Discipline. If you are like me, hearing this word might come with negative connotations. I certainly do not like to think about obedience, rules, and punishment. Katherine Sanchez is here to tell us that we do not have to think of discipline in this way. She says that additional meanings of discipline include self-control and doing what you have to do even if you do not want to do it.
Discipline can help us gain control and benefit us in ways we may not have known.
Katherine explains that discipline offers intrinsic rewards, helps build relationships, and is useful when facing new challenges. Intrinsic rewards, or “feel good freebies” as Katherine likes to call them, include intangible things such as self-confidence, self-esteem, empowerment, and growth and development. Discipline also helps to build relationships because with discipline comes goals. When you set goals and pursue them, you will meet others with similar interests and priorities. Discipline is based on how you train yourself to do things, which means good discipline can help you overcome new challenges.
Now that we know what discipline has the power to do, Katherine describes how we can all become more disciplined. She explains that we need to begin by setting specific, positive, and time bound goals. If they are not specific enough, it will be difficult to pursue them and track your progress. Goals need to be something that you actually want to accomplish and feel motivated to work towards. After you have that goal, it is important to strategize by being critical with yourself, eliminating temptations, being open with your friends and family about your goals, setting yourself up for success, and planning for failure. For example, if your goal has to do with healthier eating, you should remove any temptations such as unhealthy food to set yourself up for success. Let others know about this goal in order to prevent having them accidentally try to lead you off course.
Strategizing is necessary if you are serious about your goals.
The next step in achieving discipline is to execute your goal. To do this, Katherine explains that you have to consider your actions, take small steps, and be persistent. Achieving your goals does not happen overnight, so you have develop a routine. It will take time, but you have to remember that you are doing this all for your own benefit. Katherine emphasizes that consistency is key. Repeating actions again and again will provide you with optimal results.
After executing your goal, the next step is to evaluate progress. These are some of the questions you could ask yourself:
Have I accomplished what I set out to do? Why or why not?
What can be better?
If I have accomplished my goal, what are my next aspirations?
Am I happy with myself?
The most important thing is that we are happy with ourselves. What others think of us should not matter.
She then gives us some tips to remember during the process of becoming disciplined. Katherine believes practice does not make perfect, but rather perfect practice makes perfect. In other words, you do not want to slack. Instead, do things right the first time and repeat until it becomes second nature. Katherine uses her own experience of being vegan to explain that after training herself to eat vegan foods, she began to crave only those foods. Her final tip is to remember that you are human. There will be setbacks and you may fail or feel like giving up, but you have to move on and continue with your goal. She cites a quote by Malcolm Gladwell to encourage us on our journey to achieve discipline: “Success is 10 years of deliberate practice.”
In the end, discipline is about taking care of yourself because no one will tell you how to. YOU decide your goals and actions. It’s up to you to decide how to apply it to the different aspects of your life whether it be your schoolwork, health, or religion. Hopefully, with these tips, it may just be a little easier to accomplish what you set out to do. And maybe now you won’t think of discipline as a negative or scary thing. After all, discipline can only benefit you.