8 Tips To Improve Your Self-Discipline

Wondering how you can improve your self-discipline? Learn how to achieve your goals and stop making excuses


Self-discipline can be one of the hardest things for us to master.

It feels nearly impossible to not lay in bed for those extra 10 minutes or to not order a chocolate brownie after dinner.

However, people who have good self-discipline are actually happier, and save themselves this torment!

Those who have a higher level of self-discipline save themselves from debating whether or not to partake in habits that might be bad for their health, or which are not part of their plan and are able to make positive decisions much easier.

Having self-discipline means that you don’t give in to impulses and that emotions don’t rule your decisions. Instead, you can make level-headed choices, and then feel more satisfied with yourself.

Here is how you can improve your self-discipline, and take control of your life and your decisions.

How To Improve Your Self-Discipline

Be Motivated

One of the best ways to remain self-disciplined is to be motivated.

You will find it so much easier to stick to good habits and rules you have set up for yourself if there is a clear, motivating reason for you to do so.

This could be working towards a fitness goal or a promotion at work.

Self-discipline will help you achieve your goals, but you have to be motivated to do so.

However motivation comes and goes. That’s why so many new yars resolutions are abandoned by the second week of January.

So how do I stay motivated and disciplined?

One simple trick I use is writing down my goals on a sheet of paper.

Then, I write one or two habits that will help me accomplish that goal.

For example: If my goal is to lose weight, I would write down on that sheet of paper “I will lose weight by walking 10,000 steps everyday and practicing yoga in the mornings.”

Then I will place that paper somewhere I will ALWAYS see it in the morning and night (for me, it’s my nightstand).

Keeping my goals at the forefront of my mind first thing in the morning helps me start my day motivated and ready to crush my goals.

Add this small step to your morning routine for massive changes!

When temptation hits, remind yourself why you are making the decisions you are.

Avoid Temptations

You will be making your life very difficult for yourself if you surround yourself with temptations.

Your environment affects your choices, and the right environment will only help to improve your self-discipline.

Avoid hanging out with those friends who lead you to make bad decisions, don’t keep soda in the fridge if you are trying to lose weight.

Close down your social media and remove distractions if you are trying to get a work project done.

You will only benefit from creating an environment that lines up with your goals and healthy habits.

Be honest with yourself and see where you tend to fall off.

Temptations in your environment can be stronger than your willpower, so try to stay away from temptations and distractions, and create a safe, balanced environment for yourself!

Create Goals and Challenges

To help keep motivated, you need to create and keep goals.

It might take you quite a long time to achieve a certain goal and to help you stay on track, you can create challenges and deadlines as well.

These can help you along the way, and allow you to achieve small victories, keeping you positive about reaching your goal.

If you need to have a goal board on your wall, or a little reminder on your fridge about what you want to achieve, do it.

Having a constant reminder of why you are making the decisions you do will help the decisions be much easier!

Define your goals, set challenges and deadlines, and work towards them!

Find Someone To Hold You Accountable

It can be difficult to hold yourself accountable all the time, your willpower is only so strong on its own!

Try to find an accountability partner, who you can phone when you need some encouragement. 

It is the same concept when having a personal trainer, a weight-loss club, or a personal coach.

These people, who you now feel accountable to, will help encourage you to stay on the path you want, and will hold you up to sticking to your word!

If you don’t have someone to turn to for this, you could always post your goals on social media, it is another way to feel accountable!

Take It Slow And Start Small

Don’t think you will get the hang of self-discipline in one day, you need to start slow.

We are wired to stick to what is comfortable and predictable, and changing this can be difficult.

Avoid big changes at first, and start small.

You cannot decide to run a marathon and complete the distance in one day.

You would start off slowly, with 30 minutes of training a day, and work your way up from there.

It does not matter how small or big your actions or decisions are, the most important part is that you get started.

That first footstep might be the hardest, but it is the most important, and your journey of self-discipline won’t happen if you don’t make the first step! The rest will follow after.

Figure Out What Compels You

Some people are motivated by the risk of punishment, and others by the satisfaction of the reward. You need to figure out which one motivates you, or if both do.

If a reward motivates you, find out what you can give yourself for being disciplined.

Whether this is a cheat meal once a week, or sleeping in on a Sunday.

Make sure to only allow yourself these rewards if you stick to your own rules.

For those who respond better to punishment, you should take away privileges if you don’t stick to your self-discipline.

If you are trying to lose weight, remember that cheating on your diet might mean you won’t fit into one of your new dresses, or that it could lead to poor health over time.

Make Sure To Ask For Help

It can be incredibly hard to try to stay motivated when you feel overwhelmed.

You will be wasting your will power and self-discipline on things that you don’t have to, especially if you can get someone else to help out.

Make sure to decide where your time and talents are best spent, and work towards focussing on this.

Self-discipline does not mean doing it all yourself, sometimes self-discipline might mean handing work over to someone else to prevent you from being overworked.

Create Good Habits

You can easily create good habits for yourself if you work on it.

By creating good habits for yourself, you will be making self-discipline much easier.

One of the best books I’ve read on this topic is Atomic Habits by James Clear.

He goes into detail about how to create new habits and achieve remarkable results with tiny shifts and changes.

The decisions and actions you practice will feel natural when they become habit, and you won’t have to spend so much time debating on the right decisions, and forcing yourself to get out of bed and do the things you know you should!

If you lack the self-discipline to read (hehe) you can always watch this video which does a fairly good job of summarizing the book (but I still highly recommend you read or listen to it on Audible!)

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