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careerbassmaster's avatar

What are some ways I can train myself to have more discipline?

Asked by careerbassmaster (181 points ) November 9th, 2008

I have the biggest problem with disciplining myself. The three things that cause me the problems are smoking, eating unhealthy food, and spending money. I would like to quit smoking, lose weight, and stop spending money on things I can’t afford or do not need. And I also need to stop impulse buying. Can anyone give me advice on self discipline, or any advice one the problems with smoking or eating unhealthy food. Thanks for any advice you can give.

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7 Answers

asmonet's avatar

When I was trying to overcome some severe shyness as a kid, I just decided if it scared me or was hard, I’d do it. I might screw up once in a while, or look dumb but at least I tried. Just keep the things you want to accomplish in mind and make a conscious decision to achieve it. Eventually, it’s second nature. Keep turning down the cigs, eventually you won’t need them, Keep running on that treadmill, you’ll get used to it and enjoy the ‘high’ that comes along, keep reminding yourself you don’t really need that toy or purse or shirt. Your life will not be completed with an accessory.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I’ve found www.zenhabits.com and www.happiness-project.com to be very motivational in developing better discipline.

hearkat's avatar

Considering your other question regarding anxiety, it is likely that these behaviors are related to those feelings. Again, I suggest seeking professional help and making a committment to yourself… and being patient with and forgiving of yourself, because it takes time and you will make mistakes along the way.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I meant to post www.zenhabits.net and not zenhabits.com. I usually access it through an e-mail link and don’t pay attention to the URL. This is a good beginner’s link to the site.

artificialard's avatar

I have the same problem – I seem to have a OCD-tendencies coupled with a short attention span that makes it very, very difficult to apply myself to any solid discipline or work.

The areas where I’ve had the longest-lasting success was with my diet, wherein a few years ago I frequently had fast food, junk food all the time. I’ve completed eliminated soft drinks from my diet, have chain fast food maybe once a month, and now more than 80% of my food is freshly prepared food which is generally far healthier. I haven’t lost any weight but that wasn’t my goal; it was to have a healthier lifestyle.

The way I did that was to just completely dump any larger ‘diet’ plan, eating schedules, substitutions, or anything like that. I just picked one small item and eliminated it from my diet. I started with Coke, then all soft drinks, substituting them for juice (100%) and felt great. That lead to going from the ‘bad’ fast food like McDonald’s to slightly healthier chains like Subway, and now I prefer those uppity organic whatever salad bar. I just started with one item, did it, then moved to the next, and at all times you’re just concentrating on the one change because once you’ve changed that small habit it will reinforce itself.

Don’t think, do it tomorrow. Pick one thing, like cancelling burgers from your diet. Doesn’t matter if you go to fish & chips – you’ll get to those in time.

Or stop buying something small that is a waste item, like chips (saves both your health and money!)

Quitting smoking is hard, but it’s the same approach. Pick one thing that compells you to smoke, like just stop smoking at lunchtime.

Just pick a small thing that gets you closer to your goal. Don’t think, just do it. Once you’ve mastered that change, move onto the next thing. Only look at the next small step, don’t worry about the bigger plan – start planning when you don’t have anymore changes to make and you’ll realise you’re already a lot farther along then you think.

careerbassmaster's avatar

Thanks to everyone for the advice. This is my third question to fluther and I can see this will be a big help. I think its great that everyone took a minute out of their life to try and help, Thanks again.

Bri_L's avatar

@careerbassmaster – welcome to fluther!

I have OCD, heavy anxiety issues and the same problems as you listed above in your question. I am going through the same fight. As I come across things that help i will let you know .

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