One of the most important skills to develop in life is the ability to build self-discipline. It is like a superpower that, once you start to use it, you can create, change and improve habits. Habits like eating healthy, meditating, writing, stop smoking, exercising, running marathons and even thinking of more ways to earn money.
However, if you do not develop self-discipline, and allow yourself to be propelled at all times by inertia, without realizing it, you may create certain habits that cause you difficulties. For example, health problems, distractions, things that accumulate and overwhelm you, financial problems, clutter, and many other negative things.
For success and happiness, to have and continuously build self-discipline is fundamental. The problem is that most people don’t even know where to start. Do you want to know how to develop the habit of self-discipline as a Nigerian? With the 10 Keys to develop the habit of self-discipline that you’ll find below, you can surely transform your life.
10 Keys to Build Self-Discipline
Discipline does not work without goals, in the same way that cars do not start without an engine. Before starting to build self-discipline, you must identify your reasons for doing so. Write down your goals for each day. Nigeria is a busy country filled with many distractions but that is not a reason to refuse to set goals.
For example, if Monday, Tuesday and Friday have 2 hours in the afternoon that you never dedicate to any productive activity. You can allocate at least one hour in each of those days to start building self-discipline.
Once you have done this, your self-discipline will no longer be a vague concept, you will have a day that you must begin to test yourself.
Be aware of your weaknesses
We all have weaknesses that affect us in one way or another. They can be an unhealthy love for junk food like chocolate chip cookies, the excessive use of social media, or a subtle addiction to mobile games.
Acknowledge your weaknesses no matter what they are. Oftentimes, many people try to pretend they are not vulnerable or try so much to hide that vulnerability. Be clear about your weaknesses, otherwise you will not be able to overcome them.
Think of something that excites you and reward yourself when you achieve your goals. Just like when you were a little kid and you got an award for doing well in school. Attaching a reward of something you like can be the motivation you need to be successful.
Discipline doesn’t come from anyone but from you. Rewarding yourself whenever you achieve your goals encourages you to do more.
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Forgive yourself and move on
Even with our best intentions and well-defined plans, we sometimes fail to reach our goals. This is not unusual. It’s normal to have ups and downs, great successes, and regrettable failures. The key is to keep moving forward.
If you stumble, acknowledge what caused it and move on. Do not allow yourself to be enveloped by guilt, anger or frustration, because these emotions will only drag you down and impede your progress. Learn from your mistakes and forgive yourself. Get back in the game and refocus on your goals.
Read also: The 4A’s to self-forgiveness
Take small actions
Tackling huge projects can be overwhelming. This is one of the great traps our mind subjects us to. The desire to get everything now for many people is the real reason why they cannot advance towards achieving their objectives and this makes a lot of Nigerians lack self-discipline.
Planning to tackle huge tasks without starting small is one of the most common issues why we end up procrastinating or self-boycotting any action that would allow them to achieve their goals.
Read also: Ways to overcome Procrastination
If you can ignore the temptations from your environment, your self-discipline as a Nigerian will improve greatly.
If you want to eat healthier, throw out junk food. If you want to improve your productivity at work, block notifications from social networks and put your cell phone on silent. The fewer distractions you have, the more focused you will be on achieving your goals. Prepare for success by staying away from bad influences.
Read also: How to avoid distractions at work
Recognize your barriers
As you achieve your “mini goals”, it is important that you identify your barriers and your distractions. How do you do this? Well, very easy, do an analysis on the stimuli that normally make your self-discipline fail.
What is it that stops me from taking the first step when I want to do something? They can be a multitude of things, but when you stop to think about it, you will surely identify what they are. Watching television, meeting a friend, going out for a cup of coffee, etc.
Take into account all the barriers that you detect, and be conscious such that when the time approaches for a new task, you can actively navigate those barriers.
Train yourself in discomfort
One of the reasons you think you can’t build self-discipline as a Nigerian is because you run away from uncomfortable things. We always prefer easy things. It should be clear to us that in Nigeria, nothing is easy. Everybody needs to toughen up to bring the best out of themselves.
So avoid embracing distractions, and instead face your difficult or uncomfortable projects. The earlier you accept that you can’t always be in your comfort zone, the faster you can build self-discipline as a Nigerian, and the easier it becomes to achieve your goals.
The worst mistake you can make on the path to build self-discipline as a Nigerian is to listen to someone who said, “You can’t do it.” Everything is possible if you try. Don’t listen to someone who says “it’s difficult.” A lot of people don’t know that it only takes one step to start something great.
Therefore, if you want to achieve self-discipline, approach every assignment with an open mind and a positive attitude. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to work out for 10 more minutes or wake up 10 minutes earlier.
Ask yourself these questions
Start from scratch. Reset your thoughts. Ask yourself, “What do I really want to do with my life?” Then wait for an inner voice to guide. Every minute you spend listening to yourself is gold. Because the first thing you must do to change your life is to know what you want. You can’t waste years of hard work doing what you don’t like.
Once you discover what you want in life, ask the second question: “Am I going to discipline myself to do whatever it takes to achieve my dreams?”
You will multiply your discipline if you answer this. People have dreams, but their problem is that they don’t do what it takes to achieve them. They will not give up many things that they have to give up. If you can move past this, you’re well on your way to having the best life you imagined.
First, realize that you were not born with good or bad abilities. Everything you are has a purpose in your life. All you have to do is choose the one that best suits your desired lifestyle. This way you will enjoy self-discipline as a Nigerian for a long time.
Understand that the best thing will not be the money or the results you will get the best thing will be to feel safe knowing that you have what it takes to make the best decisions for your success.
You are much better than you think. If you are reading this, you are already different from the 90% of people who will never step up to self-discipline.
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Olunlade Toluwalase Joshua is a Certified Content Writer, a Certified Computer Operator, and a Certified Copywriter. He is also a sexual puritan, a youth advocate, the Gospel's Voice.
He is passionate about the gospel and impacting lives with his writing skills and public speaking.
He guides youths to navigate the destructive and distracting hurdles on their path.
He is a reporter in a non-governmental Academic Organization called Aremu Oluwabrain Academy (AOA), the online Community of every Nigeria Student, to interact and get useful information.
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