Need More Self-Discipline?

Is self-discipline an area that you need to improve in? If so then hopefully the following tips and advice will help you get to grips with this skill which often challenges people!

Self-discipline is definitely something I am focused on at the moment! As someone who has recently started to undertake formal study again (for the Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement) I am having to be very self-disciplined.

Each day we have choices to make. Wake up early and do some early morning exercise, or get an extra hour of sleep? Pack a healthy lunch to take to work, or buy something at lunchtime? Throw a little extra money in your savings account, or buy that new gadget or pair of shoes you’ve been thinking about all month?

Deep down inside, we know which actions will yield the best results. Yet many of us struggle with making the best decisions. How do we overcome these challenges? Self-discipline is the answer.

Why Is Self-Discipline Important?

If you want to be successful and reach your goals, self-discipline is the most crucial skill to master. Frequently, the best choices aren’t the fastest, easiest, or most pleasant. So you must exercise a high level of control over your emotions and behaviour. Improving your ability to do what is best for you regardless of initial desire is the only way to make consistent progress in life. As such, if self-discipline is your foundational skill, you grow more effective in everything you do.

The Benefits Of Self-Discipline

When you develop a stronger sense of self-control, you can expect multiple improvements across many areas of your life. Here are just a few benefits of self-discipline.

1- Improved Health

First, improving your self-discipline leads to improved physical health. Exercising control over the quality and quantity of food you consume, establishing a regular fitness routine, and drinking enough water help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your chances of illness and disease, and increase your chances of longevity and vitality later in life.

 2- Greater Academic and Career Success

Next, self-discipline helps you make choices that can lead to higher academic and career success. Sometimes you must choose between studying longer hours and spending time out with friends, or staying late after work to complete a project and heading home to relax. Self-discipline helps you see the value of delayed gratification, which pays off down the line.

3- Better Relationships

Third, self-discipline improves your relationships because you become a person who follows through on your commitments. People in your life learn they can trust you to do what you say you will, and they view you more favorably.

4- Better Financial Health

Next, gaining better control over your finances is another direct benefit of self-discipline. While it’s more fun to spend money than it is to save, the disciplined individual sees the long-term benefit of putting money away for a rainy day. That’s not to say you pinch pennies and sacrifice quality of life. Self-discipline isn’t supposed to make you miserable. Instead, it’s about weighing the pros and cons and making decisions that bring you closer to your goals.

Examples of financial self-discipline that don’t require total restriction include regularly putting a certain percentage of each paycheck into your savings account or sticking to a budget that allocates a certain amount of money each month for discretionary spending. You still get to enjoy the present, though, not at the expense of your future.

5- Fewer Regrets

Another benefit of growing more self-disciplined is that you’ll have fewer regrets because you make better choices in the first place.

You’ll eliminate such problems as saying the wrong thing at the wrong time because you’re disciplined enough to think before speaking.

You’ll avoid jumping to conclusions, give yourself time to gather information before making decisions, and make choices based on facts rather than emotion or opinion.

6- Improved Time Management

With an ever-growing list of things vying for our attention, it seems that time is often in short supply. One of the best benefits of self-discipline is improved management of your time.

For example, social media can be the ultimate time-killer if you don’t exercise self-control. While it can be useful at times, you can easily fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling through news feeds when you could be completing other tasks.

7- See Projects Through To The End

Finally, self-discipline helps you complete tasks and projects that you start, even when you lose steam or desire. Motivation is always high at the beginning of a new goal. Whether it’s a new diet plan, a new business idea, or even new relationships to a certain degree, when things are fresh, there is nothing but excitement and stimulation ahead.

Yet over time, motivation fades, challenges arise, reality sets in, and its tempting to go back to something more familiar or move on to the next shiny object.

Exercising self-control and choosing to finish what you start, within reason, even when you lose motivation and desire means you not only have the finished project under your belt, but you’ve learned lessons and acquired skills you wouldn’t have had you quit.


As the American writer, philosopher and artist, Elbert Hubbard once said, “Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”

Understanding the importance of self-discipline, then taking steps to improve this most critical skill is perhaps the best thing you can do for your personal development and likelihood of lifetime success.

Be A Lifelong Learner

If you were to develop one skill to help you in all aspects of your life, what would it be?

Studies have shown that one of the best gifts you can give yourself is to become a lifelong learner. What exactly is a Lifelong Learner? A simple definition is that it is someone that “engages in  the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.”  Why should you be a Lifelong Learner? Because, quite simply, without learning, the mind stagnates.

Thankfully, becoming a lifelong learner isn’t hard. Below are ten easy ways to build a habit of learning that will serve you in years to come.


Unless you make lifelong learning a priority, you’re not going to do it. You start with committing to change and then go from there.

Create a Personalised Learning Environment

True learning results when you take charge of your learning environment. Sit down with your mentor and make concrete goals. Set up a system that enables you to learn and a setting in which you can learn. Once you have this, you are truly ready to begin.


Read books, magazines, news articles, academic journals, and anything that catches your attention. If it’s interesting to you, then it’s worth perusing.

Keep a List

Have a question? Write it down. Come back to this list later and Google the answers. Let this become the jumping off point for learning new things.


Create a project out of one of the things you find interesting. Set goals, give a timeline, and a final deadline to complete it. Invite others to take part in your project with you. You learn so much more when you collaborate. Create milestones and celebrate each one on your road to completion.


Engage with and socialize with  people who also enjoy learning. These will become your encouragers and mentors along the way.

Become a Mentor Yourself

We all have something we’re good at and could help others learn. Your particular skill set might be what someone else needs to succeed. By getting involved in mentoring, you find yourself not only cementing the knowledge you already have but learning new things as well.

Study with Others

When you work with a group, it’s generally easier to learn as you can draw upon the base of shared knowledge. That, in turn, helps you to discover new things yourself.

Seek out a Job that Encourages Lifelong Learning

The final step toward lifelong learning is to find work where you are encouraged to learn new things, and which continually challenges you.

Remember, building habits that lead to lifelong learning relies on repetition. Consciously engage in learning activities as often as possible, making them a part of every single day if you can, for optimal success.

Finding Your Best Time to Work

“The early bird gets the worm.” We’ve all heard the aphorism, but is it true? Are morning people more productive? In a word, no.

There really are early birds and late owls (and people in the middle), but there isn’t one way that’s “best”. Instead, the key to productivity is to understand your own circadian rhythms and schedule your day to take advantage of your most productive times. Here’s how.

Think About It

The fact is, you probably already know when your most productive time is. Spend a few minutes considering your average day and think about how you feel at each point. Do you find yourself springing out of bed, or do you need a few coffees?

Or do you get sleepy mid-afternoon, or are you just hitting your stride? Are you perhaps someone who falls asleep shortly after dinner, or do you get a rush of inspiration as the sun goes down and work furiously into the night? Jot down a quick graph of your daily energy ebbs and flows.

Keep a Journal

If reflecting on your usual day doesn’t help, try journaling for a few days. Once every hour, make a note of how you are feeling and what you are doing. After a few days, your usual daily rhythm should start to be clear.

Pay Attention to Mealtimes

The timing, quality and quantity of meals has a tremendous effect on how focused and productive we are. Some people feel sleepy after a large meal, while others can’t think if they are hungry.

While the basics of healthy eating are well known, each person’s response to food is highly individual. Scientists are working on tests that will let them prescribe the optimum diet for each person, but until then, paying attention to your body is the best tool we have. Chances are, you already know whether that bagel is going to fuel your day or send you into a stupor. If your goal is productivity, put that knowledge to use.

Scheduling Your Day for Productivity

Once you have a good idea of your best and worst times of day, as well as how food affects your productivity, it’s time to reschedule your day. If possible, change your work hours to fit your most productive times. If that’s not possible, try to schedule your most important work for your most alert times of day. Save your easy, repetitive work for the pre-noon hangry time or the 4PM slump.

If you know hunger affects you, stock up on healthy snacks for work. On the other hand, if big lunches make you sleepy, have a salad and chicken breast rather than the pasta. As you make changes in your schedule, keep notes on what works and what doesn’t. Before long, you’ll have optimized your day for productivity.

How to Move On When You Make a Mistake

If you are like most people, then you have probably lost quite a bit of sleep to ruminating on past mistakes. Everyone does that. They lay in their bed at night and just as they are about to sleep, they start dwelling on some mistake they made.

Sometimes the mistake was yesterday and sometimes the mistake was a decade ago. Thankfully, there are a lot of different strategies that you can try to make getting over a mistake a lot easier. In this article, you will find out a few different ways that you can get over mistakes, no matter how severe.

Look for Some Positives

No matter how severe a mistake is, there is a good chance that it may have some positive aspects to it. You have to try and look for a silver lining in any mistake and focus on that, instead of the negatives. A good example of this would be mistakes that cause you to learn something.

We all make mistakes, but we also all learn from our mistakes as well. Focus less on the mistake, and more on what you learned as a result of the mistake.

Look at the Mistake in Context

One thing about humans is that we tend to really overinflate the impact of mistakes in our mind. Sometimes it can be helpful to try and distance yourself from a mistake and ask yourself “did it really matter in the end?”

This happens a lot with social gaffes. People say the wrong thing to someone and assume that the other person was very offended by it and is thinking about it; however, the reality is often that the person has forgotten about the conversation entirely. So, it is worth distancing yourself from a mistake and asking if the mistake is really as bad as you are making it out to be.

Do Something to Make Amends

A big reason why so many people dwell on mistakes is that they don’t ever do anything to make up for the mistake. Making up for the mistake, if that’s possible, can really help you to stop dwelling on it.

Obviously, this doesn’t apply to every mistake, but if you can think of a way to try and repair the damage done by a mistake that you made, that will go a long way towards helping you to overcome the mistake and move on.

Starting Your Personal Development Journey

There is a Chinese quote ascribed to Laozi although sometimes also to Confucius that goes “a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” So it is when we set off on a journey of Personal Development.

When you first start your personal development journey, it can be tempting to take short cuts. You think that you already know who you are, what you want, and what you stand for, and how to exemplify that. However, that’s not how the human mind works.

Often, we hide truths from ourselves and are not honest with ourselves about these issues. For this reason, the following ideas will hopefully help you think about how you approach starting your personal development journey so that you will succeed.

Don’t Skip the SWOT – It’s imperative that you perform analysis on yourself in every aspect of your life to find out what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you face for any of the target issues you want to address. For example, if you perform a SWOT and realize that you’re not very good at something, you then have a choice. You can find someone who is to do it for you, or you can find training to learn to do it.

Nurture Your Strengths – When you perform the SWOT for any sector of your life, you’ll also identify your strengths. The best thing to do in life is to choose to lead with your strengths. You want to keep doing the things you’re strong at and learn to do them even better since you’re obviously interested in those things.

Improve Your Weaknesses – When you find out that you are weak in some area, you’ll need to determine whether you should improve it yourself or improve it by outsourcing it. To determine which is better, ask yourself whether it really matters who does it or just that it is done.

Understand The 3 Domains of Personal Development – They are, physical, cognitive, and social-emotional. Together, these domains cover all aspects of your life, including health, work, personal growth, spiritual life, and so forth. Working on all aspects of your life usually is much better than focusing only on one as they are sometimes indistinguishable.

Plan for Action – As you work through crafting your plan, nothing is done until you’ve set up action-packed steps and put them in your calendar scheduled for you to implement them. Whether you are doing it yourself, or outsourcing it, doing is the most critical part of the plan.

Focus on The Right Target Issue First – One reason it’s helpful to go through every single domain and issue you have before setting up a plan is that it helps you to know which issue to focus on first. For example, you cannot write a novel until you can read, and you can’t learn to write until you can read, first things first.

Be Persistent – Once you have your action plan, which is developed based on reality and not on how you wish it to be, you only now need to be persistent and take the steps to success. It truly is that easy. Once you have the steps scheduled in your calendar and you start implementing them, your life will begin to change.

Get a Coach – If you understand everything but your implementation skills leave something more to be desired, you may want to employ a life coach to help you. If you know some life coaches who specialize in personal development, you might want to talk to them. If you don’t know anyone, ask your colleagues for recommendations. It’s likely they will know someone or can direct you to someone who would know more on the topic.

One thing to remember about personal development is that it’s an ongoing process. You’re never done with it. There is no real finish line. For this reason, it’s best to develop tenacity and persistence as you follow the path you’ve created for yourself, adjusting as you go based on facts, and learning about what is really and truly important to you deep in your subconscious. It’s all about knowing who you are and living a life that illustrates who you are.