3 Ways to Boost Your Self-Discipline


Self-discipline is the ability to turn your intentions into actions. If you decide you want to do something, self-discipline is the thing that helps you actually get it done.

In this post I'll share 3 ways you can increase your self-discipline.


1. Take care of your body and mind

Get enough sleep: When I'm tired it's more challenging to follow through on difficult tasks. Sometimes my emotions can get the best of me and I'll procrastinate. If I feel rested, I have a much bigger reserve of discipline that I can pull from.

Eat well: When I eat too much junk food or sugar I start to get sluggish and lose energy. It's much harder to rise to the occasion and attack a hard project when I'm not feeling well. If I feel good it's much easier to get started.

Exercise consistently: When I'm feeling like I'm in a funk, I often realize that I haven't pushed myself physically for a few days. Getting my heart rate up with a run or even a quick 15 minute workout can give me a mental boost.


2. Challenge yourself regularly

For me, self-discipline works like a muscle. If I only do easy things all the time, I tend to lose my ability to rise to a challenge, just like I lose strength if I don't work out consistently.

That's why I try to take the opportunity to do things that are difficult or out of my comfort zone as often as I can. Things like taking a cold shower every morning, learning new skills on a deadline, having a difficult conversation, or doing something that scares me all help me overcome the imagined barriers that hold me back.

Do something everyday that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
— Mark Twain

3. Make consequences more immediate

One reason it's hard to stay disciplined in order to achieve long-term goals is because the reward or consequence is often so far out in the future that it feels like it doesn't matter what we do today. One way to get around this is to make immediate consequences for not following through.

Accountability: Working toward a goal with someone else can bring the immediate consequence of embarrassment if you don't follow through.

Monetary penalties: An app called StikK is a good example of this. With StikK you can set a short term goals, and if you don't meet them, you will automatically donate to a charity that you don't want to support. This makes the consequences more immediate which helps you be more consistent.

How do you stay disciplined?