In the following I will present you the most effective ways to develop self discipline & improve your willpower; most points are even backed by scientific research and you learnt that How to develop self discipline.
- Increase your capacity to tolerate stress
It is necessary to be able to deal with pressure if we aim to improve our willpower or to develop self discipline. High levels of pressure and stress use up our body’s energy, leading to instinct driven decision-making that is based on short-term gratification. Therefore, the very first step to develop self discipline starts with building the proper foundation—our ability to manage stress.
Scientists believe that there are two major things you can do in order to increase your brain’s willpower reserve: physical activity and meditation.
Meditation is linked to a wide range of benefits that all have a strong impact upon your willpower. It strengthens your ability to focus and concentrate, increases your attention and self-awareness, allows you to better control your impulses and helps you in managing stress. It was also shown in scientific research that meditation can
affect beneficial changes in brain functions supporting to develop self discipline.
Plus, it doesn’t take years of dedicated meditation to affect these positive brain changes. In fact, the above-mentioned study found that brain changes could be observed after eight weeks of daily practice.
If you can only spend half an hour a day, then meditation is the most effective thing you can do in order to increase willpower in an extremely short period of time.
- Train self-discipline by postponing things
Postponing things for later is an effective strategy that allows you to break bad habits. Scientists observed that the participants that applied the postponement strategy “ate significantly less than those in the self-denial condition.” The authors concluded:
The result suggests that telling yourself I can have this later operates in the mind a bit like having it now.
It satisfies the craving to some degree—and can be even more effective at suppressing the appetite than actually eating the treat.
- Avoid challenging your willpower
Being constantly confronted with temptations depletes your willpower sooner or later. And as soon as that happens you will give in to the temptation.
Remember, a person’s willpower is not infinite. Whenever you are confronted with a challenging temptation it will cost you a certain amount of willpower to say “no” to it.
The best way to avoid this constant challenge is to remove all temptations and distractions from your life, abiding the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.”
This sounds unspectacular, but it was proven in scientific studies to be extremely effective. In fact, so effective that it helped U. S. soldiers to break free from heroin addiction.
The study showed how intensively our environments affect our behavior. Luckily, even the smallest changes in your environment can help to break negative habits. These changes alter the stimuli that are driving your behavior, allowing your conscious mind to regain control and help to develop self discipline.
5. Have “If-then” plans
If someone were to ask you to help them steal a car (or do anything of a similar nature) you’d probably have no problem to say “no.” Most wouldn’t even consider doing it. There’s no willpower or self-discipline necessary to do that. The reason why it is so easy for us to decline these kinds of invitations lies in the fact that we have already a script in our heads that only needs to be activated. In this case, it’s the “I would never ever do such a thing”-script.
We can make use of this ability in order to develop self discipline. Having so-called “If-then” plans helps you to script a standard response to situations that challenge your self-control.
6. Boost or develop self discipline by means of exercise and nutrition
The impact of exercise and nutrition is largely ignored when it comes to strengthening your willpower. By means of regular physical exercise you can increase your resistance to stress, allowing you to improve your self-control. It doesn’t matter if it is just mindful exercise, such as yoga or taking a walk, or even intense physical training. All these activities will provide you the benefit of helping you to become more resilient to pressure.