“Mama, that’s enough. I don’t want to listen to your lecture about my lack of self-discipline. Bye!” Ashray slammed the door and left for office before his mother could say anything. He’s already late.
“This boy complains about my lecture but doesn’t change himself. When will he understand! He is almost always late to work, isn’t organized, stays up late every night to chat with friends or watch some movies and doesn’t bother to pay bills on time even after several reminders!” Ashray’s mother resented.
“I’m sorry Ashray. I cannot grant you any leave. You know that we are behind the schedule on our new project. And you just took a week off last month. You promised me that you’ll complete your task within a month. Now it’s more than a month and see where you stand… Nowhere close to completion! What’s wrong with you?” Ashray’s reporting manager was evidently upset with his indiscipline.
Doesn’t this sound familiar? Don’t we see people like Ashray around us? Well, we do. This article attempts to help people like Ashray develop self-discipline.
The two major and common reasons for lack of self-discipline are:
- Unaware of the importance of discipline and the impact of indiscipline
- Not committed to changing oneself
Now that we know these reasons, let’s look at some ways to develop self-discipline:
1. Be Aware
If your family, friends, colleagues and people who matter to you are upset with how you handle yourself and more importantly, if you are not happy with the way you are then it’s time to sit back and assess yourself.
Irrespective of what people think about you, I think it’s important for everyone to introspect and become aware of oneself. We are so busy these days that we don’t notice the kind of persons we actually are.
So identify which of the reasons mentioned above is the one that’s stopping you from being a better person that you deserve to be.
2. Define Self-Discipline
It’s very important for each one to define what self-discipline means to him. When one clearly understands what it means to him, the goal will be clear. It becomes easy to decide what aspects to change, what degree of change and how to change.
For example if you decide to wake up at 5:30AM everyday (which will be your goal), then ‘aspects to change’ would be to change ‘waking up late’; ‘degree of change’ will be to wake up at 5:30AM instead of 7:30AM everyday and ‘how’ factor will be addressed either by setting an alarm or forcing yourself to wake up at the set time.
3. Identify Reasons for Change
Ask yourself “Why do I want to be what I intend to be?” There must be something that appeals to you about being disciplined. For example, to avoid the last minute rush you face due to lack of planning, to lead by example, to not give a chance to others to complain about you, to exercise, to reduce stress, to spend time with family, to pursue hobbies etc. Write down the reasons and go through the list regularly.
Each time you come up with an excuse to not follow your new routine, go through this list and it’ll motivate you to follow your new schedule. The more appealing the reasons for change are to you, the more determined you will be to change.
4. Measure Change to Stay Focused
Now this is the tough part. When one is used to a particular lifestyle, it is not easy to change it. Though we make an attempt to change, we lose track after a few weeks or months. We usually see this with our New Year resolutions. So tell yourself every day that you will stick to your plan of change.
To stay focused, measure the change or the progress made by maintaining a record. Now, how do you make this interesting? Simple… set achievable and realistic weekly and monthly targets and observe closely to notice even the slightest of change in you. It is really exciting to notice the change after a period of a month or two.
This is definitely the best part of all these points. If you have made considerable progress, then gift yourself something that makes you happy… A chocolate, a good meal, a book, a new pair of clothes, a family dinner... Or simply note your score on a scale of 1 to 10 so that you can add up all these points later to see how you fare.
Though the above points sound simple there is one common factor that binds all these together and that my friend, is “determination”. Without your determination to change, you remain the same you.
So happy determination!