We have choices to make every day. Wake up early and move our bodies, or get an extra hour of sleep? Pack a healthy lunch or eat “anything” when lunchtime rolls around? Save a little extra money, or buy that new gadget or pair of shoes you’ve been eyeballing all month.
Deep down inside, we know which actions will yield the best results. Yet we struggle with making the best decisions – and fail to reach our full potential as a result. How do we overcome these challenges? Self-discipline is one of the answers. Building your self-discipline muscle has life-changing benefits.
Why Does Self-Discipline Matter?
If you want to be successful and reach your goals, self-discipline is one of the most crucial skills to master. Frequently, the best choices aren’t the fastest, easiest, or most pleasant. So you must exercise a high level of control over your emotions and behavior. Improving your ability to do what is best for you regardless of your initial desire is a great way to make consistent progress in life. If self-discipline is one of your foundational skills, you will grow more effective in everything you do.
8 Benefits Of Self-Discipline
When you develop a stronger sense of self-control, you can expect multiple improvements across many areas of your life. Here are seven benefits of self-discipline.
1- Improved Health
Improving your self-discipline leads to improved physical health. Exercising some level of control over the quality and nutritional value of the food you eat, establishing a regular fitness routine, and drinking enough clean water can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your chances of illness and disease, and increase your chances of longevity and vitality later in life.
2- Greater Academic And Career Success
Self-discipline helps you make choices that lead to higher academic and career success. You might need to choose between studying longer hours and spending time with friends, or staying late after work to complete a project and heading home to relax. Self-discipline helps you see the value of delayed gratification, which pays off down the line.
3- Better Relationships
Self-discipline improves your relationships because you become a person who follows through on your commitments. People in your life learn they can trust you to do what you say you will and view you more favorably. Integrity is relationship gold!
4- Better Financial Health
Gaining better control over your finances is another direct benefit of self-discipline. While it’s more fun to overspend money (on nick-nacks that don’t add value to your life) than it is to save, the disciplined individual sees the long-term benefits of putting money away for a rainy day. I’m not suggesting that you pinch pennies and sacrifice your quality of life. Y’all know what I’m saying. Self-discipline isn’t meant to make you miserable. Instead, it’s about weighing the pros and cons and making decisions that bring you closer to your goals.
Examples of financial self-discipline that don’t require total restriction include automatically saving a certain percentage of each paycheck or sticking to a budget that allocates a certain amount of money each month for discretionary spending. You still get to enjoy the present, though, not at the expense of your future. That’s the sweet spot.
5- Fewer Regrets
Another benefit of growing more self-disciplined is that you’ll have fewer regrets because you make better decisions in the first place.
You’ll minimize problems caused by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time because you’re disciplined enough to think before speaking.
You’ll avoid jumping to conclusions, give yourself time to gather information before making decisions, and make choices based on facts rather than emotion, opinion, or social media marketing.
6- Improved Time Management
With an ever-growing list of things vying for our attention, it may feel like time is often in short supply. One of the best benefits of self-discipline is improved management of your time.
For example, social media can be the ultimate time-killer if you don’t exercise self-control. While it can be helpful at times, you can easily fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling through news feeds or binging Tik Toc when you could be completing other tasks.
8- Improved Self Image
As you become more self-disciplined, your self-image will also begin to improve. You’ll become someone that you admire. You will be proud of yourself for sticking to your goals and standing your ground. You will become stronger inwardly and more resilient. You will become someone you can trust. Never underestimate the power of an improved self-image. It will add to your happiness and motivate you to continue to improve your life.
7- See Projects Through To The End
Finally, self-discipline helps you complete tasks and projects that you start, even when you lose steam or desire. Motivation is always high at the beginning of a new goal or project. Whether it’s a new weight loss plan, a new business idea, or even new relationships, when things are fresh, there is nothing but excitement and stimulation.
Yet over time, motivation fades, challenges arise, reality sets in, and it’s tempting to return to something more familiar or move on to the next shiny object. I know from experience.
Exercising self-control and choosing to finish what you start, within reason, even when you lose motivation and desire means you not only have the finished project under your belt, but you’ve learned lessons and acquired skills you wouldn’t have had you quit.
As the American writer, philosopher, and artist, Elbert Hubbard once said, “Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
Understanding the importance and benefits of self-discipline, then taking steps to improve this most critical skill is perhaps one of the best things you can do for your personal development and likelihood of lifetime success.
Be well + prosper,
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