Do you consider yourself to be a disciplined person? Discipline is paramount if we ever want to achieve something in our lives. Discipline is what keeps us going and focused on that very important goal that we have set for ourselves.
In most cases, the word discipline is always considered as something negative. It’s usually seen as a representation of a person who listens to authority and is very timid. But the reality could not be any different.
A disciplined person is somebody that can control their state of mind and evaluate what is more important at the moment. A disciplined person is somebody who can say “NO” to their mind which is trying to convince them that one slice of pizza is okay during a diet.
We should all aspire to be that disciplined person, as it helps us in our personal lives, careers, health, and relationships as well. Here are 5 tips on how to be a disciplined person right now.
Restructure your dopamine intake
Many who try to become more disciplined, believe that it requires complete removal of dopamine from your system. This is completely false. In order to have more discipline with your daily activities, they need to somehow give you dopamine, or else it’s impossible to maintain them long-term.
For example, if you believe that the work you are going to is depleting your energy, you don’t like what you’re doing or you’d rather not be there at all, it’s quite a complicated situation to find sources of dopamine.
You see, dopamine is something that directly affects our brain, and pretty much lets it know that “everything is okay”, “life’s great”. Going too long without it could potentially lead to negative thoughts, depression and anti-social behavior.
If you don’t have any activities during the day that supply you with dopamine, then there’s always the solution to gain it from things you don’t necessarily like to do.
One of my personal favorites is to write down my tasks in a notebook. Neatly design them so that they are appealing visually, but leave them incomplete at the very end. I then tell myself that in order to complete the design of my tasks notebook, I first need to complete these tasks.
I then go ahead and focus my attention on that. But here’s the trick. In order to garner self-discipline, I need to make sure that I fill the design the moment I’m done with a task. Filling it all at the end would deprive me of dopamine during the day, thus making me much less productive and disciplined.
The moment you fill in that design pattern, you will be hit with a dose of dopamine from your brain, and thus given a lot more incentive to repeat the sensation through doing another task. This helps you be more focused and prioritize your work.
Schedule rewards and snacks for yourself
Trying to be self-disciplined is hard work. And just like any hard work, it requires a lot of energy. However, in this case, I’m referring to mental energy rather than physical. Being focused drains our mental energy significantly.
In order to help you see it more clearly, imagine the last time you came back from work that required you to build a completely new excel sheet. You must have been exhausted, right? Even though you didn’t necessarily move around too much that day. That’s what I call mental exhaustion. It’s bringing your brain to a point where it doesn’t want to focus anymore, but wants to relax and maybe watch Netflix.
During those extremely focused sessions, it’s important that you schedule rewards for yourself. For example, take the first section of your excel sheet. You promise yourself that if you manage to fill it within two hours, you will reward yourself with a banana or a chocolate bar (this isn’t necessarily good for dieting though).
Once you reward yourself with that small snack, you can switch to something like a break rather than food. For example, if you finish the second section of your excel sheet in two hours, you will give yourself a 10-minute break.
It all adds up and culminates into a healthy schedule for remaining focused.
Remember, you don’t need to always be practicing self-discipline to be a disciplined person. It’s impossible.
Keep yourself exposed to sunlight
Once again, this may seem like the opposite of learning how to be self-disciplined, considering how the sun will always be in your eyes, but this also has to do with chemicals in our brain and our bodies.
You see, we have a natural clock in our minds. If it’s sunny out, the brain knows that it needs to be awake, and if it’s dark, no matter how much you try, you won’t be as effective as if there was some sun.
Before you ask though, No, a nicely lit-up room will not cut it. All you need is pure, natural sunlight. If you find yourself seated in a dark corner at work, ask your superior to move you next to a window or someplace where light is much easily accessible.
If you receive no to this answer, then simply take a 1-minute break every half an hour or so and simply stand in the sun.
The Sun is an amazing source of natural Vitamin D which helps us be a lot more mobile and in shape. It also affects our energy levels and sends signals to our brains that it’s time to be awake.
This helps you remain much more focused and disciplined in the tasks you are performing at the moment.
One of the best tips I could possibly give is to keep a very Sun-sensitive alarm. Meaning that you restructure your wake-up and bed-time according to the source of light. Make sure to wake up when the Sun is almost fully out, and go to sleep no more than 4 hours after it has gone down.
It helps consolidate that extra energy and helps you remain much more consistent with your sleep schedule.
Break your large goals into smaller ones
Much like with restructuring your dopamine intake, it’s very important that you break down your large goals into smaller ones so that you stay on track.
For example, let’s say that you want to lose 24 kilograms in one year, which is quite a reasonable time for such weight. But you can’t necessarily expect to hop on the scales once when you begin, and another time when you think you’re done, right? You need to have a constant tracking plan so that you can adjust as you go.
Furthermore, if you weigh yourself every single week, you will immediately notice that whatever you are doing is working, because you’re slowly but surely losing weight. This gives you self confidence and teaches you how to be disciplined in the coming future. Overall, it teaches you to stick to what you’re doing right now because it’s effective.
However, if it’s not effective, then you have more than enough time to adjust and try something new.
In my personal experience, I was using a small notebook when I wanted to quit smoking. I would make around 10 square shapes at the bottom of the notebook, and check them the moment I smoked. I would bring that total down by 1 every single week. In 10 weeks I was smoking-free and had a blast placing those checkmarks. It helped me remain disciplined and stick to the plan of dropping it within 3 months.
Surround yourself with disciplined people
We, humans, are social animals. Doing anything with a person or two is always much more enjoyable, but there is also a downside to our social disposition.
You see, when you find yourself in a specific social group, you tend to act like that social group. If that group’s values are to get drunk on a Friday night and do nothing the whole weekend, then your values become the same.
But, if you get yourself involved in a group of people that value getting up early for a workout. Prioritizing work in the first half of the day and then focusing on their own projects and ventures, you will immediately adopt a similar lifestyle. Why? Because we are social animals, we want to always fit in a group, and what’s the best way to fit in than to act like them directly?
This is not a 100% secure way of teaching yourself self-discipline though. There are always times that you simply cannot conform to a group’s norms. But in the majority of cases, most successful people tend to produce even more successful people.
Giorgi is a Georgian born, self-taught software engineer. He currently works as a copywriter and freelance blogger. His main goals are to spread his knowledge on how he managed to break the cycle of unproductivity and start a new page of his life. Website: https://www.forexnewsnow.com/
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