By Sean Barcellona
Self-discipline: the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it—much easier said than done, right? The ability to be disciplined is so important in life, but it is also a difficult thing to maintain day in and day out.
The good news is that we are all capable of becoming self-disciplined; it just takes a positive attitude, toughness and persistence. Here are five ways to become more self-disciplined.
1. Clearly Define Your Goals
What do you want to accomplish? What steps are you going to take to reach that goal? What do you need to do differently in order to succeed? Before you begin to work toward a goal, you need to ask yourself these types of questions.
Developing a clear path to your goals is vital to success. It will keep you focused and allow you to monitor your progress. If you fail to define success and the steps you need to take to get there, it becomes much easier to get sidetracked and lose sight of what you are working toward. Define what will make you successful and remind yourself of it every day!
2. Start Small
We live in a society of instant gratification: We want things now, and we don’t want to be kept waiting. Unfortunately, self-discipline is not something you can develop overnight. It’s a long-term process that takes daily practice and repetition.
Think of self-discipline as a mountain. When we stand at the bottom and look up, it can be pretty intimidating. Feelings of anxiety, fear and doubt can sink in and overwhelm us if we put too much focus on getting to the top.
Instead, take it step by step. When we start small, we don’t feel pressured to fix everything all at once. This week, challenge yourself to pick one thing that you struggle to stay disciplined with and work on getting better in that aspect of your life.
3. Find Your Reason Why
In order to be successful, you have to find your why! Your why is your purpose, what drives you, what inspires you, what keeps you going when you feel like giving up and what picks you back up when you get knocked down.
Ask yourself right now, why do you do what you do? Whether it’s family, health, business, inspiring others or simply proving to yourself that you are capable, when you give your dreams a deeper meaning, it will push you harder than ever.
“Ask yourself right now, why do you do what you do?”
4. Learn How to Control Your Mind
How well do you know yourself? Do you know your strengths? Weaknesses? Do you know what situations you thrive in or what makes you anxious? If not, reflect and get to know yourself. Before you can take command of your mind, you have to understand it!
If you want to become more self-disciplined, it’s not always about overcoming temptations—you have to be self-aware and put yourself in the best position to succeed. That means removing yourself from tempting situations whenever possible. If you want to stop eating out, start meal prepping before each week begins. If you want to stop checking your phone so often, turn off notifications and find a healthy activity to focus on instead. The fewer distractions we have, the more we can focus on our goals!
5. Accept Failures and Shortcomings
Failure is scary. Most people try to avoid it throughout life. But that can prevent us from trying new things, make us think we’re not good enough and make us reluctant to try again. The fact is that no one can avoid failure; it’s just a part of life. No matter how talented or famous a person is, we all experience it.
The difference between the ones who achieve their goals and the ones who don’t is persistence. The only thing that will stop you is yourself—you need to pursue your goals relentlessly. Don’t let yourself be consumed by negative thoughts when things don’t go your way. Instead of getting discouraged when you fail, accept that it happened, take what lessons you can from the experience and keep moving forward!
Sean Barcellona is a trainer at Burn Boot Camp Cornelius (North Carolina) as well. He began his journey with Burn in 2017 and helps create unique workouts for all Burn Boot Camp locations across the nation. He is passionate about hiking, exercise, and spending time with his wife, Lindy, who works at Burn Boot Camp HQ.