This article will discuss three methods I have used to increase my self discipline with great success. These aren't the typical things you usually hear about when it comes to self development, but it's really worth giving them a try.
Each may sound a little weird, and do not really seem linked with one another, but these are methods I personally use. You will find the results speak for themselves.
Tip #1: Force Yourself Out of Bed Early
What you do in the early hours can carry momentum throughout the entire day. A sluggish start can mean a slow and lazy attitude for the rest of your waking hours. It can be a big boost to force yourself out of bed the moment you hear the alarm go off.
I'm sure you set the alarm clock at a certain time for a reason. It's also probable that you feel too tired to get up, and simply hit the snooze button, over and over again: "just 10 minutes more sleep, then I'll get up!" Unfortunately, those three times of hitting the snooze button have just caused you to get out of bed half an hour later than you wanted to.
You'll find that you have a lot more energy and vigor if you force yourself out of bed the moment you hear that alarm go off. Yep, it's difficult, but it's worth it.
It's mind against body. Once you force yourself out of bed (no matter how tired you feel), it's almost like you've won a battle. This attitude can remain throughout the day. It becomes easier to fight off laziness in other situations and tasks, resulting in a happier, more positive you.
Tip #2: Ignore Desire
There are some desires in the world that get us into trouble. These are usually things that you "feel" like doing, but really regret afterwards. They might be trivial, like spending money on something you can't afford, or buying things on credit you don't really need, or they may be terrible things, like cheating on your loved one.
All of these are "heat of the moment" temptations. They feel great at the time, and grant temporary pleasure, but the horror of regret afterwards can make it hard to live with yourself, and can cause guilt and shame.
Staying strong in these moments of temptation will really help with self discipline. Usually, if you can hold off your desire for the duration, you will generally feel well rewarded and will become a stronger, more confident human being.
Tip #3: The Daily Task List
When you have a list of tasks to do, it's always better to write them down. It removes the stress of overwhelm, and helps focus the mind. Instead of feeling bogged down and helpless, you have an itemized list that you can tick off one by one -- and boy does it feel good to cross those items off the list!
To make things more advanced, it's better to prioritize. Simply add a number (between 1 and 3) against each task, that indicates it's importance. Then, be sure to start those tasks first that have higher priority. It doesn't need to be any more complicated than that.
And for those tasks you couldn't do today? Just add the letter "T" to the task, so you'll add that to tomorrows list. Doing this removes the feeling that you've failed to complete all tasks. Adding it to tomorrows list can free your mind from worry, and leave you to relax a little in the evening.
The daily task list does sound obvious and simplistic, but it is a very powerful tool for self discipline. Writing tasks down removes a lot of stress from the mind. You'll no longer have that nagging feeling at the back of the mind that you've got too much to do. Instead, you'll have a neat, prioritized list. Another nice advantage is the feeling you get when you cross an item off the list. It is very motivating, and can spur you on to complete the whole list.
And there you have it. Use any or all of these methods to increase your self discipline. Try at least one of the tips above within the next 24 hours. You may well be surprised with the results!