Tired of giving in to your weaknesses? Sick of feeling guilty for wasting time, procrastinating, and submitting to bad habits? We’ve all been there, I’ve certainly had my struggles with self-control as well. That’s why such a large portion of my life’s work is dedicated to helping others gain the self-discipline to achieve their goals and become their best selves. And guess what? Anyone can reach this kind of discipline endurance.
All it takes is the right strategy consistently applied. In fact, most people fail to become disciplined because of a faulty strategy. Today, we’re going to kick laziness in the ass, put apathy in a submission hold, and strangle the daylights out of indifference. How? With my simple 3-step approach to increase your discipline endurance. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Give Your Cravings A Name
Human beings are biologically designed to avoid pain and gain pleasure. For this reason, your cravings, impulses, and urges are not you. Hear me out. Your urges are weak, compulsive, and primitive behaviours seeking short-term gratification to soothe your biological desire for comfort and positive emotion.
What does this mean for you and how can you take advantage of this idea?
Firstly, it means that you are not these impulsive actions. However, you are the one who decides whether or not you’ll give in to them. Secondly, you can take advantage of this notion by realizing these urges don’t have to be engaged with.
And one effective way to do that is by giving your cravings a name. This allows you to disassociate from them, enabling you to gain mental clarity and emotional fortitude to not allow them to control you.
2. Find Accountability
You can only get so far in life on your own. Sometimes you just need the help of others to keep you on the path. I used to see this as a form of weakness. I always thought of myself as a “lone wolf.” What a limited way of thinking. You’re not weak for asking for help; you’re weak if you’re too proud to ask for help.
Don’t let pride get in the way of progress. If you’re struggling to remain disciplined, find an accountability partner who can help you stay the course. Here are some virtues to look for in an accountability partner:
- Similar values: Be sure to choose someone who is also on the path of self-improvement. They’ll understand you better and will be eager and excited to improve alongside you.
- Respect and integrity: If you don’t respect them (or vice versa), that setup is not favourable to forming a solid relationship on accountability. Additionally, you should pick someone who has and values integrity. This ensures they’ll always be honest and forthright with you regarding your and their goals.
- Reliability: Can you depend on your accountability partner to be honest with you and not let you slip? This is important. You need someone who is a bit of a hard ass, a disciplinarian, if you will, who will call you out when you begin slacking.
3. Don’t Negotiate With Yourself
The moment you start yielding to your cravings via negotiating with them is the moment you lose. Do not give in to that weakness. Negotiating with yourself opens the floodgates to you reverting back to your old ways. Discipline endurance comes through definiteness. And definiteness is the result of burning the bridges and accepting the fact that you will never revert to your old patterns.
For this reason, you must absolutely refuse any negotiation attempts by your cravings. And believe me, there will be plenty. How do you refuse to negotiate with your impulses? By using…
The If-Then Technique
The If-Then Technique is a simple and useful tactic that will simplify this process. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you want to replace your Netflix time with working on your side hustle. You would then say to yourself (it would also be helpful to write it down and share this ambition with your accountability partner—see step two), “IF I feel the craving to watch Netflix, I will THEN take that as a signal to work on my side hustle.”
This simple technique gives you a detailed plan of what you will do when your impulses arise. As a result, it will save you from engaging in behaviour that you know is beneath you.
Putting It All Together
Like a puzzle being put together piece by piece, your discipline endurance is created through the small acts of self-control you deliberately perform day by day. For this reason, it’s important to be patient with the process but consistent with your efforts. Failure to do this will result in you reverting back to your old ways.
Don’t overload yourself by trying to do too much too soon. Instead, focus on the small daily acts that will slowly strengthen your self-discipline over time. Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:
- Waking up early
- Exercising every day
- Drinking 8 to 10 cups of water daily
- Eating healthy
These are just a few simple disciplines you can begin incorporating into your life. Try one at a time. Then, once you’ve mastered one habit, move on to the next. To adopt new habits as a part of your lifestyle, consider doing the 100-Day Challenge.
It’s a great way to bolster your self-control and take on new disciplines.
Strengthen Your Discipline Endurance Today
Like anything else, self-discipline takes time and patience to develop. However, once the ball is rolling and momentum is established, it becomes as effortless as anything else you incorporate into your routine. For this reason, don’t look at it as some impossible task that will take an inordinate amount of time and effort.
Instead, see it what it is: A skill that can be cultivated and that becomes easier and stronger over time. If you want more self-improvement tips, be sure to sign up for The Motivated And Disciplined Newsletter below for free and easy tips and tactics delivered directly to your inbox weekly.