“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

IAS preparation tips for beginners

Being self-disciplined is half the work done as it catapults people to become achievers in life. It is required everywhere for e.g. in the world of sport the relentless pursuit of excellence as reflected by the likes of Federer, Nadal and Bolt is a testimony for this.  Just like you need oxygen and food to live, you need self-discipline to achieve your goals.

For a student, self-discipline is to learn new things on daily basis, and the cumulative effect of daily sustained learning will naturally be seen in the examination. It basically requires toughness with oneself so as to overcome deviations and desires. This tough love with yourself is actually the greatest gift to yourself because it is due to self-discipline only that you can make your life meaningful and rewarding.

Self-discipline makes the entire difference between winning and losing. But, despite the overwhelming consensus on its value, it is hard to go through a day without seeing examples where people simply refuse to discipline themselves. For e.g. people know that being overweight is bad, yet they cannot resist high calorie food and thus the ranks of the obese continue to climb. This happen because people often rely on excuses which become biggest hurdle when it comes to achieving goals; they always look like the easiest thing to do, but in the long run they are going to hurt you.

The positive side is that anyone can become self-disciplined, as it is a skill and not a trait, so it can be developed and inculcated in daily behaviour. The rough side is that it cannot be obtained overnight; you need to work on it every day. Just like a muscle, you have to train it every day to make it stronger.

If you are looking to take control of your habits and choices, here are some powerful things you can do to master self-discipline, and to live a happier life:

IAS preparation tips for beginners

Acknowledge your shortcomings, whatever they may be. Often people either try to pretend their vulnerabilities don’t exist or cover up any pitfalls in their lives. So own up your flaws, pen them properly and paste them as daily reminder.

Set yourself up for success by removing bad influences. The fewer distractions you have, the more focused you will be on accomplishing your goals. If you want to improve your productivity at work, then remove common temptations, such as turn off social media notifications and silence your cell phone, which eat up lots of time. Reply to them only once in a day.

To achieve self-discipline, you must have a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish. You must also have an understanding of what success means to you. Figure out who you are and what you want to become. A clear plan outlines each step you must take in order to reach your goals.

IAS preparation strategy

Break your goal into small, doable steps. Instead of trying to change everything at once, focus on doing one thing consistently and master self-discipline with that goal in mind. Take baby steps. Eventually, when you’re ready, you can add more goals to your list.

If you believe you have a limited amount of willpower, you probably won’t surpass those limits. Remove subconscious obstacles and truly believe you can do it, then you will give yourself an extra boost of motivation toward making those goals a reality.

Have a back-up plan in case of some off days which may result from social engagements. Try to create an overall schedule which has space for absorbing occasional deviations. You will also save energy by not having to make a sudden decision based on your emotional state.

Even with all of our best intentions and well-laid plans, we sometimes fall short. It happens. You will have ups and downs, great successes and dismal failures. The key is to keep moving forward.

If you stumble, acknowledge what caused it and move on. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in guilt, anger or frustration, because these emotions will only drag you further down and impede future progress. Learn from your missteps and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and refocus on your goals.

“The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline.” – Bum Philips

Adopt the above steps for a happier life!


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