Self-discipline is one thing we all struggle with. From eating “just one more” doughnut to waking up late every morning. It is all a matter of how self-disciplined we are, and it can be applied to all fields of life.

Some people like to live their lives by the book, and they are natural talents when it comes to self-discipline. But for the rest of us, it is like a skill. As such, it is something that we can learn and strive to master from early childhood.

Why Do We Need Self-Discipline?

The problem is, even though we have been introduced to the concept of self-discipline from early childhood, if you are not ready to fully commit to it, it does not get much easier with age. When we were kids, our mothers did not allow us to eat sweets before lunch. As adults, we can eat whatever we want whenever, but that does not mean we should. So instead of having a parent who will hide all the candies, now we have to hide them from ourselves.

Power of will, self-control, you can call it whatever you like, it is one of the key features of every successful person. The good news is that it can be taught. Even if you were not so great with it as a child or teen, it is never too late. Not only can you take over control of your life, but you can also learn how to be, and stay, self-disciplined.

We gathered here some of the most useful tips for becoming a true master. So, if you feel ready to make a change,  keep on reading.

7 Tips on Mastering Self-Discipline

1. Set Your Goals

Self-discipline goal setting

What are your goals? Do you want to eat better, sleep more, study harder, run faster, or be more productive at work? You have to know where you are going and what you want first. Only then can you create a list of things you need to do in order to reach your goal. It is all based on practice and developing healthy habits.

In the beginning, it is never going to be easy. However, after a while, your established routine is not going to be so annoying. In fact, it is going to become something you will do without thinking too much about it. Start writing a weekly planner and make a schedule which you will follow.

2. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses

Whether it is a slice of pizza at 11 PM, binge-watching, or procrastinating your work tasks, keep it real and be aware of your weaknesses. This is the only way to overcome them. Stop making excuses and start spending your time more wisely.

Bad habits are so tempting, and it is so easy to cheat. But think about the time and energy you are wasting. Instead of ordering fast food, put that money away and save it for travelling. Find something good to replace your unhealthy cravings.

3. Baby Steps

Many people tend to start some big changes from Monday or next week. But the thing is, you should not introduce all the changes at once. This is because you can not successfully turn your entire life upside down in one day.

Start with those changes that are doable. Slowly, make adjustments without putting too much pressure on yourself. Then gradually introduce new rituals or tasks. Eventually, you will get the result you wanted. There are no shortcuts. Self-discipline is like a learning process. Therefore, if you want to pass it, you have to go through all the stages.

4. Healthy Habits

healthy habits

Regardless of what your goals are, you should not forget about two essential things, sleeping and eating well. These two are the base, the core of self-discipline. So if you are not eating healthy or sleeping enough, you cannot consider yourself for a self-disciplined person.

These two are especially important for people who are trying to lose weight. But also in general, poor sleeping habits can trigger an eating disorder, insomnia, REM sleep behaviour disorder, and plenty of other things that will get on your way.

5. The Power of Will

It is all in your head. You are your biggest competitor. Likewise, the only boundaries that exist are the ones in your head. If you believe that you can not do this or that, then you probably are not going to be able to do it.

This willpower is based on our beliefs. As a result, it can either hinder our success or enhance it, depending on our inner beliefs. This can be tricky. For start, it has a lot to do with self-esteem, rational thinking, and personal subconscious obstacles.

6. Plan “B”

In general, it is always good to have a backup plan. But in situations like this, when you are trying so hard to change yourself, any small failure can be discouraging. That is why it is always good to have a plan B.

If you know that you are going to be in a tempting situation, think in advance. Put together ideas on how to stay in your lane, without breaking your rules. This type of strategy is something that psychologists like to call implementation intentions.

7. Treat Yourself

It is good to have small milestones and to reward yourself to boost your motivation. But that reward should not consist of things you are fighting against. For example, junk food, or playing video games the entire night. An idea of a reward waiting for you will give you the strength to continue. This is because a reward system is a powerful tool for success, and it will keep you focused on your goal.

Final Thoughts

People are creatures of habit, and somehow we tend to love the bad ones, especially. However, we should not allow our habits to control us. Our guide contains some general steps and tips that can be applied to any life situation which requires self-discipline. We hope it will help many of you. All those things you already know, but you never actually tried them.

Remember, all good things take time. So instead of rushing into changes, and then giving up on everything even quicker, take some time, be patient, be stubborn, and do it right. Don’t forget that once you establish your self-discipline, you need to nourish and maintain it because it will always depend on your mindset.


Selena Thomas is a content writer from Counting Sheep who loves sharing tips on healthy lifestyles. A writer by day and a reader by night, she’s fond of writing articles that can help people in improving both physical and mental health. Also, she loves travelling and inspires people on her blogs.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Lillian Last

    under #6 you say: ” personal subconscious obstacles” what if the obstacles are NOT subconscious? What if they are very real and palpable like financial. Then What. And on the other hand, why not get into this “personal subconscious obstacles” and write another article about it all? .

  2. Zainab

    I have this habit of doing good things for a few hours and then treating myself with time-wasting activities as a reward,what should i do about that?

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