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Empower Your Life through Self-discipline

Successful people have many traits. They are motivated, intelligent and are self-disciplined. The word self-discipline usually conjures up negative thoughts but it doesn’t have to. Improving your level of self-discipline can empower your life and help you achieve your goals.

Early in life I realized that in order to be successful in anything, you need to be self-disciplined. I also realized that nature is disciplined because it follows routines and therefore, keeping routines can help me be self-disciplined.
Learn Self-discipline by Setting Routines

Creating a daily routine is one of the most effective ways to stay organized both at home and at work. To create a daily routine:

  • Block time each day for certain projects until they are completed. This allows for continued progress toward long-term goals.
  •  Prepare a to-do list and prioritize it to get things done. This will help get the clutter out of your head and on paper, and keep track of tasks until they are completed.
  • Remember to stay organized because it is the key to overcoming procrastination!
  •  Keeping a journal to track your progress can be helpful in making you aware of distractions.

As I began to incorporate routines into my life, I started to notice them everywhere. Nature follows strict routines but it also adheres to cycles known as circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that roughly follow a 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things. With this realization, I began to make changes so that I could work with the rhythms of nature.

Living by nature’s compass rather than a clock

In order to work with the rhythms of nature, I made changes to my daily routine. Based on my experience, the following recommendations have helped me increase my level of self-discipline by organizing my day:

  • Start the night before by going to bed at a reasonable time and waking at a reasonable time. This enhances your immune system by maintaining a consistent sleep cycle. It’s important to maintain a regular sleep cycle even on the weekends and holidays.
  • On the weekends, create a plan for the coming week. This helps you stay organized and keeps you up-to-date on things that need to get done. Life is unpredictable, so update your weekly plan each evening.
  • Most of us can divide our day into three segments. We sleep for eight hours, work for eight hours and after work we have our leisure time. Practicing meditation before each segment will help you stay in sync with nature’s cycles (see my blog on meditation for the effects and benefits it provides).

I have discovered that setting routines for a portion of your leisure time (after waking up in the morning and just before bed time) will help you start and end your day evenly. Nature moves through cycles of activity and non-activity as it renews itself. Creating breaks every two hours in the middle of a busy day will help refresh you.

To fight the boredom that you may feel with routines, fill your life with a variety of activities during the day but always return to your routines during leisure time.

My life became more rewarding as I developed more self-discipline. Keeping routines has helped me to obtain my graduate degrees, open my own psychology practice, and begin coaching professionals, and to author From Change to Transformation & Beyond, a book to help busy executives find life balance and success. I am 86-years-old and still work 11 hour days. I attribute my success to my routines and self-discipline.

I wish you the best of luck as you start on your path to a more disciplined life.