Self Discipline: A Beginner’s Guide


Self Discipline: A Beginner’s Guide

Self Discipline is a skill that has to be maintained the same way we maintain our health. The other day I had to remind myself about self discipline after deciding whether to work out or remain on my couch watching Netflix.

To give a basic term to what self discipline means, it’s setting our mind to achieve total concentration and control of our actions. It could sometimes be hard to make boring and responsible decisions, but it’s what sets us on the right track to success.

To change our life for the best starts with self discipline because it trains us to categorize our priorities and goals. It doesn’t matter whether it’s self discipline in school, sports, business, or your diet. Each requires a balanced focus of preparing your mind to go after what’s best for you. For those who would like another definite meaning of self discipline, it’s the ability to take control of your actions despite your emotional state.

When people have the motivation to start something, it only temporarily lasts before it’s depleted by our feelings and emotions. The moment someone stop feeling the passion burning inside their heart is the moment they decide to walk away from their goals.

They allow negative thoughts to cloud their mind and take control of their will. They find it easier to make excuses whenever they’re faced with a difficult task and they aren’t in the mood. That’s where the importance of self discipline comes into play. It’s the tool we use when trapped in darkness and doubt.

Self discipline acts as the light to guide us through our darkest moments. I like to think of Self Discipline as an annoying drill sergeant who continues to scream in my mind to do something I’m supposed to do. At times we do feel motivated to do as he says, but most times I just want to tell him to put a rag in it.

However, the only reason I don’t use my awesome imagination skills to overthrow the Sergeant is because I know what the consequences would be.

The first time I adopted the principles of self discipline was when I went to high school and was placed in Honor classes for the first time ever. It was new to me because I’d never been in an advanced class before. The students were different than the teens from my previous classes.

For starters, I didn’t have to worry about being asked by the entire class to cheat off my test. But what I liked most about the students in honor classes was that they had goals set for the future.

That, and they didn’t disturb the teacher during class. It was such a great place to study, but along those privileges came the realization of my work tripling. I no longer had the spare time to do the things I wanted to do while keeping up with my honor classes.

Instead, I had to schedule a new lifestyle that would balance my school, sports, and personal life. This was when self discipline was introduced to me. In it, I learned the philosophy of applying a new way of thinking. For example, I was no longer able to do an assignment when I simply felt like it. I developed a conscious behavior that allowed me to become aware of my actions, and if I neglected them, I would only be hurting myself.

When we adopt a lifestyle towards self discipline, it’s more than just a decision we make, but a commitment. It’s creating a bond with ourselves to become better people by sticking to values rather than our emotions. Self discipline isn’t something we could simply rely on others for. It takes internal coaching to remind ourselves on what needs to be done and why.

If you’re new to self discipline and would like a beginner’s guide on how to apply it, I first want you to imagine it the same way we build our endurance to run several miles. We’re not going to be good at it at first, but gradually over time we begin understanding the methods. Our bodies and minds stop fighting the resistance little by little until it accepts what you’re doing. Such as working out, self discipline isn’t mastered in only a day.

It takes commitment and a consistently to master it. Once mastered, your ability to drive towards success will happen. To break down the pattern to start controlling your life, here is:


Self Discipline method 1:

Setting your goals

Set your goals because this prepares you to move forward. It’s goals that give people the motivation to keep moving on even during rough times. The longer we stick to our goals, the more it starts transforming our minds into ultimate machines. Or in other words, a sense of purpose and inspiration will be embedded into it.

Most importantly, goals are the seeds that help us believe in ourselves. It takes more than just dreaming about doing something we want to do. It takes jotting down our goal on a piece of paper and questioning what direction to take in life. Ways of discovering your goals are questioning what you want most.

Look past money, power, and fame and see what sets your heart at ease if you were to obtain it. A way to help is finding a quiet place and meditating. From there, I recommend writing whatever you think of on a piece of paper or journal so it could remind you in the future.


Self Discipline method 2:

Clearing your Mind

Once your goals are set, take a moment to cleanse your mind of all the unimportant things in your life. A method that helps you stop thinking about the problems surrounding you is spending some time to yourself. That way, you’ll be able to ask yourself challenging questions that will test your values.

Perhaps you spend a lot of time playing video games or watching Netflix. This would be the time you tell yourself to drop those activities from your life in exchange for something more productive that will lead you towards your dreams.

We’re all given only 24 hours in a day. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or who you are. So use the hours given to you to get organized mentally, and set your prioritizes on the right track. The path that leads to success will always require sacrificing one pleasure for the other.

To give an example, I’m personally a YouTube addict. If possible, I could stay on there for hours watching random videos. But if I did that, I would never be able to find spare time to work on our business, my job, and my personal life. So I take a little time off my schedule every now and then and relax on YouTube. But I don’t do that until I finish my other top priorities.


Self Discipline method 3:

Managing your Schedule

 This is where you balance work with pleasure. Such as I said above, we’re all only given 24 hours in a day to do what has to be done. We’re not expected to complete our dream list in days, and if you did, you’re either the luckiest person in existence or you didn’t set your dreams high enough.

Dreams that flourishes our mind take time every day before reaching them. Once your goals and prioritizes are set, create a schedule to know how you’re going to get there.

Rather than going with the flow, create a chart or journal to keep track of what you’re doing. As humans, it’s easy to be drawn by other forces that take our interests. By tracking our time and making realistic expectations on how to balance our goals and personal time, it keeps our lives in order.  It reminds us of the places we need to be and the assignments we have to do.


Self Discipline method 4:

Accepting Hard Work

 Hard work plays a vital role when it comes to success. In the modern age, it’s hard for people to embrace the importance of hard work because we expect things to simply be given to us.

People tend to look for shortcuts to about anything, which is the reason why so many companies are able to stand tall today. It’s why dieting Corporations are still able to sell “magic pills” that lets you lose 50 pounds within a week.

Though it is true some people could succeed in areas with little work, it’s the value of hard work that truly defines a person. It transform their mind into an ultimate machine that allows them to feel a great bundle of confidence rocking them. It’s through hard work that a person learns the path to success and could easily climb back to the top again by applying the same methods they did before. 


Self Discipline method 5:

Staying Persistence

Lastly, it takes being persistent to stick towards the philosophy of self discipline. This is what separates winners from losers because there comes a point to everyone lives where they feel like they’re going to fail. This is when they arrive to a dark place and need that drill Sergeant to scream into their ears. Most people usually get scared and turn away from their dreams; but it’s holding a persistent mindset that reminds us not to give up.

It’s persistence that gives someone the strength to resist the human tendency of giving up and doing something funner instead. Our brains only care about our survival and passing on our genetics to the next generation. It doesn’t care if you reached your dreams, and it’ll try to persuade you from time to time to give up and do something exciting to keep you safe.

If you hold onto persistence, it gives you hope because you know you’re going to see the results you want. No one likes facing difficult times when adopting self discipline, but it’s necessary if you want to succeed. For those who question how to develop persistence, try looking at the bigger picture instead of the small stains. It’s the bigger picture that makes the small drops irrelevant. 


In final thoughts….

There’s more areas when it comes to mastering self discipline, but these 5 tools are for those who are ready to embark on a journey of self discipline. It’s teaching them the route to reach their desires and stay committed to their dreams to become successful. The reason this is a difficult path for most people is because it takes a strong mindset to push through the darkness and actually listen to what our drill Sergeant tells us.


About Author

Besides being random and dealing with ADHD from time to time, Michael Gregory II is the CEO of the Self Development Workshop. He's traveled to over a dozen countries, counselled a variety of people, and continues furthering his knowledge in self-development, depression, and mastering your happiness. On his lazy days, he enjoy watching people, reading in Starbucks, and speaking to random strangers. (Yeah, he’s weird.)


  1. Very well suggestion. People should come up with goal by their own will. In my opinion, this world keeps doing against the nature. In the school, it teaches us discipline and responsibility but inside its rules, there is no freedom for student.

    Freedom especially freedom in setting goals from people’s desire has to come first. Then discipline will definitely and naturally come . In the other word, discipline should not come without freedom.

    I love your suggestions. Keep posting.
    Jade the Mystic

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