To be self-disciplined, you need to be able to motivate yourself to meet the goals that you set for yourself. You don’t need anyone’s outside help to get done what needs to get done. You do what you said you would – whether that was said to yourself or someone else, and even if you don’t feel like it. To get a bigger understanding of what self-discipline is, let’s look at some examples.
1. Waking Up on Time
The ability to get yourself up before work, get properly dressed, fed, exercised and out the door on time to get to work is a trait of self-discipline. Sure, if you’re late enough, you may get fired, so there is some outside push there. However, for most people, it’s simply self-discipline that gets them going each day.
2. Acting Respectfully Toward Others
Everyone has thoughts in their head about people they meet during the day. That person who cut you off? That person who is walking too slowly in the store when you’re in a hurry? With good self-discipline you will still be respectful toward everyone regardless of your feelings, hunger, or mood at the time.
3. Eating Healthily
There are so many things out there to eat that aren’t good for you. A person who chooses to eat healthily 80 to 90 percent of the time is demonstrating excellent self-discipline by saying no today to short-term pleasure, in exchange for being healthier in the long term.
4. Exercising Daily
Some people really do love exercise and get a true “high” or addiction off it. But most of us don’t. A person who goes ahead and does their exercise anyway each day, because they have goals, is showing how self-disciplined they are.
5. Meeting Deadlines
Sometimes you’ll see the words “self-starter” in a job description, but what they really want is a person who is self-disciplined enough to make and meet deadlines without a lot of outside influence.
6. Avoiding Temptation
A truly self-disciplined person doesn’t allow temptation to be a factor in their lives because they work to avoid it. If they’re tempted by donuts, they don’t walk into a donut shop. If they want to save money, they get it taken out of their paycheck; they’re never tempted to spend it since they don’t see it.
7. Following Through
A self-disciplined person tends to do what they say they’ll do. They have follow-through. If they say they’ll get something done on Friday, they will do what they can to get done on Friday without anyone reminding them.
8. Creating Good Habits
A person with self-discipline knows that the best way to stick to any goal is to create good habits surrounding that goal. For example, a person who has the goal to get up an hour earlier, to go to the gym, knows that it’s going to be only willpower the first month, then after that, a habit will be created.
Self-discipline doesn’t mean that a person never has fun. The ability to let go of weakness and do what you know is right is the best example of self-discipline. It doesn’t matter if you’re at work or at home; being able to control yourself is essential to your happiness and success.