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Experiencing Resistance in Life Goals? It’s Most Likely a Lack of Discipline (Here’s How to Fix It)

Updated on August 10, 2019
Dylan Buckley profile image

Dylan is a freelance writer specializing in the self-development and cryptocurrency investment industries who loves producing great content.

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Shortly after my birthday, a friend of mine who I had just seen days earlier decided to block me on every social media platform and then leave me without a reason for weeks, finally following up with an explanation that I had become too complacent in my life and that my actions no longer benefitted his goals. I was frustrated and annoyed with the situation, to say the least, and decided that I was fed up with his behavior and chose to reciprocate the silence and move on with my life.

Of course, you know that I didn’t leave well enough alone.

I am both nosy and emotional so while I didn’t talk to him, I still kept tabs on him and tried to make contact, quickly deleting messages when I realized it was a futile effort.

Now, I could write an entire article here on toxic behavior but I think there was something even more important to learn from my behavior that would better benefit me in the long run.

The issue here wasn’t his consistent displays of immaturity but my inability to make my mind and follow through on what I said I was going to do. I allowed myself to take small efforts against my overall goal that would cause the entire decision to collapse. Because I couldn’t do what I needed to, I couldn’t achieve what I wanted to.

In fact, I can see this issue in many situations in my life. The issue? I lack discipline. Discipline breeds commitment, action, and strength. Discipline is the force that allows you to face any situation regardless of your feelings or fears. Without discipline, you leave yourself open to hesitation and weakness.

You can’t afford that if you expect to move forward in any area of your life.

The problem is that we don’t see enough coverage on discipline and its importance in all aspects of self and as such, many people may not know how to cultivate it so that they too can be successful. If you have trouble making things happen and doing what needs to be done so that you can manifest what you want out of life, here are some tips on how you can start building self-discipline in your life.

1. Realize That It Is All on You (But Don’t Be Afraid to Add Some Motivation to the Mix)

Some people like to leave opportunity in the hands of fate or destiny. That’s all good and well but fate isn’t going to get your butt up early, get you to the gym so you can get those washboard abs, help you kick butt at work so you can get that raise, or keep you up a couple of extra hours so you can work on building your side business. What people fail to realize is that your life is yours. True, there are circumstances that can limit our abilities and make it difficult to accomplish certain things. However, the actions that you choose to take and the effort that you put out ultimately determines how far you go. You are responsible for your own life and everything that happens in it.

That said, I am all for a bit of spiritual guidance. Religion and spirituality can introduce structure in your life and help you tackle goals with confidence. Whether you’re into Zeus, God, or Pastafarianism, don’t be afraid to ask for a blessing or two and trust that the universe is going to help guide you forward if you work hard enough and do what you’re supposed to. Just don’t rely on them to do all the work!

2. Have Something Worth Working for

Motivation plays a role in self-discipline as it encourages you to get up and follow through on your goals. Both discipline and motivation require having a strong end goal or purpose that fuels the desire to accomplish and succeed. Without a lit fire underneath you, you are not going to have the burning passion that is required to be disciplined.

The earlier you learn this, the better; you always need to have something you are working towards and something that is worth working for. You aren’t going to be able to make it through life if you have no purpose. Keep in mind that your purpose can be anything. Your purpose could be a better future, an individual, or even a spiritual purpose. As long as it is something that drives you to do better and be better, it will suffice.

We fight better when we have something to fight for.

3. Start Small and Gain Traction As You Go

Those who lack self-discipline may have tried to develop it in the past but quickly gave up as soon as they started. We live in a society where we expect everything now. We need to have self-discipline now and when we don’t see immediate results, we give up and go back to the safety of our old habits.

As much as it would be great to be disciplined with the snap of our fingers, it is something that takes time and patience. You are going to have moments where you slip up and you are going to have days where you are the most disciplined person in your life. The key to becoming disciplined is just getting started.

Be more aware of your actions and make the choice to do what you need to do when you see yourself doing differently. Don’t become too discouraged or angry when you mess up. Just recognize that you made a mistake and do your best to do better next time. Every journey begins with a single step!

4. Make It Harder for You to Give Up or Give in

When we allow our emotions and feelings to get in the way of our drive, we tend to reach for certain things that take our mind off of doing what we are supposed to do. For example, if I’m working on a piece and I’d much rather be watching a show on a streaming platform, it is very easy for me to simply switch tabs and devote my attention to that instead.

It is much easier for us to avoid temptation stemming from our feelings when we eliminate these temptations entirely. So, for example, what I do is use a Pomodoro timer that blocks me from certain websites when I am working. This way, there is no way that I can subconsciously switch tabs and get in the way of my own progress. I am much more aware when I am consciously stopping these behaviors and choosing to go back to what needs to be done.

What are some of your avoidance activities? How can you make it harder for you to engage in them? What can you do to make access near impossible and draw attention back to the main activity? These are some important questions to ask yourself as you do your best to resist any desire to stray away from the things you truly want.

5. Monitor Your Progress and Reward Yourself

Discipline is hard work and it is not work that should go unrewarded. If you are doing what you say are you going to do, making progress, and moving forward as expected, you deserve to treat yourself to some of the things that you enjoy every once in a while. These small rewards at the end of each phase of your plan or to-do list will give you extra incentive and drive to complete all of your tasks.

Another tip that will help you to keep your discipline up is to keep track of your progress. When you are working constantly and you are not monitoring yourself as you go, it can easily seem like things are not moving forward when, in fact, they are. Whether it is a massive to-do list, a spreadsheet, or a journal, keep track of all of the major and little accomplishments so that you can look over it as proof that you are moving forward, no matter how slow it may seem.

Self-discipline is arguably one of the most important skills that you can teach yourself right now as it is the only skill that will see you through any task or challenge. If you are not as disciplined as you would like to be, use the tips listed above to start your journey and make today the day that marks your shift into a new life.

How to Be More DISCIPLINED - 6 Ways to Master Self Control

12 Tips to Build Unbreakable Self-Discipline

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    • Carolyn M Fields profile image

      Carolyn Fields 

      3 weeks ago from South Dakota, USA

      Great article! I am also an advocate of the Pomodoro timer. I wrote about it here: https://hubpages.com/business/In-Praise-of-the-Pom...

      Focus, discipline, and follow-through - the trifecta of getting things done!

    • myhead profile image

      Mike Ano 

      3 weeks ago from Philadelphia

      Great information. Self discipline and commitment are truly the greatest factors of success. The most successful people I know are the most persistent. They have their goals and chip away at them every day. It doesn’t matter how they feel on the particular day, they just keep taking small steps forward.

      Also, I know from my own experience to be aware of self sabotage, you are your own worst enemy. I highly recommend a book by Steven Pressfield “The War of Art”, a masterpiece on conquering resistance and how we put up our own road blocks.

      Thanks

      Mike

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