Having self-discipline can be pretty tough sometimes, whether you’re trying to get in shape, lose weight, achieve specific goals, or work at home. For 20 years, I was a work-at-home medical transcriptionist and to work at home, self-discipline is an absolute must. There were some things I needed to put into practice to be successful.
Communicate clear boundaries. Speak to those around you and anyone who might take advantage of you (inadvertently or otherwise) and let them know of your goals. For me, when working at home, I wouldn’t answer the phone, the front door or email messages during work times unless it was essential that I do so. I let others know I couldn’t babysit, go to lunch, or have visitors, etc., during those same hours and I had to stick to it otherwise, I wouldn’t be respecting my job and getting done what I needed to get done.
Be aware of distractions. Limit your time with social media and television. They can be major time suckers. Set up boundaries with yourself so you don’t get sidetracked from your goals. It’s easy to be vacuuming your house with the TV on and you sit down “for just a minute” to see part of a show. The next thing you know, an hour has passed and you’re way behind on what you wanted to get done.
Set a specific schedule. Here’s where making a specific schedule comes in handy. Some people make a schedule so specific that every half hour is spoken for. I make daily lists of things I must do, things I hope to do, and things I’ll do if there’s time left over. I’m not rigid because I just can’t be, but I do make daily goals and things I must get done each day. It keeps me on track and I glance at it frequently so I can see what needs to be done. And if things come up, I have items that are more flexible that can be put off until the next day.
Get enough rest. I think many of us struggle with this. Life is so stressful and fast-paced. There’s a lot of tension in our current world. So shut off the world (TV, social media), read a good book, read the Good Book before bed. Make it one of your goals to get to bed at a time that allows you enough sleep before you must wake up. Take naps if you need to and can, and have scheduled rest time throughout the week; a half hour here or there to read, get a manicure, have a coffee with friends.
Find an accountability partner. If you need to create self-discipline to reach goals, find someone who will check in with you and keep you accountable. Maybe it’s someone who will meet you at the gym and workout with you. Or your spouse will cook with you to make healthy choices together. Perhaps you’re trying to curb spending so you make a game out of it and enlist the help of your children.
Set your goals and stick to them. Create an environment rich for success!