At Choe’s HapKiDo Karate in Lawrenceville, GA, one lesson we often talk about is the importance of discipline. Without discipline, individuals tend to struggle with self-esteem, confidence, focus, and will-power. But as we have experienced first-hand of guiding an infinite number of students, it’s that everyone has the ability to unlock their potential. By looking at discipline as a skill worthy to develop, individuals can be proactive when trying to turn it into a habit.
When it comes to discipline, it’s often associated as one of the key components to reaching a goal. With that in mind, learning to ignore distractions and temptations helps to develop discipline. Sometimes, it’s best to put away our devices and gadgets so we can focus on our work. But other times, we might find ourselves unable to hide distractions like noises coming from the next room. Another example, we have events come up that clash with Martial Arts training. Does one pick the other event or the friends to hang out with? Or does the person stick with training? The decision on what to focus on is choice-based. It may be hard to stick to what we’re trying to accomplish with our goals, but to persevere regardless of what’s happening contributes to building good discipline.
Another key component to developing discipline: take good care of yourself. Additionally to teaching discipline, learning to develop a healthy balance between everything in our lives is essential to good health. When we are able to balance exercising, eating right, mental health, spiritual health, work life, family life, etc, we are able to attack the goals the way we want to. In other words, we avoid running on low fuel by spending time to fuel up daily.
A third way to build discipline, work on your task or goals regardless of feelings. Waiting for the right time pushes off progress. Some people accomplish developing discipline by making a schedule. This is a great tactic! Just make sure you make a realistic schedule that also allows you to balance different parts of your life healthily. Another tip: include breaks and time to have fun in your schedule. It’s important to be able to blow off steam as you’re working hard, and those “me times” are things to look forward to in your day. Making a schedule also allows us to see what we prioritize in our lives. Maybe a strict schedule isn’t something you like, but to create one, even if it’s vague, sets our focus.
Lastly, it’s important to forgive yourself. Developing discipline takes hard work. Because it’s a skill we’re trying to hone, there are going to be days and challenges when we didn’t do too well. And when those times strike, reflect on the lessons, and tell yourself it’s okay. Pick yourself back up, brush off the dirt, and try your best the next day.
Think about discipline as a skill that guides you to do better. Admittedly, we don’t have to develop discipline. However, if we desire to improve ourselves or want to increase the quality of our days, then we have to consider stepping outside of our comfort zones and changing up our schedules. What can we do differently to positively change the outcome to what we want? If anything, remember that we don’t have to be perfect in our pursuits, but we can always try our best.
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