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A Guide to Developing the Self-Discipline Habit : zen habits

Other Types of Motivation

  • Wanting to help others: If you get better at not procrastinating on your life’s work, for example, you can help more people with that meaningful work.
  • Appreciating life: We have a short time on Earth, and the life we have is a gift. When we procrastinate and give in to endless distraction, and don’t make the most of our time, we are not fully appreciating the gift we have.

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A Guide to Developing the Self-Discipline Habit : zen habits

A Guide to Developing the Self-Discipline Habit : zen habits

https://zenhabits.net/self-discipline/

zenhabits.net

7

Key Ideas

Finding Motivation

... to develop self-discipline:

  • Start taking small actions to make things better
  • Do the things that hurt you less
  • Push yourself into discomfort a little bit, so you can get better at this over time
  • Get good at self-discipline with some practice.

Other Types of Motivation

  • Wanting to help others: If you get better at not procrastinating on your life’s work, for example, you can help more people with that meaningful work.
  • Appreciating life: We have a short time on Earth, and the life we have is a gift. When we procrastinate and give in to endless distraction, and don’t make the most of our time, we are not fully appreciating the gift we have.

Small Actions

One of the most important things you can do to get better at self-discipline is to take small actions.

It can seem overwhelming to start big, intimidating projects. Instead, start with easy actions, things so small you can’t say no.

Discomfort Training

One of the reasons we don’t have self-discipline is because we run from the hard, uncomfortable things. We would rather do the easy, familiar things, that distract us.

One small task at a time, push yourself into discomfort. See how it feels. See that it’s not the end of the world. 

Mindfulness with Urges

Develop mindfulness around those urges you have to quit doing something hard and see that you don’t have to follow them.

A good way to do that is to set a time for yourself where you can do nothing but X. For example, for the next 10 minutes, you can do nothing but write your book chapter (or exercise, meditate, etc.).

Interval Training

  1. Set your intention to practice self-discipline and not hurt yourself anymore.
  2. Set a task to focus on.
  3. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Don’t go longer, until you get good at 10 minutes.
  4. Do nothing but sit there and watch your urges, or push into your discomfort by doing the task.
  5. When the timer goes off, give yourself a 5-minute break.
  6. Repeat.

Success & Failure

Don't get discouraged when you mess up. Failure means you tried. So it’s a victory from the start.

And it also means you learned something: you now know that what you tried didn’t work. Next time, you can try something a bit different.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Jim Rohn

“Be a student, not a follower. Don’t just go do what someone says. Take interest in what someone says, then debat..."

Jim Rohn
Your philosophy about self-discipline

For most people, self-discipline is hard labor. It’s something to despise. But if you approach self-discipline with that attitude, it’s pretty hard to develop it.

Self-discipline is not hard at all. The lack of self-discipline is hard. 

Internalize delayed gratification

When you are not disciplined, you know only one part of the equation: immediate gratification (our desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay).

But delayed gratification (resistance to the temptation of an immediate reward in preference for a later reward) is so much better in the long turn. 

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Self-Discipline During Hard Times
Self-Discipline During Hard Times

Self Discipline is crucial in these strange times when our freedom to go out and enjoy life has been curbed and when we still have to keep working while trying to take care of our family, health, a...

Holding Yourself Accountable

Make yourself accountable for what you do or don’t do. You don’t have to do things to prove something to others.

Make a To-Do list with your goals, intentions and proposed actions, and try to stick to it.

Being Honest

If we are not honest in our communication due to any internal fear, we are not taken seriously. People can tell when we are not honest.

There is no need to hide anything or play the victim card. Honesty seems difficult as it requires humility, but if followed, it is easier to be self-disciplined.

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Self-Control

 ... is the ability to regulate and alter responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals.

Research on Self-Control
  • A 2011 survey found that 27 % of respondents identified a lack of willpower as the primary factor keeping them from reaching their goals. 
  • One study found that students who exhibited greater self-discipline had better grades, higher test scores, and were more likely to be admitted to a competitive academic program. 
  • The study also found that when it came to academic success, self-control was a more important factor than IQ scores.
  • A health study found that people who were rated as having high levels of self-control during childhood continued to have high levels of physical and mental health in adulthood.
  • Research has found that self-control is a limited resource. In the long-term, exercising self-control tends to strengthen it. 
Motivation and Monitoring

A lack of willpower is not the only factor that affects goal attainment.

  • There needs to be a clear goal and the motivation to change. Having an unclear or overly general goal and insufficient motivation can lead to failure.
  • You need to monitor your actions daily towards the achievement of the goal.
  • You need to have willpower.

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The secret to self-discipline

The elegant secret to discipline: valuing your future self as highly as you value your current self, at least long enough to get your Right Now Self to do the right thing.

The choices of your Past Selves

You are currently experiencing the future of all your Past Selves. Their choices have come to fruition.

If you would like better fruits, make your Right Now Self into someone who, as a habit, rolls out the red carpet for Future Self.

Catch yourself cheating

Recognize the moments when you’re about to sell out your Future Self: They often happen when you are in retail establishments and involve televisions or other gratifying electronic devices, high-fructose corn syrup and disposable packaging.

There will always be too much to do
There will always be too much to do

The demands on our time continue to increase, but our capacities remain mostly fixed. In an attempt to get on top of everything, we'll generate more tasks.

The upside is that ...

Choose growth over happiness

Major personal decisions should be made not by asking if it will make you happy, but if this choice will enlarge or diminish you.

We are not good at predicting what will make us happy - it makes us concentrate on our narrow preferences for security and control. Focusing on enlargement questions draws out a more in-depth, intuitive response. You tend to know whether choosing to do something may bring short-term comfort that would prevent growth.

Being able to tolerate minor discomfort

You may already know it won't kill you to endure the mild discomfort of starting a difficult conversation with a colleague or asking someone out. You know that it's possible to let that feeling rise and fade while doing the action anyway.

The rewards come so swiftly that this becomes a more appealing way to live.

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Obstacles to Getting Stuff Done
  • The habit of putting off starting, because it’s uncomfortable.
  • Maybe you get started, but then constantly switch to other tasks.
  • You put off starting (or finishing) because con...
Picking one important thing

If you focus on getting the small stuff done but not the big stuff, or switch between tasks all the time, you’ll be less effective.

Pick one important thing to focus on at a time and learn to evaluate what tasks and projects are of higher value to you.

Starting

It's best done by focusing on the smallest first step and practicing just launching into that.

Pick the tiniest first step, and launch into it.

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Master Self-Discipline
  • Know your weaknesses. You can’t overcome them until you know them.
  • Remove temptations. “Out of sight, out of mind.”
  • Set clear goals and have an execution ...
Benefits of a daily writing habit
Benefits of a daily writing habit
  • Better self-discipline
  • Improving persuasion skills
  • Cultivating self-awareness
  • Better decision ma...
Writing as self-discipline

The reason why we don’t do anything useful with our time is that we lack self-discipline.

But when you write every day, you strengthen your discipline. And you can transfer that better self-discipline to achieve anything in life.

Writing cultivates self-awareness

Nothing will help you to get to know yourself more than translating your thoughts into words.

When you force yourself to write every day, you automatically become more aware of your thoughts. And self-awareness is one of the most important skills that predict career success.

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Improvement with learning

From the moment we are born, we are always learning new skills. We see it in formal capacities in school or on the job, and informally, like learning from you buddy how to grill a steak.

Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins

“One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ability to learn rapidly.”

Select your skill carefully

Be very selective in the skill you're trying to masker to avoid sabotaging your success:

  • Make sure it's applicable: The perfect skill either solves a problem you have or scratches an itch you have.
  • Be very specific: Specific goals are easier to pursue than vague counterparts. To set yourself up, narrow your skill down as much as possible. Ask what specific problem are you trying to solve, and find out what aspects you find most fascinating.
  • Make sure you love the process, not just the outcome: Pick a skill where the road is as exciting as the outcome. Then plan out celebration points along the way.

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