Self-discipline is like the holy grail. If you can master it, you can achieve just about anything you set in your sights. At certain times, remaining disciplined comes to us more easily than others. For example, going to the gym regularly before your big summer beach vacation. We have no problem maintaining a certain level of discipline for a short amount of time and with a very specific goal in mind. But the big question remains. How do we maintain our discipline as a way of life both personally and professionally?
1. They Commit.
Disciplined people are true to their word. When they make a decision to do something, it’s set in stone, and they don’t even need an accountability partner to keep them on track.
2. They Avoid Temptation.
Resisting temptation is so hard isn’t it? Well, guess what? It’s hard for everyone, and that includes the highly disciplined person as well. They’re not necessarily better at resisting temptations, they’re just better at avoiding them all together!
3. They Take Care of Themselves.
Their body is their temple. Things like sleep, good nutrition and exercise are high on their to-do list. It’s not just about their health; they know the impact these areas have on other aspects of their well-being, such as in their mood, work performance and relationships.
4. They work at developing habits.
Many people look at a disciplined life as being synonymous with a deprived life. But that’s not the way they see it. They only see that they are gaining a new habit, which takes time and energy to establish.
5. They set boundaries.
To lead a disciplined life, you need to know your limitations, especially when it comes to your time. Setting boundaries and saying no to things you don’t want to do or that are distractions makes room to accomplish what is essential and important in each day.
6. They revel in routine.
Routine is the cornerstone of discipline, especially when it comes to efficiency and time management. This can be done in many ways, including running every day before even looking at emails, so you can start your day with a clear and open mind, or wearing a uniform of Jeans and a black t-shirt like Mark Zuckerberg, so you don’t have to waste time thinking about what you’re going to wear.
7. They lead with their mind over their mood.
Highly disciplined people don’t let their feelings — such as not being in the mood to go to the gym on any given morning — get in the way of actually going. They just focus on the routine and stick to it.
8. They clearly define their goals.
All this self-discipline leads to more than just very fit, well-rested bodies. It usually produces high-achieving professionals. They know that if a goal is too vague, it’s unlikely to be achieved. The more specific the goals on their to-do list are, the greater the possibility of accomplishing them is.
9. They live and die by deadlines.
Their calendars are king. They don’t just set goals; they give themselves strict timelines using clear mini goals and milestones as markers to keep them on track along the way.
10. They keep their eye on the prize.
Probably the most well-known test of discipline is the famed marshmallow test. In the test, kids were asked to sit in front of a marshmallow and were faced with a choice. Eat the marshmallow now, or, if they could resist eating it, they would get two! People who are highly self-disciplined can pass up immediate gratification in the pursuit of greater long-term gains.
An earlier version of this article was first published by fairygodboss.com