It takes a very special person to have self-discipline. So what does self-discipline even look like?
If you have self-discipline, it means you’re able to control yourself with ease. You can regulate your behavior, actions, and impulses. You stop yourself before doing something inappropriate or going too far.
People who have it make good choices. They are driven by goals and values but also have a moral compass so they aren’t easily tempted.
Has someone ever dangled something really enticing in front of you, but you knew it would be wrong to partake? If you told yourself no, congrats, you have self-discipline! If you went for it, you’ve got some work to do.
So which are you? Still not sure? Here are eight empowering traits that people with strong self-discipline possess:
1) Laser focus
People with strong self-discipline have the ability to stay focused on their goals like a superhero with laser eyes.
As someone who does have self-discipline (yay me!), I am able to avoid distractions and zero in on what’s important. It’s the Type A, over-achiever in me. I aim to succeed.
I can give my undivided attention to the most important tasks on my to-do list because I want to see the progress and reap the results.
2) Willpower of steel
The most disciplined people have tremendous willpower. You can present a shiny opportunity to them, but if it doesn’t resonate with their values or if it’s a “get rich quick” approach, they will know to say no.
They can resist temptations and make choices that align with their long-term goals. It’s like having an invisible shield protecting them from distractions and instant gratification.
3) Superb time management
People with strong self-discipline are like the best time keepers and managers! They magically find a way to make the most of their time.
They set priorities, plan their days efficiently, and use their time wisely. It’s as if they have a time-turner like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter!
Whether they are masters of the to-do list or have a special system that works for them, they push through all the crap to stick to a schedule and prioritize accordingly.
4) Consistency champions
Another thing you’ll notice with the most disciplined individuals is that they are consistently dependable and reliable. That’s why they make great partners and friends.
5) Capacity for delayed gratification
People with strong self-discipline are masters of delayed gratification. They understand that good things come to those who wait.
They’re willing to put in the hard work and make sacrifices in the present for greater rewards in the future. It’s like their superpower is the ability to resist the allure of instant gratification.
The most disciplined people have an insane amount of resilience.
They’ve put in hard work in the past. They’ve been there and done that. They know what it’s like to fail. And they’ve learned from their failures.
As a result, they can bounce back from setbacks. They are the epitome of “let’s keep it moving.” Think: Batman rising above adversity and using struggles as stepping stones to success.
7) Super planning abilities
People with strong self-discipline are like expert strategists.
They are list makers. They love systems with purpose. They run their lives with calendars. And most importantly, they stick with their plans.
They set goals with action items to get there. They might even break them down into manageable steps to self-motivate.
Their planning skills are so remarkable that they could give the most gifted of project managers a run for their money! (They might even be project managers by trade!)
8) Mindfulness masters
These disciplined individuals have mastered the art of mindfulness. They’re fully present in the moment, aware of their thoughts and actions.
They have the ability to “quiet the monkeys” and zero in on what truly matters.
They practice self-reflection and make conscious choices aligned with their values and goals. It’s like having the superpower of zen-like focus and inner calm.
Were you able to identify with some, most, or all of the things in the list above? If not, don’t worry. You’ll get there. If so, embrace these empowering traits to continue to unleash your inner superhero.
Doing so will help you soar to new heights thanks to your self-discipline. Self-growth will come as a result.
How to develop self-discipline
Those with self-discipline, keep it up! Those who don’t, there is always a place to start. It’s time to put in the work, and we’re here to help.
Here are some steps you can take on a daily basis to cultivate self-discipline:
1) Set clear goals
Start by defining clear and specific goals. Ask yourself:
- What do you want to achieve?
- How will you get there?
- What does success look like?
2) Break tasks into manageable steps
Large tasks can be overwhelming and will lead to procrastination. Break them down into smaller, more manageable steps.
This way, you can focus on one step at a time and make progress towards your goal without feeling overwhelmed.
3) Create a routine
Establish a daily routine to build structure and consistency.
Set specific times for activities—even if they sound kind of dumb—wake up, exercise, work, study, and take a break.
Following a routine reduces “decision fatigue,” which is when you’re like, “wait, what do I do next?” and freeze up because there are too many things to choose from.
4) Prioritize tasks
Identify the most important tasks or activities that align with your goals. Prioritize them and tackle them first.
This way, you ensure that you knock things off your list that make the most significant impact.
5) Practice time management
Efficiently managing your time is crucial. Use techniques like the “Pomodoro Technique,” where you work in focused bursts followed by short breaks.
Your deadlines, tasks and schedule will guide you. But don’t forget to allot time blocks to work on important to-dos. It’s like adding a puzzle piece everytime you accomplish something on the list.
6) Embrace delayed gratification
Immediate gratification is the opposite of long-term benefits. You want to aim for the long game, so make choices accordingly.
When you start to lose your way a little bit, remind yourself of the big picture.
7) Hold yourself accountable
This goes without saying. Whether you’re working on being more self-disciplined, you should always take responsibility for your actions and hold yourself accountable.
You’ll have to put a system in place to track your progress and hold yourself to it like you’re a manager managing…yourself. A planner or task management app could help.
8) Practice self-control
How is your self-control? Improve it by presenting temptations to yourself and consciously resisting them.
Examples include: unnecessary purchases, unhealthy food, or social media. Each small victory where you just say, “no way” builds your self-control muscle.
9) Stay motivated
Find sources of inspiration and motivation to fuel your self-discipline.
Surround yourself with positive influences, whether it’s reading motivational books, listening to inspiring podcasts, or connecting with like-minded individuals who share similar goals.
10) Practice self-care
Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is essential for sustaining self-discipline.
Get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, exercise regularly, and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge.
When you’re physically and mentally okay, it’s easier to maintain discipline and focus.
11) Learn from setbacks
Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. If you stumble or face obstacles, don’t be discouraged. Keep going!
Learn from your mistakes, adjust your approach if needed, and keep moving forward with renewed determination.
Remember, developing self-discipline takes time and patience. Start small, be consistent, and gradually increase the challenges you take on. This is a journey that requires consistent effort and practice. It’s a long game.
By practicing these steps on a daily basis, you’ll strengthen your self-discipline and unlock your potential for personal growth and achievement.