If you’ve ever had a hard time getting or staying disciplined, you may have been struggling with a lack of motivation. Motivation and discipline usually go hand-in-hand because without motivation, it is nearly impossible to become disciplined. Ironically, once you become disciplined you rarely need to be motivated to keep your life running smoothly.
Discipline is a willingness and commitment to do what needs to be done. Without discipline, our lives would be in disarray. Think about the things you do on a daily or weekly basis that are required in order to maintain your life properly. Housework, laundry, grocery shopping, fueling and maintaining your vehicle, working, bathing, paying bills, balancing the checkbook, sleeping, and more are all required activities. Without them, what would your life look like?
If you already have a strong sense of discipline, you likely do these things without much thought. You know they must be done, so you just do them. On the other hand, if you lack discipline, you may find yourself procrastinating and putting your duties aside – which can create a colossal mess if it’s done too frequently.
Discipline is also required when you are working toward a goal. If you don’t complete the steps that will create the outcome you desire, you will not meet your objective. When you first set your goals, you may have strong motivation which can help you gain some valuable momentum.
However, ingrained habits and an undisciplined mind may eventually prevent you from establishing continuity; and without some kind of inner or outer motivation you are unlikely to develop the discipline you need.
In order to escape this stagnant cycle and develop a strong sense of self-discipline, you need to get and stay motivated! How can you do this? There are several ways, but here are few to begin with:
Focus on the benefits. With every task or chore you do, spend a few moments emphasizing the benefit you will receive from doing it. In order to get and stay motivated, it is crucial to have some sort of payoff in mind. Even if your payoff will come at a future time, remind yourself why this task or chore is a good thing.
See the big picture. Remember that this task is only one part of a larger puzzle. It’s hard to get inspired about scrubbing a toilet, until you envision your entire home clean and shining. By looking at the big picture, each little task will retain a measure of importance in your own mind.
Do it for the discipline. In order to develop strong discipline, you’ll need to keep strengthening your “discipline muscle” bit by bit. The only way to do this is by pushing yourself to do the things you have to do! As you complete each task related to your goal (or even your household chores) keep affirming that you are developing stronger and stronger discipline with each passing day. Eventually you’ll find yourself easily doing what needs to be done and it won’t be a struggle anymore – because you’ll already be disciplined!
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