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June 16, 2023

10 Ways to Improve Discipline

Simple things you can do now to improve discipline and stick to your habits.

Written by:
Anson Whitmer, PhD
  1. Gain discipline in ONE new thing at a time. Do it to the point that you are disciplined at doing it. Build up OVERALL discipline one new thing at a time. Reading, writing, meditating, cold showers, start with just ONE. 
  2. Habit stacking. Discipline, after an initial period of determination, becomes fundamentally a good habit. If you do the one new thing as part of an existing routine it becomes a habit more easily. For example, showers are already a habit, so stack the habit of turning the water to cold at the end.  
  3. Pick the smallest version of your new thing. It is easier to turn your new discipline into a habit if you start small. Get good at showing up. Only then do you build up.
  4. Cold water. Deliberate exposure to cold boosts dopamine which boosts motivation. When beginning your new thing, you need determination and dopamine helps. A lot.
  5. Hyperventilation to stop procrastinating. This is easy to do and will give you a surge of adrenaline. Adrenaline will give you energy to do that one thing. Do a 2sec inhale and a quick 1sec grunt exhale.  Repeat.  Just not so many times that you pass out.
  6. Stop self-negotiation. As soon as you start self-negotiating with yourself, nip it in the bud. Don’t let that voice continue. It isn’t a negotiation.
  7. Stop the negative self-talk. You’ve failed the past. So what. Tell a new story about yourself if you want to live a new story. Old stories hold you back. Our guided cold shower protocol teaches you how to change self talk while you are stressed.
  8. Remove temptations. Put your phone in another room. Don’t store alcohol in the house. Make it easy on yourself until your new thing becomes a habit/disciplined.
  9. Use the Mental app. Spend a couple mins working on strengthening your mindset daily otherwise it is hard to become a person of discipline
  10. Write down why you are not doing that one thing. When you aren’t doing a new behavior, it often is because part of you is trying to protect yourself. This part of you is not stupid. It is trying to help you. Pay attention to it and understand its motivations. Being very explicit here is often the key to unlocking discipline.


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