Anything worth achieving requires befriending discipline and practice. Developing character, self-respect, getting into shape or getting a promotion all require some form of one or both. Whatever it is you are working on or toward, committing to both will improve all areas of your life.

Discipline can be a form of restraint and practice requires action. Since action is the antidote to self-loathing, it’s easy to see why these virtues are beneficial to cultivate, especially in areas of weakness.

I know this and still find myself falling behind until I just give up on something entirely. This is a reminder about why these virtues are worth maintaining for anyone like me who conveniently forgets them from time to time.

I can tell your right now that sitting down to write every day requires both and it does not come easily or naturally to me at all. I’m sure that is obvious based on the quality of my writing, but I’ve learned to force myself to do it without fail because every time I do, even if I just sit and stare at my keyboard, I trust myself a little bit more, I respect myself a little bit more and I feel a lot more at peace the rest of the day. The great thing is that the cumulative effects create tangible results and rewards for the dues that have been paid. Unlike many more esoteric qualities that we know are good for us but don’t offer worldly benefits that can be touched, discipline and practice do.

Pick one area of your life or one goal that you can apply these principles to today and commit to them. Before your know it your resolutions, lists of goals and good intentions will be a reality rather than a wish.