How many times have you had to do something important but struggle with how to do what you want to do?
You might sometimes experience this struggle during your day-to-day activities.
When this happens, it can be said that you struggle with self-discipline.
And this can adversely affect your job performance, productivity, and success in life.
It is one thing to know the important things to do and want to do them.
However, it is another thing to have the willpower and discipline needed to carry them out.
Sometimes, you find yourself in a situation whereby you start your day having different tasks to complete and/or projects to execute.
These tasks or projects might be very integral to your business or organization and you cannot overemphasize the importance of the results.
While we have these facts clearly in mind, and we know how essential those tasks are, we might still struggle with carrying them out.
And this can be damaging to you as it makes you lose out on time which is your most important resource.
This can also increase your workload, as you tend to leave many things unattended and they eventually pile up.
Because of this, it is important to learn how to do what you want to do, or in other words, develop self-discipline.
As we proceed, you will learn what self-discipline is all about, and why it might be difficult sometimes to do what you want to do.
You will also see why it is important to know how to do what you want to do, with particular reference to the benefits of this.
Then, there are some practical suggestions and recommendations that can assist you in reaching this goal.
What is Self-Discipline? – What it Means to Do What You Want to Do
Doing what you want to do in the context of this article is in no way referring to gaining absolute freedom to do whatever you wish to do without concerns for setting boundaries or authority.
On the contrary, the concept of knowing how to do what you want to do is learning the process of cultivating self-discipline.
It means having the ability to do that which you have set your mind to do irrespective of challenges or difficulties that exist.
What is Self-Discipline?
Self-discipline can be defined as the ability to control yourself such that you work hard and do what you need to do without someone else telling you to.
It is often used interchangeably with having the willpower, the resolve, or drive to do something or behave a certain way.
This is what you need to develop if you want to do what you want to do, and when you want to do it.
Having self-discipline can help you avoid the bad habit of procrastination, whereby you keep postponing important tasks to a later time and might never see them through.
When you learn how to do what you want to do, you cut out unnecessary delays and get things done at the right time.
This can also help you to meet deadlines and reach your goals as at when due.
Now, look at some of the benefits that come with knowing how to do what you want to do or cultivate self-discipline.
Knowing How to Do What You Want to Do – Why is This Important?
If you sometimes struggle with doing what you want to do when you want to do it, then it is something you need to work on.
This is especially important if you are a business owner or entrepreneur who needs to make decisions on a daily.
In such circumstances, the last thing you want is to continue to put up essential activities that help your business grow because you don’t have the willpower or self-discipline to do what you want to do.
With that in mind, here are some of the benefits of learning how to do what you want to do, to show its importance:
It Increases Your Rate of Goal Achievement and Success
Setting attainable goals is an essential part of success and growth for every businessman or woman.
These goals might be focused on different things depending on what you aim to achieve as it relates to results or personal development.
For you to achieve your set goals, you need to learn the art of knowing how to do what you want to do.
This is because setting goals is not the only step needed to attain success, but you also need to make plans on how to reach those goals.
Following up on your plans and being able to effectively see them through is integral to the success of your goals.
And that is where knowing how to do what you want to do comes in.
Without that discipline to act when you have to, it would be difficult to achieve success and reach your goals.
On the other hand, when you know how to do what you want to do, you can work on the plans you have towards achieving your goals.
How to Do What You Want to Do – It Gives You A Feeling of Being in Control of Yourself
When you have to do something but somehow do not get it done, it can make you feel you lack control of yourself.
That can make you have negative feelings and even suffer low self-esteem.
On the other hand, when you build self-discipline, such that you can do what you want to do when you need to do it, it gives a good feeling.
You feel in total control of your actions, decisions, and choices, and this can improve your self-esteem as a result.
It Helps You Build Resilience
One of the problems that every great businessman and woman struggle with sometimes is discouragement.
Perhaps you also experience this sometimes in your line of work, whereby you have moments that you feel you cannot just continue.
It might be that you are faced with challenges or obstacles in your work and hence there is a struggle to stay committed.
In such situations, if you have not mastered the art of knowing how to do what you want to do, it is easy to give up.
On the other hand, once you have self-discipline and know how to do that which you want to do, you can build resilience.
That means irrespective of the challenges you face, you still keep your focus, determination, and commitment.
Knowing How to Do What You Want to Do Increase Intrinsic Motivation
If you lack self-discipline, it can make you lose motivation to complete your tasks or responsibilities.
That is because you are prone to laziness, distractions, and even procrastination which makes you lack the motivation to do what’s necessary as at when due.
On the other hand, when you learn how to do what you want to do, it always results in increased motivation.
And this is essential to success and increased efficiency at work.
How to Do What You Want to Do – Why is This Difficult?
Knowing how to do what you want to do, or cultivating self-discipline is not an easy skill to master.
This is because more often than not, the things you want to do or have to do are things that require hard work and/or dedication.
And such qualities are not easily developed in humans.
The average human naturally prefers to do less work, rest more, and still have things the way he/she wants them.
But unfortunately, things don’t work that way, and hence life requirements for success make self-discipline essential.
Having said that, here are some of the reasons why it might be difficult to do what you want to do:
It’s Hard to Develop Habits
Habits are things we do easily and conveniently even without giving too much thought to them.
They are like that because they are already a part of us and we no longer see them as tasks or duties, which are difficult.
Many of the habits we currently have taken us years of growth and development from childhood till now.
Habits are therefore not developed in a day and neither are they easy to develop.
Because of this, it can be difficult to do what you want to do, as this is easier when they are part of your daily habits.
There are also different resistances that you might have that can make it difficult for you to do what you want to do.
Some of these are a fear of the unknown, lack of confidence in your ability, stress, laziness e.t.c
These factors work as resistance to everyday tasks and activities and can make it hard for you to do what you want to do.
Hence, for you to do what you want to do, you need to learn how to overcome them.
How to Do What You Want to Do- Procrastination
There is a common saying that procrastination is a thief of time, and evidence shows that this is a clear fact.
Procrastination involves leaving tasks, especially important tasks till a later time or last minute.
In the process, you end up wasting a lot of time that should have been used productively.
If you are prone to procrastination, then this can also make it hard for you to do what you want to do.
Putting Too Much Pressure on Yourself
When it comes to doing what you want to do as it relates to achieving your goals, putting too much pressure on yourself has negative effects.
This means that you stress yourself out, expecting too much of yourself and doing more than is necessary at a time.
The result of this is being stressed out, which can then have the negative effect of making it hard for you to do what you want to do.
How to Do What You Want to Do
While it is not an easy task to know how to do what you want to do or cultivate self-discipline, it is possible to build this art.
For you to learn how to do what you want to do, kindly apply the following suggestions:
Set Specific Goals
Sometimes, the reason it might be hard to do what you want to do is that your goals are broad or vague.
When that happens, it can leave you confused or even leave you with more questions than answers on what you have to do.
Having broad goals can make you lack the self-discipline you need to achieve them, as you get overwhelmed at some point.
But when your goals are specific, it is easier to have a clear plan on how to achieve those goals.
And that will make developing the self-discipline to see them through easier.
Understand your Strengths and Weaknesses
When it comes to doing what you want to do, it is good to realize that there are particular obstacles and challenges to these.
You need to carefully analyze your situation and know what your weaknesses are.
This is because it is those weaknesses that are mostly responsible for the difficulties you have doing what you want to do.
Hence, when you know your strengths and understand your weaknesses, you are better able to utilize your strengths in doing what you have to do.
Also, knowing your weaknesses help you determine the best approach to take towards overcoming them, so they don’t get in your way.
That way, you can be more effective in doing what you want to do.
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will also help you to choose the right career path, focusing on activities or goals that you are best suited for.
Identify and Avoid Distractions
Distractions are also one of the things that can kill motivation and also prevent you from doing what you want to do.
It is good to know what your distractions are, and then figure out a way to avoid those distractions.
For instance, if a colleague or friend usually distracts you during a particular time of the day when you have work to do, can you schedule your work for a later time?
Doing this can help you overcome the pitfalls, and focus more on your tasks, avoiding distractions.
Perhaps you could also set boundaries with the said friend or colleague.
Letting the person know to minimize the distractions.
Break Down Your Goals into Milestones
Not only should your goals be specific, but you also need to break them down into little milestones.
We can compare this to eating a plate of food gradually, taking a piece at a time rather than attempting to take it all at once.
Doing the latter can cause you discomfort and you might even choke in the process.
Therefore, when you have a big goal in front of you, try to break it up into immediate milestones to achieve.
This removes the pressure from you and you are more inclined to do what you want to do.
How to Do What You Want to Do- Work With a Schedule
Another practical suggestion that can help you in doing what you want to do is having a schedule for your activities.
Waking up without a schedule of activities is just like waking up without a plan for the day.
In such circumstances, you might not know how to effectively utilize the day and might end up wasting quality time in the process.
But with a schedule, you know what you have to do and when you need to do it every day.
This will give you direction, and discipline you in doing what you have to do, and when due.
Appreciate The Process not Just the Result
Another thing you can do to perfect the art of doing what you want to do is not having an “all or nothing” mentality.
This mentality makes one believe that it is either white or black, either you reach a set goal or fail to reach it, there are no in-betweens.
If you have this mindset, it can easily discourage you, especially when you are unable to meet your set targets or reach your goals.
Instead, it is more beneficial to take note of the progress you are making even if you are not where you want to be yet.
Appreciating these seemingly little things you achieve can help you change your perception and give you the willpower to do what you want to do.
Don’t Always Wait for the Perfect Condition
Sometimes, we are guilty of failing to do what we want to do because we wait for the “perfect” condition or when everything feels right.
This is not always possible, and waiting for this can take a very long time or might not even happen.
Hence, when you have the resources to start, it is best to get right at it.
Waiting for when everything feels right or the perfect moment will only make it hard for you to do what you want to do.
Always Maintain a Positive Outlook/Attitude
Regardless of how dedicated or hardworking you are, there are times when you tend to feel discouraged or in low spirits.
You should expect this to happen at some point during your entrepreneurial journey.
What is important is the way you decide to deal with these and how you react at such times.
It is best to maintain a positive outlook or attitude when everything seems to be going downhill.
Focus on the positives and also the reward before you, and this can help you to find the motivation to do what you want to do.
How to Do What You Want to Do – Conclusion
Do you sometimes find it difficult to have self-discipline and do what you want to do? If yes, then you are not alone.
A lot of people find themselves in this situation daily.
Because of how important self-discipline is, you cannot leave the development of this skill to change.
Rather, you can apply all the suggestions given thus far, and start being in control of your tasks, doing what you want to do when you want to do it.
This will set you up for great success and achievements personally and professionally.