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Cultivating Self-DisciplineSelf-discipline is defined as training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement. How do we learn self-discipline and teach it to our children?

Self-discipline can be reinforced by earning rewards along the way or at the end of reaching a goal, such as mastering a skill, establishing a regular physical activity routine or losing 10 pounds. Fear can be another motivator, especially when your health is at stake.

When what we have to do to reach our goal conflicts with what we want to do, or don’t want to do, the inner-conflict usually wins and we talk ourselves out of doing what is necessary to move towards our goal.  Self-improvement takes time and effort.  In order to master a musical instrument, language or athletic skill, we must practice. The same can be said with most goals, we must do something different and practice that behavior until it becomes part of us.  We may be drawn back into our old routine, or prefer to be spontaneous and have fun, when we  need to spend 20 minutes being self-disciplined.

While self-discipline is easier for some adults and children, and more difficult for others, it comes down to finding the willingness to take small steps in the direction of our goals, even when we don’t feel like it. It may be helpful for both adults and children to use a chart to visually track their progress.  See Sticker Charts for Children and Adults.

Love, Health & Happiness,

Phyllis

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