Self-discipline was tough enough before the “new normal,” and now it can seem impossible. Some people just want enough self-discipline to not spend the entire day slipping away to the kitchen for one more snack!
If you’re like a lot of people who are suddenly working from home (sometimes seemingly around the clock), you’ve probably noticed your self-discipline has started to slip.
Maybe you beat cigarette addiction early in the year but have now found it an irresistible escape from the stress. Perhaps you were diligent about going to the gym daily but now running around the neighborhood just isn’t as attractive as hitting the elliptical machine. No matter where your self-discipline is lacking, there are ways to get it back while in lockdown.
1: Write Down Your Goals
Studies have shown that if you write something down—preferably by hand instead of typed—there’s a greater chance that it will become your reality. This practice incorporates parts of your brain that encourages self-discipline. Writing your goals down daily can become part of your morning routine that’s fast, easy, and will help you remember what you want to make happen.
2: Get Housemates on Board
If you live with other people, share your goals with them and ask to be held accountable. This can also work as an exchange if someone else in the home also wants a self-discipline buddy. Remember that, if you’re a snacker, you probably didn’t snack as much at the office before because you knew others would see and judge you. Your spouse or roommate might not—but they’ll draw your attention to it if you ask them to.
3: Go Online for Support
If you live alone or simply want more support on a virtual level, there are a number of online groups and apps that can help you stay on track. It’s great to get a fitness device if you want to achieve a goal of walking 10,000 steps per day, but it’s even more powerful if you become part of a group that will support you and hold you accountable.
4: Take Care of Yourself
It’s tough to practice self-discipline when you’re working yourself into the ground. Working from home can be great for certain types of people and certain jobs. However, sometimes you fall into the trap where work follows you home and you’re constantly checking your work email 24/7. Learning how to set boundaries, say no, time manage, and carve out spaces in your home that are strictly “no work zones” can give you what you need to regain that discipline you’ve misplaced.
5: Find What Motivates You
Did you used to have self-discipline based on sheer willpower? For a lot of people working from home, that willpower has needed to be redirected just to get through the day. Take some time to figure out what will actually motivate you to achieve your goals. Maybe it’s identifying a future award, investing in at-home gym equipment, or giving yourself the luxury to enjoy a podcast or audio book while going for a walk.
Your self-discipline isn’t lost, it’s just in the shuffle of changes you’ve been facing. With these tips, you can get it back in no time. However, also keep in mind that self-discipline will ebb and flow, so be kind to yourself.