self-discipline is a habit. Thereby, propose it to your mental tools subtly. Begin by one little thing at a time. This is how to go about it- 

  • After knowing what's the issue with your current lifestyle, pick a habit that needs to be removed.
  • Be mindful and focus on how to eliminate that habit day-by-day. 

This is the best strategy to be self-disciplined. It lets you proceed at your own pace and make changes to your life gradually. 


The Time Is Right

Change is constant and quick adaption is bliss. When discipline is introduced into your old habits, the shift can cause chaos. Although it may not 'feel right' initially, allow it to sink in. Little-by-little, self-discipline will settle in like a healthy habit. 
Willpower plays a key role in this phase. While stirring up your 'normal', mental strength greatly helps to fight the inconvenience caused. 
There is no 'right time' to introduce the change of discipline. It has been long overdue and now is the perfect opportunity to better your life.

alarm clock


Robust Motivation

After digging your goals, it is time you find a motivational fix. Finding the motivation to introduce discipline into your habits can be tough. Mindtools like perseverance and consistency should be brought to action. The best practice after enlisting your goals is to know what "makes you click". 
However, people who are driven due to intrinsic motivational factors, stick to their routines longer. Find a personal connection to your established goals and find a deeper meaning to your vision. However, external motivational factors like a big house, a fancy car, fame, etc work just fine.  


A Fresher Perspective To life

The skill of self-discipline is a personal development project. Since, it greatly affects your life, habits, style of living, and choices, discipline brings a fresher outlook to living life. It is a mindful exercise that involves taking care of yourself - mentally and physically. 
For example, people with a disciplined lifestyle make healthy eating and exercise choices that may seem difficult to follow.  
Others who discipline their minds, lead a life committed to the following routine, avoiding temptations, and train for stronger willpower. 
Any ounce of discipline removes bad habits to simplify life processes, giving it a fresher perspective. 

woman full of life

 


Track Your Progress

There are many benefits of self-discipline. With it, your goals, habits, thoughts, and life at large, gets massively optimized for success. It is needed that you track each disciplined practice that contributes to personal development.  
Record any change you insert into your routine. Track the positive influence it conveyed and build similar self-discipline strategies. It is good to look for both healthy, qualitative, and quantitative changes that influence your thoughts and manners. 


Rewards and Reprimands 

The journey to self-discipline is filled with hard decisions that come from switching to healthy choices. Therefore, each new habit is a reason to celebrate.
 Rewards are vital on this mission of personal improvement and will greatly increase your dedication to the entire process. They will help you feel energized and focussed. Studying for a big paper for six days a week? Give your mind a break and reward yourself with one-day time-off. 
On the other hand, it is desired that you forgive yourself every time you slip. Failures are an inevitable part of life and they should be treated as stepping stones. The goal should be to naturalize this practice of self-discipline and perfect it daily. Reward all efforts and learn from failures. 

reward yourself


Having a sense of discipline in life is the only way to smash your targets. Moreover, practicing it as a habit, makes you sincere and focussed. This sincere, positive attitude boosts your mental powers and opens you for new learning experiences.