Do you roll your eyes and grunt whenever you hear the word self-discipline? If I’m being honest, I used to do exactly that. After all, who wants to have to do things “the hard way?”
Oxford dictionary defines self-discipline as, “–the ability to overcome one’s weakness,” inplying an inherent struggle — something that is difficult, restricts our freedom, and demands sacrifice. So, is it any wonder that we resist the concept?
Let’s face it, sometimes the path to our goals is not always an easy one and we need something inside that can motivate us to keep moving forward along the path to our dreams and desires, especially when the thing that we need to do to achieve our dream is something that we have a built-in resistance to. However, there are a few things you can do to develop self-discipline and make it work for you in midlife and beyond.
Instead of viewing self-discipline as something daunting and restrictive, and focusing on what you think you need to give up or overcome, learn to look at it as a self-empowerment tool that can help you achieve your goals along the path of personal growth and rediscovery, and serve as a catalyst for reclaiming your purpose and igniting a vibrant new chapter in your life.
Self-discipline is just learning to keep our focus on the things that will get us the results we desire.
By reframing your perception in this way, self-discipline becomes a liberating force that cultivates inner strength, resilience, and personal achievement, while providing the structure and focus necessary to overcome fears, resistances, and obstacles in pursuit of long-term goals.
In midlife, it’s crucial to reassess aspirations and redefine what you want the rest of your life to look like. You must approach your goals and desires from a place of authenticity by making sure that the goals you set are in alignment with what you want for yourself, and that you’re not trying to achieve someone else’s dreams for your life.
When you start from a place of genuine clarity and deep desire, and set clear and meaningful goals that resonate with your values and ignite your passion, it’s easier to maintain your focus and stay committed to your life vision. This clarity turns self-discipline a powerful driving force that enables you to create a midlife roadmap to ultimate joy and fulfillment, while also helping you enjoy the journey along the way.
Resistance is a natural part of any transformative journey and often arises any time you step outside of your comfort zone, or are faced with challenges and obstacles. However, if you can learn to embrace the discomfort you feel, and use it as fuel to work through those resistances, fears, and challenges, that same resistance can not only lead to tremendous personal growth, but can also help you discover hidden strengths and expand your comfort zone resulting in an entirely new midlife paradigm where you can thrive.
Remember that the process of working through fear and overcoming resistance is where true personal transformation happens, and each hurdle you conquer strengthens your sense of empowerment and midlife resilience.
Cultivating positive habits are one of the best things we can do for our overall well-being in midlife, but often we try to do too much at once. Think extreme fad dieting. Doing too much, too fast, can be an extreme shock to our system, making it harder to implement lasting change. Therefore, taking small and incremental steps are often best.
It’s helpful to start by identifying habits that are in alignment with your desired goals and with the life vision you hold for yourself. Start by asking yourself, what kinds of practices, rituals or habits would you have in place if you already had the thing that you want. Once you have the answer to that question, then you can commit to to integrating them into your daily routine, slowly but consistently.
For example, if your goal is to lose 25 pounds, ask yourself, if I had already achieved this weight loss goal, what would I be doing differently? Maybe you would no longer consume sugar and you exercise regularly. So, perhaps you could start with just cutting out sodas, or to taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
Once you have fully incorporated this new habit into your everyday lifestyle, then add the next small thing. Who knows, before you know it, you will have cut out sugar from your diet and are walking a few miles each day.
The key to setting up new habits is to start small and celebrate each achievement along the way so that these new positive habits to become ingrained in your identity and are part of your everyday lifestyle, thus reinforcing your sense of empowerment and midlife purpose.
Accountability can be a powerful motivator and plays a crucial role in achieving your midlife vision. This form of self-discipline assists you in taking responsibility for turning your life vision into reality. You can use a tool like the Weekly Soul Summit to check in with yourself each week, or you can choose to have an accountability partner, someone who provides support, encouragement, and even gentle reminders, to help you stay on track, without judgment.
Having an accountability partner allows you to share your aspirations, progress, and milestones with them and reflect on any issues or challenges that might be standing in your way. Knowing you are accountable to yourself and to someone else, can strengthen your commitment, keep you focused and in motion, and help build those self-discipline muscles as you continue moving forward on your path to personal empowerment.
Midlife can be a time of immense personal growth and self-discovery. By reframing self-discipline as a powerful tool for empowerment, you can unleash your full potential and reclaim a sense of direction and mildife purpose. Through setting meaningful goals, overcoming resistance, cultivating positive habits, and holding yourself accountable for your own results, you can navigate this transformative phase with grace and resilience.
Remember, self-discipline is not about restriction or sacrifice—it’s about empowering yourself to create the life you envision. Embrace the challenges, celebrate your victories, and honor the incredible journey of self-discovery that lies ahead. You have the power within you to develop strong and effective self-discipline skills that can hasten your way to personal growth and fulfillment in midlife and beyond.
If you’re ready to implement these techniques, and would like access to the Weekly Soul Summit accountability tool, or are interested in finding an accountability partner, I invite you to join Soul Sparked, a private community of smart, savvy, and soulful midlife women who are focused on living an authentic and fulfilling life, and turning their life vision into reality.