If you read our previous article on ‘A minimalistic view on life’, you might have realised that the key component to successfully practice this way of life requires high self-discipline. In fact, many things we wish for in life including success and becoming more mindful require a considerable amount of self-discipline if we are looking to sustain or make a habit of in the long run.
Self-discipline in definition is the ability to control yourself, the ability to make yourself work or behave in a particular way without needing external reminders or regulation to tell you to do it. The good news is that self-discipline is nurtured and not something most of us are innately born with, meaning that anyone can reach a certain level of self-discipline on their own. The better news is that we are going to share three exercises to build self-discipline right now!
One of the hardest things to do is waking up in the morning. While it already takes self-discipline to wake to the alarm you set, strengthen your discipline by going the extra mile to take a cold shower.
Why a cold shower you may ask? Firstly, cold showers improve blood circulation as the moment the icy water touches our skin, our bodies try to compensate by increasing blood flow to the parts of the body currently exposed to the cold, which means your still dormant body will now become fully awake, giving you an energising morning. Moreover, cold showers reduce muscle soreness you might feel after sleeping in particular positions for an extended period of time. Finally, most of us hate cold showers, so when you train yourself to do this jolting task despite not wanting to, you gain an increased level of self-discipline.
Are you already making your bed every morning? If not, now is a good time to start doing it. Many of us say ‘I will be sleeping on my bed tonight again anyways, so why do I have to take time out of my already busy morning to do something redundant like this?’
True, making your bed does not increase your income nor does it help you reach the bus stop faster, but here is the deal, those who have the discipline to make their bed are more likely to get more tasks completed in the day. This is because making their bed gave them the first boost for ‘completing their first task of the day’, and gives positive reinforcement for the rest of the tasks they have planned later on. Additionally, you are exercising determination by taking the time to complete a trivial task which is a big component in practising discipline.
Distraction kills discipline. It is as simple as that.
If you want to be more disciplined throughout the day, eradicate all distractions, like turning off your phone, or taking the extra step to install an application blocker set during work hours.
Force yourself to focus only on the task at hand. This will make you more focused and productive. This, of course, requires tremendous amounts of daily discipline, and while you might feel miserable at the start, you will feel the surge in accomplishment when you do finish your tasks at the end of the day.
Self-discipline is a life-long art form that requires sharpening every single day. While we cannot become as disciplined as monks are overnight, we can find an optimal balance of self-control to help us achieve our goals in life.