How to maintain healthy levels of self discipline? You must be thinking quite often. We may be motivated at times to do productive things to achieve our improvement and success. But since motivation is not commonly stable and fluctuates accordingly to our mood and living conditions, we cannot rely upon it as a constant thrust.
Then what could be depended upon? The thing that we could rely on for ourselves to achieve success is self-discipline. Only if we can control ourselves properly could we make advancements.
How can we discipline ourselves?
It is commonly believed that practising every day and inculcating in the oneself habits of hard-working will do. However, there is an alternative for this about which Charles Dunigg, in his renowned book ‘The Power of Habit’, could be seen as describing.
Accountability is this alternative. Being accountable will partake you with a sense of responsibility which will enable you to persist.
Psychological study of the 90s
There is an interesting psychological study of the 1990s elaborating this. The study was on the patients involved in knee replacement surgery. Movement and physical rehabilitation is crucial almost immediately after the surgery if full recovery is required. But moving immediately after the surgery is excruciating. And for the same reason, a lot of them don’t fully recover.
The psychologist took 60 people and asked them to write down how they were going to recover. It is found out that people who have written thus is more likely to recover. What worked out here is accountability, nothing else.
When you are obliged to do something by being accountable, you will be able to self-discipline yourself. Suppose you are at an office where the boss wants you to do a particular job at a particular time. Since the boss is relying on you, you will have to discipline yourself to act accordingly.
What affects our personal goals is that since we have no one depending on us, we can’t tap accountability to improve our self-discipline. As evident from here, there are some ways with which we can manage our accountability to be self-disciplined.
There are five levels of self-discipline, with each having a different type of accountability. Here we will see them.
Accountability to yourself.
Comparatively, it is the weakest among the five levels. However, it also has considerable strength and significance. We may not always be able to find someone to whom we can project our accountability in such instances. We should hold ourselves accountable.
This can be done more effectively by following three steps. First of all, make your plan of self-discipline tangible. This could be done by writing it down properly. Secondly, we should be specific about our plan, and finally, we should also understand the ways by which we are prone to quit or fail. This will help us to be better prepared to overpower them.
Accountability to a partner.
If you’re looking to maintain healthy levels of self discipline; In this case, we are building our self-discipline by involving other people. What is important here is that we should be careful in selecting such people. The partner should care about your goals and progress and put in the effort to check up on you. There is a mistake often being committed at this level.
People go around talking about their goals to everyone usually. Such people end up sabotaging themselves to social reality. Society would praise you disproportionately, and you mistakenly think that you have made considerable progress even if, in actuality, you have not. So be selective about people and tell your goals only to your accountability partners.
Coaches and Teachers
They can be professional accountability partners. They have expertise and experience in search of healthy levels of self discipline. This is advantageous in selecting such accountability partners. However, experts are sometimes vulnerable to expert paradoxes. This is people with expertise unable to break down their knowledge into chunks so that the students can utilise it.
Thus the criteria for selecting professional accountability partners should include their ability to help you and invest in you alongside expertise and teaching abilities. Coaches are available at platforms like coach.me. However, professional accountability partners are comparatively expensive.
Joining a team
This is the 4th level. Here you have more partners with their own goal allying with yours. Typically two types of dynamics work in this case. One being your performance and discipline affecting only you. In the second case, your inability to meet the required performance level will affect the entire team, like a relay team. The responsibility is more in such cases and to maintain healthy levels of self discipline.
This is the 5th and final most level of self-discipline. The level of accountability is maximum here. Not only do you have to fulfil your part perfectly like in a team, but you will have to guide others as well. The level of self-discipline necessary is at its maximum here since everyone is greatly relying upon you. Naturally, responsibility and consequences of failure are also high.
So far, we have seen the importance of accountability and the five healthy levels of self discipline. Self-discipline can be ensured by managing accountability properly. And that is naturally the key to success.