There is a clear link between self-discipline and success. Most people that are self-disciplined have won great success for themselves. They are admired for having achieved great things, and overcome challenges. The inner power that makes these possible is not reserved for a few special people. The reality is that everyone (including you) can achieve the same even more – with sheer self-discipline. But first, what is self discipline all about?

Self-discipline Definition

Self-discipline is one of the most important habit anyone can have. It manifests as the ability to stick to actions, thoughts or apply a certain behavioral pattern under any circumstances. Self-discipline is not about living a restrictive or limiting lifestyle. It is also not about being shallow-minded. On the contrary, it is about self-control. It encourages you to let go of instant satisfaction and pleasure for a better and higher goal.

Self-discipline comes with determination. It gives you the inner strength to persevere and focus your energy on your goal until it is accomplished. A good example is when you determine to lose (say) 10 pounds in 3 months and decide to follow a certain diet. You focus 100% on your goal and you will do whatever it takes to achieve it. If you want to grow and become a successful person, definitely, self-discipline is a quality you need to have.

Benefits of Self-discipline

Like any other skill, self-discipline is a good habit you can develop or learn. But only a few people do take steps towards this. There are many benefits that come with being self-disciplined. Here are just a few reasons why self-discipline is important:

  • You will be able to easily quit bad habits.
  • Your imagination and creativity are enhanced. This way, you will be able to solve problems in a unique way.
  • Your mental acuity is sharpened as you will be able to easily see through problems, analyze it and deliver reliable solutions.
  • You will waste less time and put more effort into doing things that will help you to achieve your goals. Hence, you will be more productive.
  • You maintain focus and avoid those trivial things that distract you from what you really need to do per time. The more focused you are on a goal; the easier it is to achieve it.
  • You grasp constant and unending improvement, have confidence in your talents and abilities, and can get anything you set your heart on.
  • It provides you with the energy needed to overcome obstacles until you have attained your goal.
  • Being self-disciplined helps to clear your mind and to attract opportunities. You will be able to focus your mind on the positive parts of life.
  • Above all, being self-disciplined makes you become a role model. People will respect you for your leadership qualities and will look up to you for advice and guidance.

Can You Discipline Yourself?

Self-discipline is a key to success and goal achievement. It is a valuable inner power that is considered one of the essential pillars for goal achievement and success. If you are disciplined enough to see past your weaknesses, the good news is you can achieve almost any goal you set for yourself.

If self-discipline is the key to success, then the lack of it is the key to failure. Self-discipline is needed for day to day actions and decisions, and also for making key decisions and achieving more success. When you learn to discipline yourself, it will not only aid you in reaching your goals but also your dreams.

Why do People find it difficult to be disciplined?

Several reasons can make people find it difficult to be disciplined. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you make excuses or procrastinate?
  • Are you unclear and aren’t sure of what you really wanted?
  • Do you think you deserve those rewards or are you unconsciously sabotaging your potential to achieve your goals?
  • Is there some part of you that believes you aren’t capable?
  • Or maybe all the above are just excuses.

If your answer is yes to any or all the above questions, then you need to examine yourself to see what has been holding you back. This will give you a better idea of your thought processes, your beliefs, your behaviors and what action you can take to empower yourself to make positive changes.

How to Know If You Have Self-discipline

Here is a simple test to check if you have self-discipline. Set a goal in the form of short daily routine. It should be something that you don’t really want to do but of course, you know that it is good for you. Stick to the goal for about two or three months and see how you are doing. Research has shown that many people find it difficult to keep the discipline after the first 3 weeks. This is because the drive and motivation reduce after some days. But here is the secret. If you can stick to the goal for at least 5 months, you will finally see the progress and the result of patience and self-discipline.

How to Develop Self-Discipline

We are constantly tempted and confronted by an endless list of desires, the majority of which are really not important. If you can intentionally act contrary to your behaviors and learn to refuse to satisfy those unnecessary, harmful or useless desires, you will become stronger and be able to strengthen and sharpen your inner strength. One of the most effective approaches is to develop self-discipline. Below are a few tips to achieve that:

Constant practice – Just like exercising helps to increase your physical strength, you can develop self-discipline via constant and sustained practice. Practice without any attachment to your goal. Goals are temporary and any attachment to it leads to a sense of finiteness once the goal is achieved. Once you are disciplined, it is a sure thing that the goal will be achieved.

Decide on what you want and set clear achievable goals.

Be ready to pay the price. Bad habits do get in the way of self-discipline. Think about those practices or habits you are willing to change or let go. Be specific about what you will do differently every day.

Take responsibility – The first step to developing self-discipline is to be responsible for your actions. This way, you will be able to know which areas of your life you need to improve and then act accordingly.

Be persistent – Do not give up or try to ward off any negative or self-defeating thoughts by simply getting busy. Instead, develop your resistance tenacity to set your path to self-discipline.

Be organized – Put your goals into writing and act accordingly. Promise yourself that you would complete any task within a specified period. Focus on a task at a time and move according to plan as you develop your own skill sets.

Develop Willpower – This is your pillar of strength. Although it is difficult to maintain, having willpower can help you to deal with your challenges strategically.

Connect the necessary elements – To have self-discipline is to first make a connection between various elements that can lead to the desired outcome. Weight loss, for instance, requires connecting the elements of nutrition, desire, diet, exercise, and the pain of being disciplined and the pleasure of achieving the result. The elements of your desired goal must always be in balance for you to achieve your purpose.

Create a Plan – The first step to creating a plan is known that you have to start where you are. A plan must contain something to do every day that will be incremental over and above the previous day. While it is not difficult to draw up a plan for yourself, it is very important that the right plan is created for full commitment. Make sure the plan is simple and easy to follow.

A Sample Daily Plan for Self-Discipline

  • Wake up time
  • Physical exercise, Meditation, Devotion and Breathing exercise
  • Reflection, Appreciation & New day Affirmation
  • Action plan for the day
  • Activities for the day. They should at least include one activity toward your goal.
  • Time for your family and friends
  • Reading/Playtime
  • Attitude of Gratitude

Following a schedule like this daily will definitely lead to self-discipline that connects you to your source and results in all round happiness for you. You need to try it to experience it.

Tips and Techniques to Help Improve Self-Discipline

1. Use Affirmative Statements

Whether it is in your personal life or job, one of the most effective ways to improve your self-discipline is to use the power of affirmations. Affirmations are statements that can embed in you positive thoughts on how to discipline yourself, become better and successful. Affirmative statements are a part of the secrets of successful people and have become a game-changing habit for most of them.

Creating an affirmation is an expression of intention. Affirmative statements look like:

  • I, Fred Amata will put in time, discipline and effort needed to achieve my goals
  • I will never break a promise I made to myself;
  • I will not allow distractions to impede my progress;
  • I choose to take actions that support my potentials;
  • Every action that I, Fred Amata take will increase my motivation;

For affirmative statements to be effective, you will have to make them an everyday choice. A choice you make with your feelings and thoughts. The more often you apply them daily, the faster you will begin to see improvements, new opportunities and feel energized by the direction your life takes. >> Learn more about affirmation <<

2. Self-Discipline Exercises

Self-discipline exercises can help you to focus and develop the power of self-discipline. You might think that practicing them is being tough on yourself. But the fact is that they contribute greatly to your inner strength. Some self-discipline exercises you can try to remain focus towards your goal attainment are:

  • If you like Ice creams, skip it for a day or two
  • Forget the lift, use the stairs instead.
  • Get water when thirsty, despite the urge to have a soft drink.
  • Don’t visit any social media for a day or two
  • Minimize how you watch TV to about 1 hour every day

These simple focus exercises will help you have more control over yourself towards improving your life, goal attainment, and peace of mind.

3. Plan your activities

Make sure you do the difficult activities first and focus on one thing at a time. If you are not used to planning then start simple. Put down a few things you want to accomplish for the next day and tick them as you do them. It forms a new positive habit and success tracking progress.

4. Reward yourself

No matter how small, reward yourself for every self-discipline accomplishments. However, it must be a reward that will contribute to your advancement.

5. Other self-discipline techniques include:

  • Model people that are already successful in your field or your desired choice of field. It will serve as a source of inspiration in your efforts to achieve self-discipline.
  • Put your goal in writing and take time to reflect on it daily.
  • Do not believe that you know everything. You don’t know what you don’t know. Hence, be a student of your craft to become better every day.
  • Consider what you have previously achieved to remind yourself how competent you are.

Final Thought on Self-Discipline Techniques

There is no avoiding of self-discipline if you plan on being successful. It is the ability to do what you plan to do at the time you plan to do it – whether you feel like doing it or not. You will need to be consistent and keep learning. Combining self-discipline with passion, focus, patience tends to lead to success.

Let me know in the comments below how disciplined your are with your daily routine and goals.

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  1. This is a good way to put self-discipline, it is hard to have the discipline for yourself and controlling your feelings and emotions. The article is a good structure if you do not have the self-discipline to go by. We are learning how to deal with this our whole life and will continue throughout.
    Being successful with self-discipline learning more techniques to take with us as we learn new things about ourselves.
    We will be sure to share this with others and letting others better themselves if they want to, this is a contextual article, well said.


    1. Thank you for your comment, as you well said, that is something that we will be learning for whole life. It is a daily exercise indeed. Thanks.

  2. Self-discipline is a challenge for many. I liked what you said about taking responsibility and being persistent. I remember reading a book called The Compound Effect that highlighted this point as well.

    I know I have had good years and bad years with self-discipline. But constant work and effort can help to sustain a goal of self-discipline. Thanks for your post! I learned a lot from it.

  3. I have to admit, I’ve always had self discipline personally. Some people say I’m just shear stubborn or persistent, but I think it’s just that, when I really want something, I just go for it. I’ve done this my whole like and never really knew why. My Mom says it’s because I’m a Leo, and we’re naturally stubborn, opinionated and persistent. If that’s the case, then I’m happy I was born in August.

    I noticed it first when I was younger. My friends that I ran with weren’t the best people. They often tried to get into trouble and do things that I wouldn’t take part in. And instead of trying to find new friends like most people would, I would convince them that what they were doing was wrong. Instead, we would usually go back to one persons house and just “hang out” instead of them trying to get into trouble.

    Then, when I was a smoker, I decided one day I didn’t want to be anymore. This was after about 20 years. I didn’t need to cut back, or use a patch. I just decided I didn’t like the taste or smell and quit. I took the entire pack of Marlboro’s I had just bought and gave it to the first person that asked me for a cig.

    It’s been the same with almost everything I just decide I don’t like anymore, or don’t want to be part of anymore. I simply say, “I don’t like this,” and I quit.

    Hopefully, more people can read your article and learn self discipline. It is so important in any endeavor in people’s lives.

    Thank for sharing this information!


  4. Hi there,
    The article is a good structure if you do not have the self-discipline to go by. We are learning how to deal with this our whole life and will continue throughout. Self-discipline is a very important component because that is what eventually decides our personality in front of others.

    This is a very important thing and your article will definitely help people to learn about self-discipline. Being successful with self-discipline learning more techniques to take with us as we learn new things about ourselves,

    I will definitely share this with my friends. Thank you so much for such a great article with detailed information.


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