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5 Ways To Add Discipline To Your Life Today

Like you, my life is governed by habits. Some of the time, I recognize these habits. But most of the time, I don’t. Like most people, I do the things that I do without consciously thinking about them. And while most of my habits were self-imposed at some point in my life, some of them resulted from the various influences I have had along the way: my parents, my environment, my schoolteachers, my culture.


But over the past few weeks, I’ve been forced to ask myself a really tough question: Is what I’ve been doing thus far and the results I’ve been getting from those behaviors going to be enough to take me to the next level in the pursuit of my life’s goals? Am I functioning at my full potential, or do I need to make some changes in my habits that can make my life a lot better?


Discipline is important. It is necessary for a happy, healthy, productive life. Wise is the person who can recognize his or her own shortcomings and apply the necessary discipline to change those bad things so the future can be a lot more rewarding.


Unfortunately, Western culture has taught us that discipline is a bad thing and that pleasure is good. So we shy away from discipline in favor of pleasure and ease. But if the truth were known, real pleasure is something that comes as the result of temporary sacrifice. To discipline oneself short-term is to guarantee some truly meaningful pleasure in the future. It’s like a down payment on a satisfying life. So let me give you five ways you can bring some much-needed discipline into your life right now and start the process of changing those behaviors that are secretly working against you.


  1. Get control of organizing your day.


Something as simple as organizing your day can be a key part of bringing some order into your world and adding some much-needed discipline to your life.


Too many people live lives are that filled with chaos. They have no plans to guide them through each year or each week or even a single day. So they drift aimlessly from one chaotic situation to another without a roadmap to guide them toward a meaningful destination. How do you know if you are succeeding in life if you don’t even know where you’re going and what you need to be doing to get there?


But discipline brings order and structure to a person’s life. And where there is order and structure, it is easier to know what to do and what not to do. It is easier to make decisions and to set priorities.


Do you have a schedule each day of the things you need to do and the things you want to accomplish? If not, discipline yourself to start organizing your day. It will make a profound difference in your life.


  1. Change what you put into your body.


So much of your life flows from your body. Yet in our society, we have forgotten how much our bodies affect our lives and how much they impact the quality of our lives. So if we can learn how to change what we put into our bodies, we can count on getting a lot of different results because of those changes.


If you lose control of your body in any area that pertains to your health, that is the starting point for everything else veering out of control for you. A lack of sleep, too much sugar or caffeine, or a lot of stress coupled with no exercise are all formulas for disaster. So in a society that is ever “body conscious,” don’t forget to remind yourself daily about the ultimate power that your body has over your life and your destiny.


The body has the power to govern our decisions, because the quality of your health affects your thinking. The body has the power to regulate your emotions, because weariness and fatigue can make you more anxious and annoyed. And the state of your physical health can even shape your relationships. So be careful what you put into your body, and be careful of the demands you continually place on your body.


  1. Be mindful of your current thoughts.


Are you a negative person? Are you fearful? Are you focused on all the wrong things, or do your thoughts tend to lift you up and compel you toward meaningful and noble objectives?


If your thoughts tend to defeat you or to limit you in some way, be mindful of that tendency in your life, and begin disciplining yourself in that area right now. In the very least, begin recognizing the limitations your own thoughts place upon you and be mindful of the thoughts you allow to run around in your head.


Contrary to what some people believe, you CAN control your thoughts. So start thinking about what you’re thinking about, because your thoughts control your decisions, so your thoughts control your life.


  1. Practice being present with people.


In this technological age, it is hard to be “in the moment.” So we need to learn to be physically and mentally with the people we are with.


This is an art that can be learned. I know you’re busy, because I’m busy, too. But if we’re not careful, we can damage our relationships and hurt the people we care about the most if we don’t learn to set the distractions aside and focus on the moment. It is very common to be physically with people but not to be with them mentally or emotionally, yet we can discipline ourselves to do both.


  1. Discipline yourself to sleep adequately and to take deserved breaks.


This is one of my biggest struggles. I am driven by a passion that consumes my life, and that’s a good thing. But that can also be a bad thing, because all the research that’s available today tells me that I need a reasonable amount of rest and “down town” to refresh my body, renew my mind, and replenish my soul.


So I suggest that you work hard, especially if you love what you are doing. But don’t work so hard that you forget your own limitations or needs. And don’t work so hard that you forget that your body and mind are not indestructible. Like machines, they need to cool down once in a while before they break down altogether. In the same way that an athlete takes care of his body because it’s his “bread and butter,” learn to take care of your body and your soul if you want to “live long and prosper.”


The pathway to success isn’t paved with perfect knowledge or perfect behavior. It’s paved with learning. The person who learns and makes the necessary adjustments along the way is the person who will be happier, healthier, and more personally fulfilled than his or her counterparts. Learn what life is trying to teach you, and discipline yourself to make the changes that can set you apart for greatness. Your habits are the building blocks of your life, so force yourself to learn some better habits that can serve you well for a lifetime.