As the glitter of New Year’s fades and the reality of sticking to your resolutions sets in, it’s easy to get distracted and even disheartened. But with some simple steps you can improve your self-discipline and focus in 2019 and beyond.
Set clear goals
If you haven’t already, start by deciding what you want to achieve. Make sure your goals are concrete and you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Be specific. For example, rather than “I want to eat healthier” you might try “I want to eat less sugar.” It’s also good to commit your goals to paper (or screen). Research shows you’re more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down, and even more likely if you also share them with a friend.
If you try to tackle too much at once you only set yourself up for failure. Break your goals down into smaller, achievable tasks. For example, if your goal is to get in better shape, start with 10 – 15 minutes of exercise a day. You can always do more when you feel ready. Or maybe your goal is to move forward in your career. Start by setting aside 15 minutes a day to listen to podcast, read an article or watch a video to learn more about a topic in your field. Little steps give you the opportunity to build those self-discipline muscles and over time can lead to big changes.
Use tools to help you
While technology can be a big time waster, it can also help you on the path towards greater self-discipline and focus. There are loads of productivity apps and online goal-setting tools that can help you set, track and achieve your goals. A few good ones to have a look at include Strides, GoalsOnTrack, LifeTick and Trello.
Take care of your physical self
It’s hard to be focused when your stomach is rumbling or you’re exhausted from staying up too late the night before. Start with the basics. Eat healthy, frequent meals. Get enough sleep. Exercise regularly. It may seem simple, but these things form the foundation of self-discipline and make it possible to stick to your other goals more easily.
We’re only so strong when faced with temptation. Do your best to find ways to remove yourself from situations where you’re likely to break your resolutions. Junk food your Achilles heel? Don’t buy it. Social media your drug of choice? Delete the apps that are sucking up your time. Of course there will be times when you’ll have little control over your exposure to temptations, like those days when the office feels more like a cake shop than a workplace. So get creative. Maybe suggest a healthier alternative like a fruit platter, or better yet surprise the birthday person by decorating their desk while they’re at lunch.
Self-discipline isn’t all work and no play. It’s important to give yourself regular rewards to help keep you motivated. The next time you reach a goal why not treat yourself to one of our luxurious spa treatments, or have a soak in the tub with one of our glorious bath bombs by SOWKH. Celebrate your successes, both small and large, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your goals and keep building self-discipline.
Accept failure is part of the process
You won’t always succeed; the important thing is that you don’t give up. Learn what you can from your setbacks and don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake or don’t always stick to your resolutions. Getting caught up in negative emotions will only pull you down more. Instead, refocus on your goals and keep moving forward. Being self-disciplined takes practice, but over time you’ll see start to see the benefits of your efforts.