The Importance of Self-Discipline: 8 Steps to be More Self-Disciplined

  A women practising focus and self-control while sitting on rocks and looking out towards the sea

Self-discipline is one of the most useful characteristics that you can possess. 
It is the ability to see through any short-term distractions and instead take consistent actions to strive towards achieving your long-term goals. 
You will simply not go far in life without being self-disciplined!

So, It is no wonder why loads of the most successful people in this world all highly recognize their self-discipline as being a fundamental factor for their success. 
All you need to do is take a moment to think of any successful millionaire at the top of your head, and you’ll certainly see where I am coming from! 

8 Steps to be More Self-Disciplined 

1. Act on Your Own Initiative

Take a step back and ask yourself: What is it that I want? And Why do I want this?
After all, there is no point living your life based upon someone else's standards or ideologies.

It is important that you see the sense behind what it is that you want to achieve. 
You need to be bold and take things into your own hands.
Otherwise you will be stuck working for somebody else's dream!

2. Set Your Priorities

Decide what is most important to you and ultimately what you will get the most benefit out of in the long term.

If you are stuck on where to start with this, then look no further than using the Eisenhower Decision matrix.
This is a simple, but really effective matrix that helps us to acknowledge what work matters the most to us and ultimately what it is that we need to prioritize.
All you do is put tasks that you need to do into one of four different sections.

The sections of the Eisenhower Decision Matrix are:
Do it Now -  the most urgent and important tasks
Decide When to Do it - the tasks that are important, but not urgent
Delegate it - the tasks that are urgent, but not important 
Delete it - the tasks that are not important and not urgent

3. Set A Specific Time For Completion

If you’re running in a marathon in six months time and tell yourself that you will start training “later”, you most likely won’t start any time soon or will foolishly start at the last minute. 
Setting a deadline of “later” typically leads to constant postponement. 
It will be much easier for you to stick to your intention if you set a specific date.

Parkinson's Law identifies the necessity for a specific time frame very nicely.
Parkinson's Law is where the time that we spend doing a task increases in order to fill the time frame that we have set for the completion of that task.

For example, if you have to write a report that will take you 2 hours to complete, but you have a week to do it then the perceived complexity of the task will increase and appear more intimidating so as to fill up the week. 

4. Break Down Large Tasks Into Smaller Ones

By breaking down greater tasks into smaller tasks, it becomes less intimidating and perceived as being less challenging. 
This is because it makes it easier to see your progress when each goal gets completed. 

But, it also gives a sense of achievement throughout your journey to achieve the major goal, therefore improving your motivation and will-power along the way.

5. Ignore And Silence Your Haters

You’ve probably been in a situation before where you’ve told a friend or acquaintance about your goals or ideas and all they did was react with skepticism. 
It’s certainly disheartening and will start to fuel self-doubt that can hinder your motivation if you let it get to you.
But, before this happens, simply take it with a pinch of salt and move on!
If all people are going to do is see the negatives in everything that you do, then they aren't worth your time.

6. Find Your Rhythm

Everyone performs more efficiently at different phases within the day. 
The decisive factor for this is the so-called chronobiology. 
This is simply where bodily processes fluctuate considerably within a day. 
Whether this be the activity of your organs, your level or tiredness, or your ability to concentrate effectively. They all vary throughout the day.

Distinguish between the times of the day where you feel most energetic and those whee you feel most tired. 
Then, structure your day accordingly in order to work during the time periods where you are most energetic and able to focus more.

7. Visualize Your Goals

We are often motivated by the reward that we get from completing something. 
What this is can vary significantly from being intrinsic to extrinsic or introjected to identified. 

But, put that aside and simply ask yourself: 
What is your reason behind your goals? 
What do you treat yourself to when you've achieved your goals? 

Some people have the ability to visualize and imagine their goals, while others need a more definitive picture. 
Find out what works best for you!

8. Reward Yourself For Partial Success

Learn to praise and reward yourself regularly. 
This helps to promote an optimistic frame of mind and acknowledge the progress that you are making towards your end goal.

It is easy to get distracted in today's world with the endless amounts of technology at our fingertips. 
But through regularly rewarding ourselves, we soon recognize that striving towards our long-term goals is the right thing to do. 
It helps us to understand the importance of self-discipline and see the bigger picture.


Self-discipline is easily up there as being one of the most important personality traits and characteristics to possess in order to become successful in life.

It is certainly not easy to master self-discipline.
But, by learning from the steps in this article and ultimately putting them to action, you will be well on your path to becoming more self-disciplined in your every day actions