Mastering the Art of Self-Discipline: Your Guide to Becoming and Staying Focused

October 11, 2022

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We all have dreams and aspirations that we wish would become our reality. For some, just  starting may be difficult,  but the true challenge is continuing on and trying to be consistent.

Becoming self-disciplined isn’t something that can be done overnight; it requires a lot of practice and even more patience. Having all the talent in the world won’t do much for you if you aren’t able to utilize it on days you lack the motivation to do so.

The struggle of staying disciplined during moments of empty-mindedness can be one of the most challenging moments many of us will face. But it is possible to overcome this and reinforce a disciplined mindset that will generate rewards greater than you ever imagined.

These are the 9 methods of how you can become and stay disciplined. 

What does self-discipline look like in a person?

When someone thinks of a highly disciplined person, a few people that come to mind are probably-  The Rock. While he is truly a great representative of someone that has stuck to his regiment for years to create his fantastic physique, this is not the only look for someone that self-disciplined. 

A disciplined person can decline a free donut when offered because they are following a healthy diet. Or maybe someone that likes to be in bed before 9 pm so they can wake up earlier the next morning and start their day more refreshed.

 People that are genuinely dedicated to bettering themselves can oftentimes be seen as uninteresting or prudish since they don’t indulge in “fun activities” like those around them. 

But for the disciplined minded these are significant sacrifices they know they must make in order to reach their goals. They understand that their plan isn’t supposed to be fun or exciting because the journey to becoming excellent isn’t supposed to be a comfortable one. 

Motivation vs. Discipline,

The power of motivation is something we all need daily. Being uplifted through a conversation, a book, or even a speech can really turn someone’s day into a more productive one. But motivation alone is not enough to accomplish goals. 

As mentioned before everyone has goals, but only a few are motivated to start working on them, and even fewer have the discipline to do it even when they don’t want to. 

This is why being self- discipline can set you apart from the rest. While anyone can become motivated if they’re willing, not everyone can be disciplined. 

Motivation is an emotion that only benefits you short term. While discipline is a self-taught trait that has long-lasting benefits.

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Benefits of being self-disciplined

1. Good decision-making 

There will be a time in life when it will offer you choices. Some of these choices will promise you quick success with no real benefits. Other times it will offer you long-lasting benefits, but it will take much longer.  

Being disciplined in your decision-making means that you are able to take time to make well-thought-out decisions. From that decisions, the results will only benefit you and your journey to becoming a better person.

Having the ability to effectively think about what your next move will be can make all the difference. If you truly value where your life is headed, focus on what option in life you need to take in order to make it with living. 

2. High standards 

Once you are willing to dedicate your time and energy to setting goals and reaching them, you start to expect better for yourself. It only takes just one goal to be reached for you to want to reach more and challenge yourself with something more fulfilling

This is how you start to set the bar higher because now you know that you can actually do better by being disciplined. You understand the work that needs to be put into what you’re doing and how amazing it feels to actually complete them.

When you start to expect more from yourself, you also start to expect more from those around you. You may even begin to hold people accountable for their choices. Having someone like this in your life is more beneficial than many might realize. Just remember you can’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do. 

3. Feeling fulfilled

Many of you are constantly trying to understand your life’s purpose.  Whether you’re going through midlife or a quarter-life crisis, the thought of- is this how life is supposed to be? – will cross your mind frequently. 

This will require discipline if you are willing to change and start something new. A life of fulfillment is a journey that no guru or mentor can lead you towards. 

The concept of living a filled life seems easy to do on a surface level. However, actually putting in the work to make it a reality is anything but easy. But having the diligence to constantly work towards what you want, or who you want to be is the greatest reward you could ever possess. 

4. Save time

When you are able to set a clear path of things you need to do, it can start to feel like 24 hours isn’t enough time to get it done. One of the best benefits of being self-disciplined is your ability to manage your time wisely. 

Our time is so valuable, and if you are able to delegate it wisely to areas in your life that need your attention. You will soon start to see yourself transform. 

Time management is perhaps the true essence of how to become disciplined. Because once you are able to control your time you soon will be able to control your life. 

5. Confidence boost

 Being disciplined means you’re able to achieve your goals and once you start doing that your confidence will start to build. Once you are able to focus on the areas you are trying to improve on, the results will soon show. 

For example, if someone wanted to start exercising more and was very consistent, they would eventually start seeing results. This only leads to that person feeling better and more confident about themselves because of all the hard work they put into their health. 

Self-discipline helps refine you into an individual that becomes more mindful of your existence. Focusing on improving your career, relationships, and overall well-being will result in a better you that will make you proud of who you are. 

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Ways to be more disciple

Teaching yourself to be more disciplined is not simple. Nothing can truly be mastered overnight. You will need to understand this will be a long and grueling process. There will be moments you will doubt this and want to stop- but you must NEVER stop. Be patient and gentle during this process; everything you go through is a chance to learn how to overcome it. That knowledge will be more valuable once you realize you can use it again and again when faced with adversity.

1. Know your weaknesses

Identifying the areas you need improvement in is an excellent first step to becoming more self-disciplined. Being self-aware is key to bettering yourself and can give you insight on how to transform your weakness into a strength. 

It’s always best to work in an area that needs improvement instead of fixing something that doesn’t exist. For example, if someone has issues with getting to work on time and has a habit of going to bed late, they should try setting a bedtime for themselves.

By focusing on what’s holding you back, you can start letting it go. Working on what you aren’t good at is a strength in disguise. The willingness to acknowledge your weakness is a vital step to self-improvement.

2. Have a goal with a plan

To achieve your goals, you must develop a clear strategy that outlines each step. Keep yourself focused by creating a mantra. This technique helps successful people establish a clear finish line, stay on track, and stay emotionally connected to their mission.

Like any goal, achieving greater self-discipline requires a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. The definition of success must also be clear to you.

You can quickly lose your way or get sidetracked if you don’t know where you’re going. Keep your priorities in mind.

3. Start small

Being overly ambitious about conquering your goals can make you feel exhausted. While trying to set the bar high- try not to put it too high. Being concerned about what you can and cannot do is completely fine.

If you’re trying to run a full marathon, you would want to practice in tiny amounts until you can do the full 26. Trying to run 26 miles with building up and trying could cause some severe damage to your body. 

Try not to get frustrated by taking baby steps. Every step you make and every goal you reach should make you more and more motivated to keep going. This is not supposed to be a race but a journey. 

4. Remove any temptation

There is something for each of us that can derail our real progress. We just forget our purpose as soon as we see, smell, hear, or feel it. It’s best to get whatever these may be away from you. 

For those trying to eat more clean, they will remove all the junk food in their home. Even the secret spots. Having temptation like that around while you’re trying to be more mindful about what you eat could eventually have you pick back up those poor eating habits.

By removing your temptation you are only making the process easier to do. You can go about your routine smoothly and build a habit that will never be broken even if you are faced with taste temptations.

5.Use your time wisely

Like it’s been mentioned before, your time is the most valuable thing when trying to become self-disciplined. There will be moments when you have to decide whether something is worth dedicating your time to. 

This is something to remember when you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on your phone, looking at photos, and watching videos. Many people find themselves spending hours a day on their social media accounts and become frustrated when they fail to do something productive instead of that.

Time is something you can not save. Once it’s gone- it’s gone. So try and make the most of your time by prioritizing what is needed. 

6. Be your biggest cheerleader

The thought of being a better you should motivate you every day to do your absolute best- or at least some days. If you start to feel like you can’t go on and everything you’re doing is pointless- you have to counter those thoughts with the opposite mindset.

Being your biggest cheerleader is essential to maintaining a disciplined attitude. There are going to be moments when you might not have someone supporting or encouraging you to continue on your journey- but that shouldn’t be your excuse to stop. 

You are trying to create a more stable, fulfilling life because that’s what you need for YOU. be there for yourself when one else will. Push yourself when no one else can. 

7. Celebrate the small wins

Celebrating your victories, whether small or big, can help you keep the excitement you had when you first started your progress. When you take time to reap the benefits of what you’ve achieved, you will soon begin to associate your work with success. 

Life under a disciplined lifestyle doesn’t have to be unfun and so strict, you can take a breather for a moment so you can enjoy the life you are now living. Just remember that the way to celebrate shouldn’t set you back on your progress. Live responsibility.  

8. Take a moment and reflect

After a while, when you are in the midst of your discipline training, it’s always a good idea to take a moment and reflect on all the progress you’ve made. Looking back and reminding yourself of the person you once were vs who you are now should make you feel proud of all your hard work.

Instilling a modest sense of pride can help you keep yourself motivated when you might run into self-doubt. When those moments of questioning come, you can think about how unhappy you were before.

9. Have friends hold you accountable

Having a great support group around you is such a blessing. Being able to even just one person that checks on your progress can help motivate you to keep going.

 There will be moments where you will feel defeated and question why your doing this, but having someone there to support you and cheer you on can help you refocus on what’s important. 

People are social creatures that depend on the strength of those around them. While the adventure of self-discipline is typically thought to be something done solo. It can make it much easier and enjoyable to have somewhere there, giving you a push from time to time. 

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Positive affirmations for self-disciple

I am a disciplined and responsible person.

Nothing can stop me from achieving my goals.

Every single day, I take a step toward my goal.

Whenever I feel like quitting, I imagine myself living my dream life, and I keep going.

I always commit to my vision and make things happen.

I know what I need to do today to get closer to success.

I see consistent progress when I show up every day.

I feel closer and closer to my goal!

I have the discipline to accomplish everything I set my mind to.

I know my next step, and I’m making it now.

I am aiming for the stars!

I am entirely dedicated to my goal.

Staying disciplined and consistent brings me closer to desired result every single day.

I know that I can achieve everything I want.

I have the power to keep myself on track.

I am ready to be successful.

Discipline and self-control are natural for me.

I am responsible for all my successes and failures.

I have no doubts about my ability to get what I want.

I am showing up every day to work on my business and personal goals.

12 Quotes about Self Discipline

The first and greatest victory is to conquer self. –Plato

We do today what they won’t, so tomorrow we can accomplish what they can’t. –Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

The only discipline that lasts is self-discipline. –Burn Phillps

Mental toughness is many things, and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in, it’s a state of mind– you could call it character in action. –Vince Lombardi

“You cannot manage time; you can only manage yourself.” -Peter Drucker

“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” -Dalai Lama

“I could only achieve success in my life through self-discipline, and I applied it until my wish and my will became one.” -Nicola Tesla

“Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.” -Thucydides,

“Just because you’re struggling with self-discipline doesn’t mean you have to raise the white flag and declare your self-improvement efforts a complete failure. Instead, work to increase the chances that you’ll stick to your healthier habits – even when you don’t feel like it.” – Amy Morin

“Beautiful gems can emerge from dirt. Struggle can teach you self-discipline and resilience.” – Dipa Sanatani

“Self-discipline is the only power which can keep you energized even in the toughest of the circumstances.” – Sukant Ratnakar

Success begins with self-discipline.” – Sunday Adelaja

4 Books about Self Discipline & Self Control

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – Clean Edition

“Modern neuroscience is teaching us that the path to courage and success arrives through embracing pain and fear, not by avoiding them. If ever there was a real-life example of this, it is the story of David Goggins. In his unrelenting pursuit to self-conquer, Goggins taught himself how to tap into that elusive holy grail of human existence: the ability to rewire one’s own brain in order to continually do better and actually become better, regardless of feelings, external conditions, or motivational state. Can’t Hurt Me is the remarkable description of that journey and the capacity to leverage and better the mind. More importantly, it also teaches you how.”

–Andrew D. Huberman,

 Do the Hard Things First: How to Win Over Procrastination and Master the Habit of Doing Difficult Work 

“The author delves into how behavior matters and provides strategies and process to take these head on to minimize or eliminate the distractions that cause delays and procrastination. From how you live your daily life to how successful you are in your chosen career, Scott Allan has included methodologies to help guide the reader down the right path.”

— Bill Miller

 Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament

“In this clear bell of a book, Michael A. Singer points the reader in the direction of freedom—freedom from the case of mistaken identity that we all suffer from. He asks, ‘Are you willing to let go of who you thought you were?’ And then—with great care and intelligence—he shows us how, and promises that the fruit of our work is full aliveness, ecstatic well-being, and an awakened capacity to be an agent of peace.”

—Elizabeth Lesser

Thinking, Fast and Slow

“Profound . . . As Copernicus removed the Earth from the centre of the universe and Darwin knocked humans off their biological perch, Mr. Kahneman has shown that we are not the paragons of reason we assume ourselves to be.”

―The Economist

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