3 Tips to better Self Discipline

Happy Weekend! I am currently sitting at the airport, waiting for the second out of three flights within four days and just recapping my last few days at a work event, talking to loads of interesting people and came up with these ideas and definitions of self discipline I am going to define later in the article, but first the story:

Self discipline is such a great strong word related to many other descriptions such as self-believe, self-motivation, self-determination and the list goes on. Over the last few month in my new job and after moving to my absolute favorite city (LONDON) all of these have defined themselves as being very strongly related to self-discipline and how I interpreted it for myself.

An example, even though I traveled this week for work and had long nights, early morning, wanted to be 100% concentrated and spot on without a real break, I managed to follow up on my mails and go to the hotel gym in the morning. A few years ago I would not have done this, I would have skipped working out and definitely would have not touched the additional mails that required attention to be able to give all my 100% to the current work I had to do.

Another example, loads of the things over the last few days were organized by others and I had to go with this and adapt to it in the best possible way. A few months ago I would have created the biggest effort, double checked everything and probably planned most of it myself cause I wanted to proof my best possible performance. Yes, I know a little control freak, not staying on top of every little thing doesn’t mean not performing but just to save and use my energy for the really important things.

The last few months (and I guess growing up a little more as well) showed me that these are not necessary things to take in consideration. I changed these habits by choosing to make decisions for myself rather than forcing me to do it. Exchanging the word “I should” with “I can”, “I have to” with “I want to”. That might sound very easy but since I realized this I still have to remind myself everyday, it is for sure an ongoing process in changing ways of thinking.

Instead of “I have to finish this mail” thinking of (or writing it down) “I want to finish this, because…” is such a massive self motivator that it massively impacts the self discipline to actually finish it now, in this very moment and not tomorrow.

I give you another example, I wanted to create a blog since a few years to express myself and share my ideas, something like this is time consuming especially in the beginning to define what it is all about. The same applied here, once I changed my thinking it was so much easier to come up with ideas to share.

Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  1. Take one thing you  are “forcing” yourself everyday to do because you think it is mandatory and why?
  2. If you can identify the why, how well did you plan the way to get this done, and again why did you plan it so detailed?
  3. If you take both reasons why, remove the details and combine them to a sentence with “I can”, how does that impact your motivation?

I am curious to hear the outcome and if this impacted your ways of self motivation and discipline so please leave a comment when you read this.

Here is my way to answer this for my daily training discipline:

  1. At least a good full body workout for 60 min everyday, why: to gain strength and get in shape
  2. A structured daily routine training plan with the same exercises for the best possible outcome, turning my alarm on an hour before I have to get ready for work doesn’t matter what I did the night before, why: to ensure I have daily time for it
  3. I can do a daily work out to gain strength and get in shape

The result: my workout progress has massively increased in terms of repetitions and higher weights,  I am still doing daily workouts but if but my body is tired and sore I allow myself a rest day, I realized that a full body workout might not be the way forward but rather different focuses everyday, instead of dragging myself to the gym for all these reasons, I actually enjoy doing it more and can focus much better.

So here is my conclusion:

  1. Self discipline is saying “I want to” and “I can” instead of “I should” or “I have to”
  2. Self discipline means to choose a thing for a reason not to force it 
  3. Self discipline is letting your inner control freak loose control and move away from managing to guiding and listening

This is probably the most open article about my thoughts that i wrote so far, I hope you enjoy reading, please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

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