7 Little Changes That Will Make A Big Difference With Your Self-Discipline 

Everyone is born with the unique skill and ability to regulate one’s emotions and behavior. Self-discipline is a component of our brain’s executive function, which helps us to plan, monitor, and attain goals. But just a few people have mastered the act of using this executive function for their own gain. The few that have mastered it are more likely to be the most successful in life because of their self-discipline ability.

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7 Little Ways to Improve Self-Discipline

“You have power over your mind—not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”


Therefore, it is a no-brainer that every successful person at some point in their journey had to pay a price. Sacrifices were made. They had to forgo some momentary pleasure for future gains. It could be eating a low-carb diet to avoid being overweight, reading every night to pass examinations, waking up as early as 4 a.m. to prepare for work, etc. They are not easy on their own, but worth doing for the future.

What is Self-Discipline?

These sacrifices are products of self-control, focus, and self-discipline. Among these three factors, self-discipline is the driver. Self-discipline is successfully choosing between competing behaviors to your preferred behavior or alternatives.

What does it mean to have self-discipline?

Self-discipline is about cultivating new habits, actions, and routines towards enhancing oneself and reaching set goals and objectives. It involves practicing self-control. Our ability to forgo immediate pleasures for long-term goals. It is the ability to control your desire, cravings, and impulses, and to be focused on what needs to be achieved.

What are the 7 ways to become self-disciplined?

If you are looking for ways to improve yourself and be more effective, here are 7 little changes you can start implementing today to experience amazing results. These are not hacks, but simple habits that will help you master the act of self-discipline.

How do you develop self-discipline?

  1. Practice Self Awareness

    Any habit, both the good and bad ones, take on three processes; trigger (the thing that instigates the behavior), behavior (the action you take), and reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior). Instead of allowing the bad side to win, use this process for your gain.

    Practicing self-awareness will help you identify the things that trigger that behavior that you want to quit or improve on. Being self-aware will help you identify distractions and setbacks so that you can focus on what needs to be done. It helps you identify the reason why you need discipline in a particular situation and find out what is causing the resistance.

    For instance, if you want to cultivate the habit of daily exercise, being self-aware will help you identify that you’re gaining weight, then you can take action by exercising daily and gain the reward of avoiding overweight or obesity.
  2. Set achievable goals

    Setting a goal(s) for yourself is good, but making it achievable is better. To set achievable goals you have to make them active.  Active goals are written, they have specific and measurable quantities or qualities, and there is a plan for their attainment. You can employ the pre-commitment self-control strategy. This strategy simply allows you to make plans on what to do in advance, the time to do it, and how to achieve it. With this strategy, you can set preventive measures and block off distractions. You will be sure to stay on track.

    Also, focus on one task at a time. Don’t multitask, especially when you want to achieve something important. Take Small Consistent Steps of daily action to build a strong set of disciplined routines that fulfill your objectives. Believe it or not, it’s your daily choices that accumulate to produce the changes you want. Take those baby steps and see how amazing things will turn out in no distant time.
  3. Enjoy being In Control

    “Rule your mind or it will rule you.” – Horace

    The beauty of discipline is that it empowers you to be in control of your actions, the CEO of your life, and the architecture of how you show up. You don’t have to allow your feelings and impulses to control and decide your fate, rather you direct and oversee how you react to situations. Therefore, don’t make it look like a hard job (although it is, and requires a lot of effort), but you have to enjoy being in control of your actions.

    In the same vein, quit procrastination. Learn to take action when they are supposed to be done. Procrastination is a thing of the mind, therefore be in control. Find out what is causing resistance and learn to buffer that resistance by replacing them with a positive routine.
  4. Focus on what needs to be done rather than what you want to resist.

    “What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.” – Aristotle

    Clearly defining what you plan to undertake and when you intend to do it, will help a lot in this aspect. Focus is important, but don’t pay too much attention to those habits you want to stop, instead concentrate on ways to improve.

    The things you want to achieve. Instead of thinking about how good junk foods taste, why not fill your mind with the benefits of eating healthy natural fruits and vegetables? Try to distract yourself with better alternatives, and change the way you think about the bad habit so you don’t favor them as much as you want to quit. “Out of sight, out of mind” may sound cliche, but is a subtle way to avoid distraction and stay focused.
  5. Learn when to say “NO”

    In your journey towards self-discipline, you will meet a lot of obstacles. Especially from people around you. Learning how and when to say NO will help you avoid these distractions. Learn to eliminate anything that will draw away your focus, become indestructible, and become a choice architect.

    You don’t have all the time and resources and you have a responsibility to yourself to be effective in achieving your set goals. Saying “NO”  allows you to choose where to put your time and energy. It allows you to focus on things that matter.
  6. Make Mistakes, but “Keep Moving”

    “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.” – John C. Maxwell

    Take note of the phrase “keep moving”. As with every endeavor, you will meet some obstacles and challenges. What makes the difference is that you don’t get stagnant. Sure you will meet some hurdles as you progress in your journey, but dust yourself and keep moving. Don’t spend time regretting things that you haven’t done, instead concentrate on becoming better.

    Develop ways to get back on track, you don’t have to have a perfect life. An easy way to do this is by showing up every day. If you want to cut down on calories, make sure to eat low-carb food every day. If you want to finish a 30 paged book in 3 days, read 10 chapters per day. Understand that habit-making is a process and doesn’t happen instantaneously. You must embrace the process to get there, commitment they say is the key to all disciplined people.
  7. Always congratulate/celebrate your little achievements.

    Celebrating little wins is critical to tracking your gradual achievements as you journey towards self-discipline. As it allows you to notice and pay attention to the present moment and things you have done right. Psychology has suggested that celebrating a small win could activate the reward center of your brain.

    Dopamine released during this process and produces feel-good emotions and satisfaction as part of the reward system. Dopamine helps you to experience the feeling of being rewarded and can result in you wanting to achieve even more.

    Your small win could be anything, such as completing a novel in one week, writing consistently for a month, cutting down your calorie intake by 10%, it can be finishing a new online course, or improving your skill sets.

    A good way to identify your little wins is by breaking tasks into smaller parts and assigning rewards to each completed task. You can say “once I finish writing two chapters of my book, I will go to the cinema”. Or that you will buy a new dress to celebrate your one week of active exercise.

Final Words…

“The temptation to take the easy road is always there. It is as easy as staying in bed in the morning and sleeping in. But discipline is paramount to ultimate success and victory for any leader and any team. ”

~ Jocko Willink

Beat yourself up today and start making changes. The longer you hold onto bad habits, the more difficult it is to break free from them. It is never too late to make changes and set yourself up for success.

A simple example of self-discipline

Self-discipline is as simple as taking a cup of water every day before going to bed or reducing your social media time from 10 hours a day to 4 hours a day. It hinges on your ability to control a portion of your day to build and be better. To be disciplined, you don’t need to take into account how you feel about doing something; you just have to do it because it needs to be done.

This article is gathered and written by a Creat creative, Enemuo Emmanuel who is a writer and a team member of the content writing team. You can also become a creative member of Creat.Ng by joining here, subscribing to the newsletter, and from there you can connect to be part of the creative community.


Abdul lateef olapade August 25, 2022

This is so inspiring…I hope I get to put all these in practice to help enhance my level of self discipline.

Labbie August 26, 2022

This write up is really nice, but it’s boring, it’s not making me wanna read to the end…. But the information within is awesome… Thank you

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