10 Ideas How to Increase Self-Discipline

Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.

Building a successful business, happiness, fulfillment and a life you love takes enormous self-discipline.

Self-discipline is the bridge between setting goals and getting goals.

There are specific strategies you can execute to learn self-discipline and gain the willpower to live a happier, more fulfilling life. If you are looking to take control of your habits and choices, here are 10 great strategies to increase and master self-discipline:

1. Know Your Weaknesses

We all have weaknesses. Whether they’re the desire for a drink, cigarettes, unhealthy food, social media binging, or video gaming for hours. But it can also be ADHD, bad eyesight, or fear of public speaking. Don’t pretend they do not exist. Don’t use them as excuses. Know your strengths but own up to your flaws. You can’t overcome them until you do.

2. Set Rules in Advance

When you find yourself in a situation in which it looks like nothing is going right, you might start panicking. Having your own set of rules (e.g. wait 48 hours before buying something you didn’t plan to buy, always be the designated driver, when an argument is heating up – retreat…), will remind you to control your actions and help you not to get out of balance.

3. Remove Temptations

“Out of sight, out of mind” might sound silly, but by removing the biggest temptations from your environment, you will greatly improve your self-discipline. You want to eat healthier, don’t have junk food in the house. You want to drink less? Throw out the booze. You want to become more productive at work, turn off your cell phone.

4. Set Clear Goals and Have an Implementation Plan

To increase your self-discipline, you must have a clear vision of what you are trying to accomplish. Define what success means to you. A clear plan describes the steps you must take and schedule you must follow to reach your goals.

5. Commit to Your Calendar

Consider being a “slave” to your calendar so you can be the master of your life. Ask yourself: what specific, daily actions I must take, what do I need to learn, and who do I need to meet in order to grow my business. Then plan those in your agenda as sacred hours.

6. Put One Foot in Front of The Other

In order to get from where you are today, to where you want to be – find the shortest path – and then commit to walk all the way. Simply put one foot in front of the other, do the work, don’t look for shortcuts and don’t take your eye from your goal. It doesn’t matter how long the journey is. Put one foot in front of the other and you. Will. Get. There.

7. Create New Habits and Rituals

Break your goal into small, doable steps. Instead of trying to change everything at once, focus on doing one thing consistently and master self-discipline with that goal in mind. If you’re trying to get in shape but don’t exercise regularly (or ever), start by working out ten or fifteen minutes a day.If you want to eat healthier, change your grocery shopping habits and prepare meals ahead of time.

8. Do Things Others are not Willing to Do

Be disciplined about taking massive, empowering actions that will provide the greatest value to your life and business. There’s no easy way to “have” discipline; you need to be hungry to succeed. Do the things that others won’t, so you can live the life others can’t.

9. Reward Yourself

Reward yourself anytime you think it’s necessary to “feed” your discipline. Reward yourself for any progress no matter how big or small. You will be more motivated to complete your tasks.

10. Forgive Yourself and Move Forward

Even with all your best intentions and perfect plans, you might sometimes fall short. It happens. You will have ups and downs. The key is to keep going. Learn from your missteps and forgive yourself. Then get your head back in the game and move on.

Now It’s YOUR Turn

For five minutes… come up with as many ideas as you can… what can YOU do to increase your self-discipline?

Let's Brainstorm


Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

Top Commenters – last 30 Days

Let's Brainstorm


Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

  1. My discipline is to get up every day at the same time. I plan my days in my diary. Plan my free time first. Than excercise. Than my work. I tend to get lost in actionlists. Making them but not doing any of the actions I wrote down. I make them and plan time to do them. My email is not my action list. I scan email. Short actions I do immediately. Long actions I plan in my diary.
    I do not plan my days to the max. I make a mix in appointments and time to work things out. And important: thinking time (usually during a shower... hahaha). I try to do some meditation on a daily basis. And I am more and more aware of how I think and act. As I get more insight in my personality I can put myself into a certain discipline that fits me.

  2. Love all the 10 ideas to build my discipline and will to succeed. Some are familiar and others deserve attention.

    I love creating vision boards, build roadmaps and set milestones. In my notes from the business bootcamps I found goals I had set years back. Goals I thought was way our there but which I challenged myself to set inspired by everything I learned at the bootcamp and all business trainings which followed. Going through my notes I realized that I've reached every single one of them by changing my mindset and getting the tools to support me in my growth.

    Having said this discipline I find is one thing, building habits and heart beats to facilitate me in growing my discipline is another thing. Eg. I love the 90-days challenge. Reading through the ideas from Nisandeh and the community feeds me with so much creative energy. The need to participate grows stronger every day. I do however need to find the right moment during the day, Preferably that would be 6 a.m. but the challenge isn't public before around 7 am so I'm looking for the best moment so it can turn into a heartbeat.
    So for me growing my discipline works the best if facilitated by a heartbeat.


    If what you are planning what you are doing is not working, try to set new goals. Twist until you can.

    Especially when you must make great offers, make what you are doing is worth you effort.

    If you make small goals that are easy to achieve by doing them dayly, you can increase the plan.

    5. MAKE A LIST
    I make a list dayly in my note book. Easy to do, and easy to follow.

    6. I you were doing great and you failed.
    Go further where you left of.

    7. IF you started well, and you stopped after a certain time. Start again and try to make the new period longer.

    8. Make sure you do not focus on the discipline, but learning your brain to continue, to make it effortless.

    9. Make sure the things that are the hardest to do dayly are easy to do in a short period of time.

    10. Make a routine. Than you do not have to think about it anymore. And the things you need to do daylo, go automatictly.

  4. Celebrate what you DID do.
    Say to yourself that you will do that (nasty) task for just 5 minutes (most of the time you continue and finish 🙂
    Turn off distractions (fly mode)
    Be realistic, you can make a list, but per day put in a max of 3 to-dos and make sure you have in-between time for urgent stuff.

  5. The first sentence is truly brilliant and spot-on. The thing is that the most successful people know what they want most and less successful people know what they want now. I never saw myself as self-disciplined, to be honest. I perceived myself more the opposite. But on the other hand, I did get things done and was/am successful. This realization made me look at discipline differently. I am not the most organized but I do know what I want the most but sometimes I am seduced by doing the things I want now 😉

  6. be convinced you have it...self discipline. Chose when and how much you want te use it.
    Say it to yourself and be happy, grateful, thankful with it.

  7. Set your goal and go! Make a starting list, where to begin up till the end result.
    Don't start before you finished other tasks.
    Block time to finish tasks!
    Make sure others know, you don't want to be disturbed!
    Just do it!

  8. Do not confuse discipline with being strict with yourself, but experience discipline as love for yourself. Being strict makes it harder for you to last longer. It is not a punishment for you to achieve a goal. If your goal yields something for you or others, then you do it out of love for yourself. However?
    Don't be too enthusiastic when you start something, but be critical. This allows you to anticipate the risks you will encounter from the start. By being too enthusiastic you are blind to the obstacles and you give up too quickly when things go wrong.
    The most important value for discipline is courage. The courage to work on or change something.
    Combine courage with caution and you have the best ingredients to successfully achieve your goal.
    Think carefully about the why. Why is it important to you? Discover the difference between a prestige goal and a competency goal. If you go for the applause, failure is just around the corner, achieving your goal makes you more valuable to others and the message you convey is many times greater than you, then you continue until it is completed.

    1. Marcel wrote:

      "experience discipline as love for yourself"

      When you get it... when you really get it... Success becomes a piece of cake.

      Thank you Marcel for putting it in so few words.

  9. Take small steps.
    Be as consistent as possible when you want to achieve something.
    Don't be too harsh on yourself when you miss out on occasion. It can be healthy for you, you might fall in to rigidity when you become too strict.
    Tell someone else about your goal.
    And it is like Bina sais, it is a muscle that needs training.

  10. Yes, I agree with you Bina I believe that I need rewards and can forgive myself when I fall short. I am retired anyway and everything that I do for volunteer-work and lessons in maths feels as extra. As long as I enjoy learning from others and experiment with things that are new for me I will set myself goals and celebrate when I achieve them. I like the freedom.

  11. Turn goals into small steps.

    Tell others what I plan on doing

    Set alarms to start something

    Set alarms to stop doing something

    Have clarity on why I want to achieve something

    Have a partner who goes for the same goals or their own goals (My little brother and I are both going to run a marathon this year. He will be a bit faster)

  12. ouch. This is a confronting one. Lately I discovered that I physically react (aka I get sick) when I put too much pressure on myself. I love using external triggers too for discipline: a buddy, a reward system (I even had a punishment system with my first buddy).... but when the pressure gets too much, I am not even aware of it but I get sick.

    That taught me a few lessons.

    1. Do the 80/20. Which gives me the most value? As Nisandeh said- I am putting my foot on the gas but keep being in first gear- using a lot of energy but not moving forward. What should I do that DOES give me the most value?
    2. I can totally work with doing something 5 times a week instead of 7. I know, I know. 7 would be much easier to install a daily habit but my life simply isn't that structured and when I commit myself to 5 times a week it gives me exactly the right amount of slack. I know this is not for everyone.. but I need it.
    3. Don't do things just because I want to do them but keep on thinking what is important. When my body is giving me a signal that I need to take a break, I should take a break. What I tend to do is then try to do as much as possible, but I do them half, and I can't do all of them, which is giving me a bad feeling. I really need to learn this. When it's time to take a break, take a break.

    4. Don't be disappointed when I don't make it. Simply get back in line and make sure this time I do it at least longer than last time. I do spanish every day, and my record is 129 days. Right now I am on 127 again, so I'll break it. Even if it took me a few years.

    5. It takes time to build a daily habit. Some habits are fast, some take months. That's ok.

    6. Don't have habits for the habits. Make sure I know why I want them.

    7. There's also habits of NOT doing. To me, my current challenge is impulsive spending. That's also possible to track:)

    8. I like tracking. I have a simple excel file where I put in what I want to do, and simply add a 0 or a 1 whether I did it or not. Fill it in every evening and I'll track if I did them all. Lately I have to drag myself out of bed again because I need to floss:D

    anyway. I find it very challenging to find the balance between when to push through and when to be kind to myself.

  13. 1. Make calculations (pros and cons) before you decide whether to commit to a new big challenge or not. To start following a new path can be very emotional. A little rationality is helpful.

    2. Keep track of your results, by using a (daily) checklist. You can see your progression, it helps keeping motivated.

    3. When you feel resistance implementing your new habit in your new life: don't think, just do it.

    4. When temptation gets really bad, talk to your demon. Tell him you don't listen to him anymore and say it out loud.

    5. Share your ambitions and decisions with close friends and family. They can give you support so you won't feel alone with your struggle.

    6. Do it for your loved ones. YOU should be you biggest motivation, but sometimes that doesn't work. Then do it for the people you love.

    7. Sometimes it helps to change your physical space/environment (interior, office) It will remind you of the new path you follow and helps you maintaining your new goals.

    8. When it comes to an addiction, realize he's like an untrue friend you have to say goodbye.

  14. A complete list today where #8 sticks... This is where I see a big difference in mentality.
    # Imagine what it looks like when you have reached your goal. And Imagine how you would feel.
    # Don't complain when encountering drawbacks. Although sometimes it feels unfair, everybody has them. Recover and move on....
    # There is no easy wat out, and postponing will not may things go away or make them easier (99% of the time). So bury your excuses.
    # Set REALISTIC goals. This way you will learn self discipline may or will pay off. Next time it will be easier already.

  15. I believe that self-discipline is like a muscle, the more you practice it the better you become with it until it becomes a habit and then you don't need self-discipline as it is part of you.

    Here are a few ways I've found that helped me in becoming good at self-discipline and even turn it into a habit:
    1. MAKE IT FUN - when you think of self-discipline it sounds in many cases as if it's more of a punishment than something that is for your own good. Therefore for me anything that I realise that I need to improve with more self-discipline I look how to make it fun for myself.

    2. SMALL STEPS - I ALWAYS start with small steps and raise the bar each time.

    3. SHORT DEADLINES - When taking the small steps I also make sure I have clear and defined deadlines for them

    4. CELEBRATE - When I finish each step on time (even before) I make sure to celebrate it and if it is a big step I reward myself for reaching it.

    5. BE KIND TO YOURSELF - Feeling guilty when not reaching the goals or missing on your schedule or "breaking the chain" is never gonna strengthen your discipline only make you feel bad about yourself which is the total opposite - therefore I believe that being kind to yourself instead will get you quicker to your desired result

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