In my last post, I shared why self-discipline is so hard for so many of us. Someone wrote to me and said, “Thank you for the insights but how do I become more self-disciplined?” So I decided to write this follow-up post to give one strategy to be more disciplined. In our programs we follow a 5-step strategy, but without taking the full Breakthrough program it would not make much sense, so I will start with sharing this important strategy. If you want to learn how to be more disciplined, read on.
To quickly recap, I defined self-discipline as the ability to persevere in a course of action in spite of how you feel. It’s the ability to consistently do something in spite of challenges or obstacles.
Before I give you one important strategy to help you master it, here are a few key points to understand about self-discipline:
- It is a learned behaviour – This means that you can learn self-discipline. It’s not something that is only given to a select few.
- It’s full benefit is only manifested through the power of the Holy Spirit – Although anyone can learn self-discipline, as Christians, it’s full benefit is experienced as we seek God to help us develop this skill.
- It is not easy – Just as we talked about in the last post, developing self-discipline will take work and effort but the good news is that we are not left on our own to do it by ourselves. In fact, it’s when we try to do it on our own that it’s difficult if not impossible.
- It is one of the fruits of the Spirit – Self-discipline is a fruit of the Spirit (self-control) and it’s critical to master because without it, we cannot bear any of the other fruits of the Spirit. Self-discipline is necessary in order to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness.
- It must be rooted in love – This point is my #1 strategy to help you master self-discipline.
My #1 Strategy for Self- Discipline – Ground it in love
Like Tina Turner, you might be wondering, ‘what’s love got to do with it?’ (Sorry, I couldn’t resist – LOL). My answer is “everything!”
There are a lot of reasons why we are not disciplined. It may be because we’re afraid of failure so we fail to take action; it could be because we lack self-esteem, we lack purpose and vision, or there are too many temptations around us.
Given that these are the main reasons, the solution to all of these issues is to learn to love yourself and understand Christ’s love for you. As we learn to love ourselves, and more importantly, learn to love who God created us to be, then self-discipline becomes less of an exercise in self-will and more of an act of praise and worship (Psalm 139:14). When we love ourselves, we’re inspired to be our best; we stop wasting time with frivolous things and we make the most of our time on earth; we focus on manifesting who we were created to be and stop dimming our light. When we love ourselves, we care for our bodies, nourish it and treat it like the gift that it truly is. LOVE MOTIVATES, LOVE INSPIRES, LOVE CARES, AND LOVE BRINGS OUT OUR BEST!
So, how do you love yourself? That’s a question only you can answer. It will differ for everyone based on how you’re not currently taking care of yourself. Take some time today and make a list of things you can do to show love for yourself.
- Get a manicure and/or pedicure
- Take a course, or go back to school
- Learn who God says you are in the Bible
- Forgive yourself
- Treat your body with healthy foods and exercise
- Get adequate amounts of sleep
- Go for a walk
- Read a book or enjoy some peace and quiet
- Ask God what he thinks of you
- Buy yourself something nice
- Spend within your budget
- Live in gratitude each and every day
- Look for ways to laugh
- Speak only positively to yourself
- Replace excessive alcohol and junk foods with nourishing foods
- Spend time with people who ‘fill your love tank’
- Affirm yourself
The possibilities are endless. But know that the more you love yourself, the more you will discipline yourself to be all who you were created to be. With practice, things that once felt overwhelming and impossible will start to feel easy. Why? Because you are living the life that God created you to live. When you live on purpose for God, you are naturally motivated and disciplined.
If you’re looking for a quick answer to self-disciple; do a, b, c, this ain’t it. There is no switch to just turn on self-disciple. There are no short-cuts to developing the fruits of the Spirit. Self-discipline is nurtured as you learn to love yourself.
So the question now becomes, “what will you do today to show yourself some love?”
This is just one of the 5 strategies to developing self-discipline that we teach. To learn the other strategies, stay tuned for our Breakthrough program. If you liked the challenge, you’ll love Breakthrough. Watch for it coming July 4!