Successful poker players must exhibit self-discipline continuously. From bankroll management, to game selection, to in-the-moment game decisions, self-discipline is required.
Here’s a simple three-step process that you can use to increase your positive poker habits which will in turn increase your self-discipline:
- Set a clearly defined goal. You must fix goals for the poker habits you’d like to develop. Effective goals should be measurable and quantifiable. Consider what outcomes you want and create habits around them in a way that you can measure.
- Monitor your behavior. Many of us set goals, but how many of us monitor and keep track of our progress on a regular basis? Unfortunately, not many of us! What gets tracked is what gets improved upon. For example, you could keep a poker journal where you log your accomplishments or track your success rates with various hands from various positions. There are countless ways to track your behavior. The important thing is to pick something you will stick to.
- Be accountable. It’s easy to lie to ourselves, but lying to someone else is another matter entirely. Find some way to be accountable for achieving the new positive habits you’re implementing. You could get a coach or tell a trusted friend about your plans. Have daily or weekly check-ins where you discuss your progress and make any necessary tweaks.
Habitual positive poker behaviors no longer require us to grit our teeth and rely on willpower once they have become ingrained. If you want to increase your self-discipline in poker, ask yourself what goal you’d like to reach and then go a step further and decide what habits you must implement to make that goal achievable. Your mission is to create the circumstances which make your desires inevitable.