Aristotle said it best when he declared, “Through self-discipline comes freedom.”

Your dreams can come truer, faster, with self-discipline. These words may seem frustrating and uncomfortable because many find that the habits and routines that come with self-discipline daunting.  However, by implementing the strategies that are listed below, you can conquer self-discipline and form the routines and habits necessary for success and growth.

1. Start with Small Habits and Routines

When devising a new habit or routine, be sure to start small.  Add onto your routine or habit gradually so that you do not get overwhelmed.  If you become fatigued, you will undermine your progress and, eventually, not be able to perform the smallest task.

However, in this snowball effect, small steps will get you big results.  With patience and diligence, you will create bigger changes an get faster results.

2. Create and Complete a To-Do List

Completing the tasks on my to-do list is very satisfying. I feel productive and have a sense of pride. It’s a form of self-discipline that keeps me accountable.

Write your to-do list or finalize your block schedule the night before, and then simply complete it. Accountability to your to-do list and/or your schedule breeds self-discipline and accountability.

3. Be Consistent

Don’t put things off until tomorrow or the next day.  It won’t bring you any results.  Be accountable to yourself and get the things done today that need or should be done.

You must keep your habits and routines consistent to create something that will stick. Leave behind the excuses and begin today. Commit to making the effort every single day.

Be Proud of How Hard You Are Working

4. Create Rewards and Consequences

Set up a reward system for each new habit or routine that you form.  Hold yourself accountable by practicing that new habit or routine for a certain amount of time.  A good measure of time is 7, 14, and 30 days.  For each milestone reached, reward yourself!  It can be anything that you love, just make it worth it because this reward can become your motivation.

5. Embrace Discomfort

Your comfort zone is familiar.  The discomfort you feel when venturing out of it and creating a new version of yourself is quite normal because you have entered the unfamiliar.

Growth means living outside your comfort zone.  It is difficult to embrace being uncomfortable, but you must in order to grow.  If you’re not uncomfortable, then you are not growing.

Don’t let any preconceived ideas about who you are get in the way of growing into who you want to be.  Convince your mind that you are not the same version of yourself.  You are becoming a better version.  You are creating the ideal self.  The person who is brave, self-disciplined, happy, willing to take risks, and who is living life to the fullest.