Self-discipline is an essential element in life – not only does it help you stay away from bad habits, but it also encourages you to work toward making your life better. Healthy self-discipline habits have been associated with numerous benefits, like staying healthy and leading a stress-free life.
Sometimes in an effort to live a disciplined life, it is possible for you to take it too far and be very hard on yourself. When you lose sight of your goals and forget that you are only human, excessive self-discipline may become destructive. Your habits of being focused and goal-oriented can turn into an obsession over a period of time. You may become so rigid about your ways that some activities may no longer be as enjoyable as before. Here are a few ways in which you can keep your self-discipline habits healthy:
1. Healthy Self-Discipline Habits: Be clear about what you want
For your self-discipline to remain a healthy practice, it is important that you have a clear idea about your goals. Self-discipline doesn’t mean that you are forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to. It is not an external compulsion where something is decided for you against your will. Keep in mind that whatever you have decided, you are doing it for yourself.
Be extremely clear about your intentions – what your goals are, why they are important, and how you are going to achieve them. One of the most important reasons why people fail to attain their goals is because they lack clarity of vision. When you are aware of your intentions, you will feel motivated to work toward your goals wholeheartedly.
2. Be compassionate to yourself
After laying down rules for yourself, you might be trying very hard to stay on the right track by sticking to your diet, controlling your anger, staying away from an ex-partner who is bad for you, or giving up drinking or smoking. But the road to recovery is full of relapses. How do you treat yourself when you face a momentary setback or failure? Does your internal dialogue turn excessively critical or mean? Do you end up thinking negatively about yourself?
Critical self-talk and negative thoughts are your worst enemy, because they destroy your motivation and fervor. Sometimes, these negative thoughts work as a self-fulfilling prophecy – the more you focus on the fact that you failed, the higher your chances of failure in the future. When you want to keep your self-discipline healthy, it is crucial that you identify these self-defeating thoughts. Replace these abusive thoughts with positive ones, like, ‘I can do it,’ ‘I am only human,’ and ‘I can bounce back even after failing a few times.’
3. Be 100% committed to your self-discipline goals
There is no point in attempting to improve your healthy self-discipline habits if you aren’t going to commit to it completely. Plan ahead, and make the process as easy as possible for yourself. For example, if your goal is to exercise self-discipline while handling the critical remarks of a narcissistic ex-partner, cease all contact with the person in question, don’t follow them on social media, and work hard to add new activities and friends to your life. The healthiest way to commit is to give your best toward your goal, and learn to adapt to unexpected setbacks on your journey.
Remember, self-discipline is something new that you are learning – it’s not a skill you were born with. As such, there will be times when things don’t go as planned. Along with disciplining yourself, you also have to love who you are, as you are. There are going to be a few bad days; just remember to give yourself a break when those come around and continue to develop your healthy self-discipline habits. Don’t be too harsh on yourself – failure is just a stepping stone to success.
Guest Author: Jane Moore, fitwelltraveler.com
Jane believes in the healing power of travel. Since turning 19, she has gone on at least two trips a year and plans to continue until travel is no longer an option. Her mantra is: travel, eat your greens, move your body.