Discipline is critical to success in life - here's a few ways to improve yours!

8 ways to build self-discipline.

Many of us struggle with motivation, energy and everything else that can affect whether or not we do things. Especially things that we need to do, but might not want to. Discipline is the way we get things done, without succumbing to our feelings or opinions that might otherwise tell us to do something easier, more fun, or an activity that just straight up takes less effort.

This article by thebalancecareers.com makes a few good suggestions as to how you can build discipline.

1. Identify what you want to do differently.

Goals and plans give you something to aim for, and something to stick to when the going gets tough. Also, you need to know what you want to change, before you can change it!

2. Start small.

Major changes can overwhelm you, for example, trying to fast all day after waking up before the sun rises - even though you’ve never done either in your life. That’s more challenging and more likely to end in failure, rather than say, making a salad every Wednesday for lunch.

3. Remember you are an adult.

Do, don’t wait to be told to do it. Depending on your job of course. If you’re a marine in the army, listen to your sergeant.

4. Make a list.

Make as many lists as you need. Lists help you remember, give you something to stick to (see way #1) and give you a small glow of satisfaction when you tick things you’ve done off the list!

5. Make choices in advance.

Planning ahead means you can control your life better - choose how many emails you’ll respond to in the next hour, and if you finish early - get to work on that spreadsheet. If you finish late, rearrange your timetable.

6. Make use of technology.

Track exercise and meals. Set limits on apps and website browsing. Set alarms and timers to keep you on course throughout the day. Technology is here to aid us, enhance our lives - at least until Skynet arrives.

7. Recognize your limitations

If you’ve got an important, and early, meeting at work tomorrow, but tonight you’re going to a party - limit the alcohol so you’re not wrecked and completely off your game the next day.

8. Remember that failure is a part of succeeding

Many people give up after they fail at sticking to their routines or plans. You’re not perfect, and giving up means you’ve got no chance at success. So you ate fast food two nights in a row - if you dont give up, next week you can set the goal of only doing it once, and be healthier for it. If you do give up, where does the junk food end!?

Thats all we’ve got. As a word of warning, too much discipline can turn you into a control-freak robot that can’t deviate from a plan. If you want that, go ahead - but to get along with your friends, family and colleagues, we recommend balance. Planned failures of your routines if you will - watch that extra episode on Netflix with your partner now and again instead of sleeping on time. Eat leftover nachos for breakfast because you don’t feel like the usual boring old porridge. Not only will this test your ability to return to a routine, improving your willpower, but it’ll probably keep you sane, adaptable and likely happier.