How to Be More Disciplined: A Full Guide

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Struggling to stay focused? Finding it hard to stick to your goals? You’re not alone. Discipline is the key to achieving success, yet it’s something many of us struggle with. Whether it’s sticking to a fitness routine, meeting deadlines, or simply resisting distractions, discipline can make or break your progress.

Here’s the thing, though. Discipline isn’t about being perfect. It’s about consistency. Research from the British Psychology Society shows that self-discipline is a better predictor of success than IQ. Imagine what you could achieve if you could be disciplined!

That’s why in this article, I’m going to cover everything I’ve learned in my self-development journey about how to be more disciplined. By the end of it, you’ll have a plan of action.

Ready to transform your habits and achieve your goals? Let’s get started.

What is Discipline?

Alright, let’s break down what discipline really means. Discipline isn’t about being rigid or punishing yourself. It’s about control and commitment. It’s the ability to stick to your plans and goals despite the distractions and temptations that come your way.

Self-Discipline vs. External Discipline

There are two main types of discipline: self-discipline and external discipline. Self-discipline is the internal drive to stay focused and stick to your commitments. It’s what keeps you going when no one’s watching. External discipline, on the other hand, comes from outside influences like rules, deadlines, or accountability to others.

Benefits of Discipline

Why should you care about discipline? Because it’s the foundation of everything in life. Studies show that disciplined individuals tend to achieve more in life. According to research from Duke University, habits account for about 40% of our behaviors on any given day. When you build disciplined habits, you set yourself up for consistent success.

  • Personal Success: Discipline helps you achieve personal goals, whether it’s learning a new skill, losing weight, or saving money. It’s the foundation of personal growth.
  • Professional Growth: In the workplace, discipline translates to meeting deadlines, achieving targets, and advancing in your career. Employers value disciplined employees because they can rely on them.
  • Health and Well-being: Discipline plays a crucial role in maintaining your health. It’s what gets you to the gym, helps you stick to a healthy diet, and ensures you get enough sleep.

I recommend watching my video on lifestyle design to learn more about creating your dream life through discipline.

Understanding discipline and its benefits is the first step. Next, let’s touch on the common challenges that often lead to distraction and procrastination.

Common Barriers to Discipline

Let’s get real about the obstacles that can hurt your discipline. Knowing these barriers is the first step to overcoming them.


Procrastination is the enemy of discipline. It’s that little voice telling you to put things off until later. I’m guilty of this myself on occasion. According to a study by the University of Calgary, 20% of adults are chronic procrastinators.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of “I’ll do it tomorrow.” The problem is, that tomorrow never comes. The key to beating procrastination is action. Start small. Break tasks into manageable chunks. Just get started, and momentum will follow.

Lack of Motivation

We all have days when motivation is low. It’s normal. But if it’s a constant struggle, it’s a problem. The trick is to find your why. Why is this goal important to you? Connect with that deeper purpose. Also, don’t rely solely on motivation. Build habits that make discipline automatic.


We live in a world full of distractions. Social media, emails, Netflix – the list goes on. The average person spends hours a day on their phone. That’s a lot of time that could be spent on productive activities.

To combat distractions, create a focused work environment. Turn off notifications, use apps like Freedom to block distracting sites, and set specific times for checking emails and social media.

I used to have a coworking membership and it was a great investment. It helped me have a place outside of the house to work and stay focused. Check if there are coworking places in your town as it can be a good way to combat distractions.

Fear of Failure

Fear of failure can paralyze you. It makes you hesitant to start or stick with something. I’ve seen many friends and students not achieve their goals due to fear of failure. The key is to reframe failure. See it as a learning opportunity, not a setback. Embrace the process and learn from your mistakes.

Lack of Clear Goals

Without clear goals, it’s hard to stay disciplined. You need a roadmap. According to research from the Dominican University of California, people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them.

Set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Clear goals give you direction and a sense of purpose. You can read my article on this topic to learn more.

Stress and Overwhelm

When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, discipline can take a back seat. The solution? Manage your stress. Practice mindfulness, take breaks, exercise, and don’t overcommit. Focus on what you can control and tackle one task at a time.

The Importance of Discipline

With all of that being said, why is it important to be disciplined? Discipline is the backbone of achieving anything worthwhile. Without it, your goals are just dreams. Here’s why discipline is crucial.

Personal Success

Discipline is what turns your ambitions into reality. People with high self-control are happier and more successful. They stick to their goals, overcome challenges, and avoid distractions. Whether it’s learning a new skill, losing weight, or saving money, discipline is your best ally. It helps you stay focused and motivated, turning your plans into actions.

Professional Growth

In your career, discipline sets you apart. It’s what ensures you meet deadlines, produce quality work, and continuously improve. Employers notice disciplined employees; they’re the ones who get promotions and raises.

According to studies, 90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence, which includes self-discipline. This trait is essential for managing time effectively, prioritizing tasks, and maintaining high performance under pressure.

Health and Well-being

Health is wealth as I like to say. Your health relies on disciplined habits. Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep all require a level of discipline. Consistent healthy habits significantly reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Discipline helps you maintain these habits, leading to better physical and mental health. It also reduces stress, as a structured approach to life allows you to manage your time and responsibilities more effectively.

Steps to Develop More Discipline

Ready to get serious about discipline? Here are the steps you need to take.

1. Set Clear Goals

First, you need a target. Without clear goals, discipline is like wandering in the dark. Use the SMART criteria – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. Specific goals give you direction and purpose. Break them down into short-term and long-term objectives to make them more manageable.

2. Create a Plan

A goal without a plan is just a wish. Outline the steps you need to take to reach your goals. Schedule your tasks and stick to the plan. Daily routines help build consistency. According to research from the Dominican University of California, people who write down their goals and plans are significantly more likely to achieve them.

3. Build Healthy Habits

Discipline is all about habits. Start small. Incorporate one new habit at a time. Consistency is key. Habits like regular exercise, healthy eating, and proper sleep can boost your overall discipline. James Clear, in his book “Atomic Habits,” explains that small habits compound over time, leading to significant results.

4. Eliminate Distractions

Identify what distracts you and eliminate it. Create a productive environment. Use tools like Freedom or StayFocusd to block distracting websites. Set specific times to check emails and social media. Less distraction means more focus, which directly boosts discipline.

5. Stay Accountable

Accountability can keep you on track. Share your goals with a friend or mentor. Regular check-ins can help you stay committed. Tracking your progress is also crucial. Use a journal or apps like Habitica to monitor your habits and achievements.

6. Cultivate Self-Control

Self-control is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Practice mindfulness and meditation to enhance self-awareness. Learn to delay gratification. Reward yourself for sticking to your plan, but don’t overdo it. Small rewards can reinforce disciplined behavior.

7. Manage Stress

Stress can derail your efforts. Develop strategies to manage it. Regular exercise, meditation, and proper sleep are great for reducing stress. Learn to say no to additional commitments that can overwhelm you. Focus on what you can control and take things one step at a time.

8. Reflect and Adjust

Regularly review your progress. What’s working? What’s not? Be flexible and adjust your plans as needed. Reflection helps you learn from your experiences and refine your strategies.

Building discipline isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a continuous process. But with clear goals, a solid plan, and the right habits, you can develop the discipline needed to achieve your dreams. Start implementing these strategies today and watch your discipline grow.

Final Thoughts on How to Become Disciplined

Discipline is the foundation of success. It’s what transforms goals into achievements. By setting clear goals, creating a solid plan, building healthy habits, and eliminating distractions, you can develop the discipline you need. Remember, it’s about consistency, not perfection.

Start small. Make one change today. Maybe it’s setting a SMART goal or eliminating a major distraction. Track your progress, stay accountable, and adjust as needed. It’s a continuous process, but every step brings you closer to your goals.

Ready to transform your life with discipline? Enroll in my Transformation Academy to get courses and coaching on self-improvement.

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