How Self-Discipline Can Help You End Those Bad Habits
Photo via Pixabay by Tacofleur
Self-discipline may not seem like something that everyone has, but many people believe that everyone holds the power within them to change their lives for the better. The key is to work on it and challenge yourself every day so that your future self can benefit from the good decisions you make now. It’s best to be specific about your goals, start small, and learn to think about things in different ways. For instance, denying yourself a piece of chocolate cake when you’re trying to eat healthier may seem small, but in doing so, you are training your brain on what it feels like to say “no” to yourself, which can help you down the line when faced with a bigger temptation.
“After you decide what you’re trying to do, don’t just white-knuckle your way through it. Forcing yourself to do something aversive, like being nice to your in-laws or resisting that cigarette, depletes your store of willpower for other tasks. Yes, even though self-control can be improved, it’s fundamentally a limited resource … rather than hacking your way through your self-control task with a machete, use some quick brain hacks to think about your task differently,” says psychologist Ellen Hendriksen.
Setting yourself up for success– whether it’s work-related, relationship oriented, or to quit a bad habit, like smoking– isn’t so difficult when you understand what your mind is capable of.
Sometimes, a little sacrifice is necessary for the long run, but it’s important not to think of it as giving something up. Rather, train your mind to associate positive things with those sacrifices. For instance, choosing not to smoke is one of the hardest things many people go through; thecravings and physical withdrawals make it difficult to get through the day and can affect your mood and energy level. However, making a conscious decision to associate feeling good with giving up smoking will help you focus on the positives in the situation. Deep breathing exercises can help, as well, and these can be learned in yoga and meditation classes.
Because we often get comfortable in our habits, it’s important to break out of your comfort zone and come up with a strategy to achieve your goals. Remember that you will need to have discipline even when you’re tired or don’t feel good, because it doesn’t take a day off. No matter what your goals are, no matter what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll never get there if you talk yourself out of it by saying you’ll do it tomorrow.
Regardless of what you hope to accomplish, it will certainly be helpful to start exercising daily. Getting in a good workout routine can absolutely help you when it comes to being more disciplined, plus you’ll be working on your health at the same time. One of the best ways to get started is to master basic weight-bearing exercises right in your living room: start with push ups, lunges, planks and squats. You can move to basic workouts that require zero equipment once you’ve mastered the basics, and then may even be ready to set up a home gym. Consider what you’ll need and stock your gym with weights and resistance bands.
Remember, only you can achieve your goals. No matter what changes you want to make in your life, keep in mind that you have the power to make them happen as long as you can train your brain to think outside the box now and then.
An article submitted by Jason Lewis