“Self-discipline is about controlling your desires and impulses while staying focused on what needs to get done to achieve your goal.” -Adam Sicinski
We all have dreams, but none of them can come true without self-discipline. Giving ourselves a pat on the back just for attempting something once or twice will not help us get closer to what we really want in life. We may think it’s an accomplishment and believe we deserve to reward ourselves, but it takes a lot more than that to reach our goals.
As daunting as it may sound, we do need commitment, determination, effort, and most of all self-discipline to make any dream a reality. Here are 8 ways to build self-discipline and go after your dreams.
Set your goals
Don’t just dream or think about it. Once you have decided what you want most in life, write it down. Making a list of goals will not only motivate you, but it can also help you visualize all the things you aspire to achieve. You will not be able to get anything done without a clear vision.
Tackle the easy tasks first. Get your resume done. Prepare the cover letter. Send that email. Whatever is it that you need to get started, do it. Don’t be shy to ask for help if you have no clue how to go about it.
Identify your weaknesses
What’s stopping you from going after your dreams? You can’t overcome your flaws until you know what they are. Whether it’s laziness or the inability to wake up early every day, you have to acknowledge them and accept that there is a lot of room for improvement.
The use of social media alone takes up a lot of your time. Scrolling through your news-feed or marveling at Instagram pictures every hour will not benefit you in the long run. Neither will snacking while binge watching or leveling up your gaming skills all night. You have to set a limit.
Don’t stop at research
Researching is important, but you need to do more than that to get somewhere. Reading articles, watching how-to videos, and saving important links will not help if you don’t take any action. Chances are, you will end up spending hours on your computer and forget everything later.
Make a daily schedule
Have a clear plan to ensure you do something productive each day. Schedule your work and rewards accordingly, but don’t go overboard with the latter. Only treat yourself after accomplishing a task. Be consistent and never stop working towards your goals.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
You will bump into uncomfortable situations or circumstances. Not everything on your list will be easy to accomplish, but you have to learn to face them no matter what. Practice with the smaller tasks first, then go after the difficult ones when you feel more confident. Set a deadline.
Don’t wait until it “feels right” to do anything. The more you convince yourself that you will get something done tomorrow, the further away you will be from your goals. It will become a habit that you cannot afford to have. Take the bull by the horns and just do it. No excuses!
“Self-discipline is often disguised as short-term pain, which often leads to long-term gains. The mistake many of us make is the need and want for short-term gains (immediate gratification), which often leads to long-term pain.” ― Charles F. Glassman