How to Develop the Discipline to Achieve Your Goals
No one is born disciplined. It is a quality that you develop over time. It’s a bit like a muscle that gets stronger through use. Your discipline increases in the same way.
It is almost impossible to achieve your goals without having the willpower to work towards them. This six-step method has been developed to help you build up your discipline. So every goal is within reach!
1. DEFINE YOUR GOAL
The first step is to define a clear goal. Discipline is of no use if you don’t have a specific goal in mind. For example, it is not enough to ‘want to lose weight’ or ‘want to make more money’. Make your goal as concrete as possible. For example, ‘I want to lose five pounds by July 30’ or ‘I will earn €80,000 within a year to buy my dream car’. The more specific the goal, the greater the chance that you will actually achieve it.
2. WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE?
Once you know what your goal is, you need to think about what needs to change in order to achieve it. This can be a series of steps you are going to take, or a habit you want to make your own. Take losing weight as an example. Your plan could be: “I’m going to run for 30 minutes every day to reach my goal.”
Ask yourself the following questions: what is needed to achieve the desired result? What behavior do I need to develop?
3. FIND ROLE MODELS
Find a person who can act as a role model to increase your discipline. It could be a friend, family member or even a celebrity. Maybe it’s someone who has already achieved your goal. If it is someone you know personally, take the time to ask them which specific actions have led to the desired result. Use their experience for your own voyage of discovery.
If you don’t know your role model personally, try to find interviews or books in which they describe their mistakes and successes. The best tips can often be found in autobiographies.
4. DISCOVER YOUR ‘WHY’
To avoid getting distracted and deviating from your plan, you can write down the reasons why you want to reach your goal. Find your ‘why’. The stronger the reason, the more likely you are to persevere.
You will undoubtedly face obstacles that put your discipline to the test. That is why it is a good idea to prepare for this. Ask yourself what obstacles might come your way and how you could deal with them.
5. DEVELOP A PLAN OF ACTION
Now it is time to combine all the information from the previous steps into a plan of action.
In order to remain disciplined, it is important to define a series of small steps and set a deadline for your goal. These smaller goals will give you a sense of control. Choosing a specific deadline is also important to stay on track.
6. BE RESPONSIBLE
Be responsible for your actions. Find someone to report to. This could be your partner, a colleague, a friend or even an online support group. Your motivation will increase as you share your successes and setbacks with others. Being afraid to disappoint others is one of the strongest motivating factors, so take advantage of it!