Self-discipline is a prerequisite for success in any area, and something that can be learned and practiced. Often used interchangeably with words like “self-control,” “willpower,” and “conscientiousness,” self-discipline begins with the ability to regulate oneself. We discuss the science of discipline and ways to strengthen it. curaFUN takes principles from cognitive psychology and behavior science to improve self-discipline step by step.
Responsible for own choices. Think before you act.
Applies appropriate work strategies. Decide the best course of action to accomplish goals.
Stays on task. Use to-do list wisely and set up distraction-free work environment.
Follows directions well. Whole-body listening.
Delay gratification for greater gains. Resist distractions.
Pays attention to details. Use good note-taking strategies.
Stanford professor Walter Mischel offered young children a choice between having one marshmallow immediately or two marshmallows if they waited 15 minutes in his seminal 1960s research. The researcher team placed one marshmallow in front of each child then left the room to observe what each child would do next. Most children couldn’t resist the immediate temptation of a marshmallow in front of them, but few were able to wait even while nobody’s watching for the bigger reward. Years later, those children who showed self discipline, delayed gratification to wait for the larger reward achieved higher SAT scores, healthier BMI levels, better stress handling and overall greater life outcomes.
What would your child do in that room alone with the marshmallow?
One of the main benefits of self-discipline is the ability to look past instant gratification and pleasure in order to see and to strive for greater results — even those which require significant effort.
The sooner children start exercising self-discipline, the sooner they start reaping its benefits while simultaneously learning that the payoffs are worth it. It’s a positive cycle which will continue to create success throughout their lives.
While sticking with goals is not always easy, self-discipline spurs critical follow-through when difficulties arise along the way. Life is full of challenges, and self-discipline can mean the difference between persevering and giving up. There are other benefits, too. Every time we set a goal and reach it, we grow in self-esteem, confidence, satisfaction and happiness. Steve Jobs, the visionary behind Apple, was known for his relentless self-discipline. This did not come easily or naturally to him. Rather, he worked at it because he wanted to achieve greatness in life. Considering that the iPhone is credited with transforming tech and changing the world, Jobs more than reached his goal.
Self-discipline is essential to goal attainment.
Research shows that young children with strong self-regulation skills not only perform better academically, but are also less likely to experience problems like anxiety, depression and aggressive behavior. The sooner children start exercising self-discipline, the sooner they start reaping its benefits while simultaneously learning that the payoffs are worth it. It’s a positive cycle which will continue to create success throughout their lives.
How Do You Value & Manage Your Time?