There are a number of different reasons to improve your self-discipline, but the primary reason is because it makes it easier to set and reach goals. This in turn will leave you more satisfied and fulfilled because you have accomplished what you set out to do. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever sat down to try to make yourself do something you didn’t want to, you know that practicing self-discipline is easier said than done. You can improve with the tips below.

Identify Your Obstacle

First, try to specifically articulate what you are struggling against when you resist applying yourself to a specific task or goal. Sometimes, the obstacle might be mental, such as a lack of self-confidence, but the mental obstacle could be more complex. You might not be thinking this consciously, but you may be sabotaging your own efforts because you think that if you excel in your chosen area, you won’t fit in with your friends or family any longer.

In many ways, an external obstacle can be easier to deal with even if it very challenging. This is because there are usually concrete solutions to these types of problems. Maybe you are trying to get the self-discipline to run through the winter months. You’ve decided that you won’t run outside and you hate the gym, so you need a treadmill at home, but you can’t afford it. One solution is to take out a personal loan. Applying and getting a response is quick. You can brainstorm to help with finding solutions to external problems.

Write Down Specific Goals

Another potential obstacle when you are trying to make the most out of life and practice self-discipline is that you might not have a clear statement of what you are trying to do. “I want to exercise more” doesn’t really give you a lot to work with. “I want to run at least four miles three times a week” is much better. The other advantage of writing down goals is that you can work backwards from them. To achieve your aim of running four miles three times a week, you might first need to work up to running a mile. This could mean alternating walking and running for a few weeks. It doesn’t matter how far away your ultimate goal is or seems. Identifying the regular steps that you need to take to achieve it and then putting those steps into practice will get you there, even when it feels as though you’re doing little more than plodding along each day.

Think in Terms of Habits

The concept of self-discipline itself can be the biggest obstacle in some cases. When you think of something that it takes discipline to do, there is room to push back. It might be better to think in terms of cultivating a habit. You probably shower regularly. You don’t have to psyche yourself up to do it and make a regular practice of forcing yourself into the shower. You just do it. What if you took the behaviors that would help you achieve your goals and thought of them in this way as well? Establishing habits might sound simplistic but is really at the root of all success.