Sunday, August 5, 2012

How to Cultivate a Discipline From Childhood?

Self-discipline is a vital quality to have if you want to be successful in the things you attempt during life. What we often don't realize, however, is that we learn the skills for self-discipline during childhood. Here are some ways that you can cultivate personal discipline from your childhood experiences.

Take the carrot and stick approach

As a child, you were no doubt rewarded for good behavior and punished for bad behavior. That's not to say you should try to ground yourself - but do mentally set yourself some consequences for certain actions. It seems like a strange suggestion, but many of us have used a swear jar at some point, so it's not at all as strange as it seems.

This is a great tool to use if you're looking for some motivation to complete a certain task - just tell yourself that if you get something done by a certain time, then you can have a treat. Your treat can be just a break, a bar of chocolate, or a night out. It's all about whatever will work to motivate you.

If you have a large project or task that needs completing, you may have something that you plan to buy yourself if you get it done. Or, if you have a weight loss goal, then maybe there's a dress you want to fit into (whether you plan to buy it, or already own it). It could really help you to stick pictures of this object you want around your house. Seeing this motivates you - this is why teachers and parents use reward charts and stickers with young children.

Try and keep unhealthy behaviors and bad habits to a minimum

Just how as a child you were probably only allowed candy as a treat, and under parental supervision, you should limit your caffeine, alcohol and food intake to a sensible and healthy level.

Have a set routine

Children have bed-times for a reason - to get the best out of yourself you need plenty of sleep, and to avoid the stress of rushing around in the morning. You also need to have time to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast. Try and stick to set bed-times and mealtimes and you will be functioning at your very best in no time at all.

Pause, breathe, and let go of your anger

Remember when you fell out with another child at school, and you were forced to shake hands and make friends with them again, even though you didn't want to? Although it may have felt pointless at the time because you may have felt that you were simply putting on an act to get a teacher off your case, going through this process probably allowed your anger to dissipate.

There's no need to go and bear hug someone you're angry with, but it may be better just to decide to let it go, or if there's an issue that needs addressing then give yourself some time to calm down before you try to talk to them. Otherwise, you may just end up shouting, and that's no good for anyone. Once the issue has been dealt with, it's time to forgive and forget.

Try, try, and try again

When you're growing up, there are plenty of things that you can't do first time. Think about a toddler first learning to walk, and then a child learning to read, and ride a bike. These things take time, practice and perseverance. If you give up as soon as you can't do something or find it too difficult, then you won't get very far.

Read and learn

Think of a child's natural inquisitive nature, and how much they learn from their own curiosity. Recreate this in adulthood - soak up as much knowledge as you can. Not only will it make you feel good about yourself and therefore help you perform better in your daily life, it will help you to reach the top of your game.

If you need to study something but it seems rather boring, then just try to see it as the opportunity of learning something new, that could prove to be useful at some point in the future.

Be punctual and conscientious

These are skills that you will learn during your school years, and hopefully had perfected by your mid-teens. Think about having to turn up to classes on time, meet deadlines and get every assignment up to the best standard that you can make it - then apply these principles to every aspect of your adult life.

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