Tips on how to be better self-disciplined

, Tips on how to be better self-disciplinedSix Steps to Becoming More Self-Disciplined

Discipline is the bridge between your goals and accomplishments.

Discipline, willpower, self-control – Whatever you call it, self-discipline is difficult for many people. Some days you think you simply don’t have it in you to make those 10 cold calls, and other days it seems much easier to drive by the gym than to go in and do a work out.

Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure. So, how do you become more self-disciplined?

These are not tasks to cross off as “completed”; instead, they are principles to use to guide your daily life.

1. Pace Yourself – Sometimes we have so much to do, we feel overwhelmed. For example, look at your business plan for the entire year. If it looks like an impossible undertaking, you might be tempted to give it a half-hearted effort. After all, it won’t work anyway, so why try, right? If approaching a project on the global scale intimidates you, don’t let it. Instead, take it one day, or if necessary, one hour at a time.

2. Organize – When lacking willpower, any minor setback will completely derail your efforts. So plan your day and then you won’t waste time or become discouraged. Make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish. Review the list and be realistic about what you can and will do. As you evaluate the tasks, look for any entries that are what you want to do, rather than what you need to do.

3. Be Honest – Self-discipline is powered by motivation; therefore, be honest about what motivates you. If its money, admit it and don’t think you need to apologize. If the admiration of others keeps you going, embrace that and use it to propel you even further

4. Be Flexible – Continually re-evaluate your list of tasks and do them because they are the right things to do, not because you might feel like a failure if you don’t complete a task on your list. Too many times we fall into a routine of doing things simply because it’s what we’ve always done, without examining if the reasons why we did them are still valid. Our goals and visions continually change, so our responsibilities might need to as well. If you lack willpower or self-discipline, it might be because you are trying to do something no longer in line with your goals and beliefs.

5. Take Responsibility – As you work toward your goals, be mindful of your effect on others. Take responsibility for your actions and, if necessary, apologize or change your behaviour. If left unresolved, a sour experience will become much bigger than the original event. Handle it now, and it won’t require a lot of willpower or discipline in the future.

6. Reward Yourself – Being self-disciplined is hard. You deserve credit for doing things you don’t want to do, or don’t feel like doing right now. Give yourself praise and a reward when you accomplish tasks. Don’t wait for others to notice, go ahead and pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!

You may also like to consider some of my recent tweets on Discipline.


  • Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
  • We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
  • All disciplines affect each other. Mistakenly the man says, “This is the only area where I let down.” Not true. Every let down affects the rest. Not to think so is naive.
  • Discipline is the foundation upon which all success is built. Lack of discipline inevitably leads to failure.
  • Discipline has within it the potential for creating future miracles.
  • The best time to set up a new discipline is when the idea is strong.
  • One discipline always leads to another discipline.
  • Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.
  • You don’t have to change that much for it to make a great deal of difference. A few simple disciplines can have a major impact on how your life works out in the next 90 days, let alone in the next 12 months or the next 3 years.
  • The least lack of discipline starts to erode our self-esteem.

Ultimately the price of excellence is discipline.

The price of excellence is discipline.

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  1. Robin Dickinson 12th January 2010 at 08:17

    Thanks, Ian. Again, a punchy and succinct resource of tremendous value.

    Two questions came to mind as I read your excellent post:

    a) in your opinion, is self-discipline more attributable to nature or nurture?

    b) how do you get others to be more disciplined?

    Congratulations on a terrific blog.

    Best, Robin

  2. Ian Dickson 12th January 2010 at 08:28

    Hi Robin

    a) Self Discipline is a trait I see in successful people by default. So it is a natural triat for some. BUT, it can be nurtured or learnt.

    b) Getting others to be more disciplined – By chipping away at their belief systems and the identity of the individual. Small steps. Clearely having someone to keep us accountable is a big help. That is why coaching is so powerful. ACCOUNTABILITY.

    Glad you enjoy the blog. thank you for your input


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