Self-discipline is an amazing skill to have.  With it we can reach financial goals, fitness goals, educational goals and careers goals. Here are a few simple techniques that can help us develop this vital skill.

Have the Right Attitude Towards Self Discipline

Self-discipline like learning to rollerblade or play the piano is a skill that needs to be developed.  Some people are naturally more focused than others.  All of us can develop this skill with a little forethought.  Using to do lists can help us keep us from getting distracted.  When going shopping make it a habit to bring a list and stick to it.  Lists are best friends to the self-disciplined.  Create a routine that involves writing down all that you need to do and the time that it will take to do it.  Congratulate yourself when you achieve half the things on the list.  Work your way up to getting everything you listed done.  Making and sticking to lists builds the muscles of self-discipline and makes them stronger.

Use Positive Affirmations

If you believe that you are a failure that never sticks to anything you set out to do then that will be your reality.  We are products of what we believe.  We have to change negative belief systems.  We are all born with traits that can make us a success.  Sometimes we have to work a little harder than others.  Success is nonetheless within our grasp if we believe it is.  Look in the mirror and say words like “I can stick to my goals and be success” or “I can achieve anything I put my mind to”.  Write positive affirmations wherever you keep your lists.  Counter negative thoughts with positive ones and be your own defense attorney.  Defend yourself to yourself.  When we begin to believe that we have self-discipline it becomes part of who we are.  We must reject any negative self-appraisals as the poison that they are.

Use a Reward System

As children we probably cleaned our rooms faster when our parents promised us a treat for doing so.  We have not changed and are still those little children at heart.  Promise yourself something fun for every to do list that you complete.  Would you like see a funny movie or have dinner at a new restaurant?  Don’t do it until you finish that list.  Would you like to relax and watch TV tonight?  Allow yourself that luxury after you complete your list.  Even a 10 minute treat after completing a third of your list can go a long way to motivating you to finish your list.

It’s so important to work with and not against ourselves when seeking to develop skills like self-discipline.  Never beat yourself up and equate not completing a task with a diminished self-image.  Anyone can exercise self-discipline.  It can be harder for some than others but it can be done.  We have to teach ourselves to believe we have what it takes to stick to our goals.  We need to reward ourselves whenever we achieve goals big and small.  And we need to use tools like lists to help us get there.  Self-discipline is necessary to be a happy, healthy balanced adult.  The aforementioned tips can help us develop this vital skill.