July 2022 Character Core
Personal discipline is often a noticeable character trait. When someone makes the decision to be intentional about their words and emotions, it leads to more regulated, thoughtful, and effective actions and interactions. Instead of impulsively choosing the easiest path to a decision or outcome, the disciplined person takes time to weigh all the options and decides on the most constructive course of action. Brant Gleeson, writing for Forbes magazine offers some ways to get started:
1. Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Acknowledging personal weaknesses and flaws can be difficult and uncomfortable. But it is the first step in making long-lasting change and progress toward personal discipline. Gleeson says “Know your strengths, but more importantly, own up to your flaws. You can’t overcome them until you do.”
2. Set Clear Goals and Have An Execution Plan
Know what you are working toward. Having a clear goal helps you to know exactly what you want to accomplish and the steps you need to take to reach that goal. “…if you don’t know where you are going, it’s easy to lose your way or get sidetracked.”
3. Practice daily diligence and create new habits.
Discipline, just like any other habit, takes consistent practice. Make a list, mark it on your calendar or make a note and stick it to the bathroom mirror. Find some way to constantly remind yourself of what you are working toward. Instead of trying to tackle the entire task, break it down into small, more achievable chunks. For example, if you want a better sleep routine, start by winding down and preparing for sleep at a specific time each evening.
4. Forgive yourself and move forward
Failing to achieve your goal or falling back into a bad habit is discouraging and can make you want to quit trying altogether. But don’t allow the regret, disappointment, or anger to keep you from making another attempt. Learn from your mistakes and try again!