how to build discipline
Image from Ivorymix

You may have experienced getting in a slump. As a result, you fail to get things done as planned. Or perhaps, you have all the time to finish what you have enumerated in your To-Do List for the day but end up not finishing it. Then, you start asking, how to build discipline?

I get that. Like you, I have my moments where I couldn’t seem to accomplish at least 70% of the things on my list. I seem to lack the motivation to actually finish one task.

You see, that another thing we somehow share in common is a lack of self-discipline. What does it mean to have such discipline by the way?

Curtis Leone’s Self-Discipline Mindset book defined Self-Discipline as the control you exert over yourself. That is, the control you have over your emotions, feelings, behaviors, actions, and thoughts.

It means avoiding unhealthy excesses of everything that can result in negative consequences. When you are self-disciplined, you easily control your urges to indulge in any unhealthy or unconstructive activity that can affect your productivity and easily stick to your mission and goal.

So, if you really wish to get things done in a timely manner, take the advice of Curtis Leone – build self-discipline.

Can you build discipline?

The simple and most obvious answer is – YES, YOU CAN!

Everybody can build discipline but the real question is – are you willing to put in the extra effort? Do you have the willpower, patience, and determination to give up the things that are not doing you any good anymore?

If you can give a positive answer to those questions, then, my friend, you are on your way to a more successful and less demanding life.

Things to remember when building discipline

how to build discipline - planning
Image from Ivorymix

1. Start with the end in mind

Most of you might have probably read Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This is apparently the second habit in his book. What he meant by that is for you to picture your destination – your future career and your desire in life.

Knowing where you are heading is obviously important to build discipline. This is so because how can you keep routine or your daily activities if you don’t know what’s in there.

So, you have to be clear about what you want or where you want to be in the future. If you have set yourself to be an influencer or a businessman, what are the things you need to do for you to be one? That is for you to find out.

2.  When you start something, you have to finish it.

With all the things that we can find on the internet, it makes us distracted. It urges us to jump from this website to another or from this video to another.

Do yourself a favor and do not fall into this trap. To build discipline, you have to learn to commit yourself to do something – may it be as simple as watching productivity videos or doing the dishes.

It doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is your devotion and commitment to actually focus your attention on doing something until you finish it.


3. Always make a plan a night before going to bed

Benjamin Franklin put it better this way – by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Discipline comes with preparation.

When you plan your day a night ahead, then rest assured that you have already completed 10% of your day. You have basically control over things that you need to do.

So, when the following day comes, you no longer have to wonder or stress over it. You are now ready to take on the day and make the most of it.


4. Monitor your progress

For me, assessing myself at the end of the day works well. But you can do this once a week, maybe on a Sunday or whatever day you deem it proper.

Use a journal to note your progress. The reason why this is recommended is for you to track where you excel at or what aspect did you fall short of. You can use Blank Journals from Promptly Journals.

By doing so, you will be more determined to go the extra mile to be better. Or to work on where you are lacking. This is one of the ways for you to effectively build discipline.

5. Use Pomodoro Technique

I mentioned in one of my blogs the idea of Time Blocking. It’s a great time management tool that you can use to make the most of your day.

On the other hand, the Pomodoro Technique is just basically setting a specific time period to focus on doing something. Say, 50 minutes to study or read or write an article or even paint. Then, 10 minutes to rest.

In building discipline, you have to start with a simple pattern or a system. Then, do it on repeat until you get used to it. Using Pomodoro Technique helps you stay committed and avoid feeling burnt out.

6. Make your To-Do List doable

To avoid fatigue or getting overwhelmed, write at least four key things on your list. Make sure that those are the main tasks you need to do on that day.

Avoid the habit of jam-packing your schedules with a long list of activities. That will only make it seem improbable as you might end up exhausting yourself.

So, make your list simpler and more optimized based on your ability.


7. Do away from online junks

You may not be able to build discipline if you are too attached to unnecessary subscriptions on the different social media that we have. So, limit your subscriptions to those that give value to you.

Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube won’t go away. They are constant. What’s not constant is your time. Thus, I suggest you make it worthwhile.

You can start this by narrowing your access to those social media you have and focus on working on yourself.

Freedom does a great job at blocking sites and apps on your computer. If you easily get distracted by apps and sites, your best tool is Freedom. It helps creatives, and writers get more things done and realize which tasks matter.

8. Make a realistic routine

Indeed, it takes a long time to build a routine and then, a habit. But that should not discourage you from building one anyway. Take one step at a time to build discipline.

Thomas Frank, one of the productivity gurus I follow on YouTube, made a comprehensive discussion about building a morning or night routine. He suggested that one hour should be enough for your daily routine.

You can make the most of this by taking these into account – nutrition, hydration, exercise, hygiene, learning, and/or sunlight.

9. Nurture yourself

how to build discipline -self care
Image from Ivorymix

Sure, we are all set to building self-discipline. But to remain consistent, we need a breather. And the best thing to start it with is by nurturing yourself.

This is the equivalent of self-care. While you are putting in the extra effort to build discipline, don’t neglect yourself. Avoid burn-out. That is why it matters that you always need to take one step at a time.

To build discipline, you need to be in your best self.

10. When things get a little rough, be your number one motivator

Building discipline is a lifetime journey. Sometimes, it gets challenging to stay disciplined.

You may find yourself highly motivated at the outset. But end up feeling depleted or lacking the motivation to go on. That is okay.

However, you have to train yourself to be your number one cheerleader. Always keep in mind that nothing comes easy in life so as in building the discipline you need.


How to build discipline

how to build discipline -and get more things done
Image from Ivorymix

1. Determine why you need self-discipline

This is just basically asking yourself – what is your purpose? Why do you need to build discipline? Maybe, you want to succeed or become extremely wealthy someday.

Sure, most people want that ideal life. And of course, that would be the ultimate result of building discipline. But you don’t need to think as lofty as that at the moment.

Start small. Think of the things you can realistically accomplish today. Household chores, homework, work, writing emails, blogging, meal plans, or online meetings. Get a notebook and write them down. Start with that.

2. No excuses!

My favorite mantra is – NO EXCUSES! No matter what I am feeling at the moment, I have to keep going. Otherwise, I end up wasting my time or procrastinating.

I learned this from the book of Brian Tracy, No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline. He encouraged us through this book to be ambitious, determined, and “hungry” for more.

But to do this, you need to forget coming up with excuses. If you are really willing to change your life, build discipline. No more excuses and get to work!

3. Change your mindset

Before you can actually begin with your quest of building discipline, you have to believe that you can do it. That regardless of the time required for you to accomplish it, you will remain true to your goal.

I know that changing our mindset from CANNOT-DO to CAN-DO is never easy. But it pays to start small. And you can possibly do this by doing two to three tasks on your list every day.

Don’t let your past actions define your present. If you really want to build discipline, then you have to start believing that you can.

4. Learn to be patient

Most beginners, they are likely to experience frustrations while building discipline. It would seem that a simple task such as working out every day comes out as a difficult one.

If this happens, go back to why you start this journey to Self-Discipline. Ask yourself – why am I doing this again?

To tell you frankly, I was once an impatient person. However, I have developed another mantra over the years that taught me to be patient. That is – great things come to those who wait.

5. Create simple habits

You do not need to go big if you are still starting to build discipline.  You have to train yourself first and the best way to go about this is by creating simple habits.

These habits could be as simple as exercising for 15 minutes every day or reading five to ten pages of a book before going to bed. Remember that discipline doesn’t happen overnight.

You have to work your way up by doing something small regularly. And most of all, you have to be consistent about it.

6. Take a positive and determined action

Goals without positive actions would be nothing. Don’t just think about building habits; do it.

Suppose you set your eyes on learning how to cook foreign cuisine, take an action by studying several recipes online.

Always couple your goals with actions. Walk the talk and make your dreams your reality.

7. Discard temptations

Temptations are the top enemy when it comes to building discipline. So, you have to determine what those are.

Those could be video games, mindless scrolling on social media, daydreaming, or disorganized tables. Disable notifications in your phone or turn it off for the time being.

If you still find it difficult to stay away from these things, then you might as well set a definite time to do them later after you finish your task.

Again, I highly recommend Freedom for discarding temptations. With this tool you’ll have the freedom to focus on what matters most.

8. Use Rewards

You might want to kick-start your journey to Self-Discipline by using rewards. These are positive reinforcements that could motivate you to complete a task and start building discipline.

Say you want to lose weight but it seems it’s going to be a long way for you. That is okay. Think of treating yourself to one movie night once you are done with your workout.

 Or you can treat yourself to great food after studying for hours. Just have something to look forward to at the end of each activity you have to do.

Sharing is Caring
how to build discipline and get more things done pinterest pin
how to build discipline and get more things done pinterest pin

The limits of others are theirs and not yours

What I mean by this is that – if you have seen a lot of people failed in building discipline, that doesn’t mean you will fail the same. That’s them. You are different.

So keep your eyes on the goals that you will achieve if you have the necessary discipline. Always go back to your WHY – the reason you want to build discipline.

Do not liken your progress to them. You can do better. You can go as far as you have expected yourself to be.

Gaining and building discipline can be quite challenging for most of us. You are likely to make mistakes in the beginning. But that is quite normal.

Think of the things you will reap in the future. Always motivate yourself and keep in mind the reason why you want to build discipline. I believe in you – that you can be disciplined yourself. So, go on and start your journey.

The simple and most obvious answer is – YES, YOU CAN!


Everybody can build discipline but the real question is – are you willing to put in the extra effort? Do you have the willpower, patience, and determination to give up the things that are not doing you any good anymore?

If you can give a positive answer to those questions, then, my friend, you are on your way to a more successful and less demanding life.

QUESTION: How do you build self-discipline? Which of these tips do you do personally?



  1. Christen Jones

    October 21, 2021 at 4:02 PM

    Love this article! self Discipline is something I know i personally need to work on! Love your blog too!

Leave a Reply