Finding time in today’s busy world is a challenge that we all confront daily. Self discipline is a very important ingredient in any effort to find time. And yet, self discipline often has a connotation of scarcity and of self denial.
I’d like to turn that idea on its head and reframe self-discipline as a positive, proactive, and affirming skill that creates the base for making your cherished goals into realities. Think of self discipline as a way of saying a strong and consistent YES to your top priorities.
I recently published an article in EzineArticles.com titled Time Management Tips – How to Boost Productivity Using Delay of Gratification. In this article I refer to the “first discipline” in Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled. I explore 5 benefits that grow out of developing your self discipline and your ability to delay gratification to further your larger goals.
Honing this skill for yourself develops many strengths and attributes that go well beyond the present moment and will serve you well in all sorts of situations!
Treat delay of gratification like a muscle you build. Start small, collect successes, and work your way up. The more consistently you exercise this muscle, the more strength and flexibility you manifest. Clearly visualize the achievement of your long-term goal. The satisfaction you experience will help make your chosen course more compelling than the current distraction. Expect to learn as you go, and extend both patience and compassion to yourself as you make this discipline your own.
Is it challenging for you to keep your eye on the prize? How do you respond to distractions? How do you validate yourself when you delay gratification and stick with your goals?
© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.