Do you struggle with self-discipline? These three simple steps will help you learn how to be more disciplined in all areas of your life!
Psst! Want some extra help? My Make Over Your Mornings course will teach you how to set up each day for success! You can also check out my eBook 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life.
Self-discipline helps in all areas of our lives — saving money, grocery budgeting, goal setting, weight loss, healthy eating, exercise, building businesses, meal planning, and more.
And many people have the want to, but struggle with the follow through.
If you struggle with discipline and it doesn’t come naturally to you, here are my top practical tips…
How to Be More Disciplined
1. Start small.
I’m sure most of you already know this, but it’s important to remind yourself of it.
You can’t overhaul your life overnight. You have to change one small thing at a time, or you’ll set yourself up for failure, exhaustion, and discouragement.
For example, don’t try to cut $200 off your grocery budget this month. You’ll probably burn out and get discouraged very quickly with that audacious goal.
Instead, try to shave an additional 1-3% off your grocery bill every month. That feels very doable and you can make little tweaks to easily make it happen. And if you continue to do that month after month, guess what? You’ll have shaved 10-30% off your grocery bill after 10 months!
Bite-sized chunks are always more doable. And when things feel doable, you’re more likely to follow through with it and develop discipline as a result.
2. Pick a keystone habit.
In his book Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg talks about creating and picking a keystone habit — which is a habit that will impact most all other areas of your life if you develop it and stick to it.
This is the principle behind my Make Over Your Mornings course. I encourage people to change their lives by starting small and being more intentional and productive with their mornings.
Try to think of something that if you do it consistently every single day, it would impact all other areas positively:
- Getting up 15 minutes earlier to make your bed, exercise, sip tea and write a to-do list, journal a few lines of gratitude, drink coffee outside in the quiet, etc.
- Looking at what’s on sale and planning your menu accordingly to shave a little bit off your grocery budget.
- Putting your phone in another room before bed to enjoy 15 minutes of quiet, conversation with your spouse, reading, journaling, or praying.
Whatever it is for you, pick a small keystone habit that you can do in about 15 minutes each day that will impact most other areas of your life.
As you learn how to be more disciplined in this one area, you’ll be surprised at how much it changes your life and you can build on that over time.
3. Get some accountability.
If developing habits and trying to become more disciplined is new to you, I challenge you to get some accountability.
Unless you’re someone who is highly internally motivated, if is very hard to stick to a new habit on your own.
Even if you are internally motivated, it can still be hard. Regardless, you need some sort of accountability.
I’m very internally motivated and don’t necessarily need other people to help me stay on track. However, I still have a form of personal accountability in the form of a daily checklist that I use to stay on task.
So think about what kind of accountability you need as you’re learning how to become more disciplined. Maybe you use an app, a checklist, text a friend each day, use social media, or join a Facebook group. Whatever it is — get some sort of accountability!
Change your life!
Start with one habit and use these simple steps. After 3-5 weeks, that one habit will become second nature and you won’t really have to think about it anymore or make yourself do it.
At that point, you can add on a new habit to work on. And then you can add on an extra habit every month or two until you’ve added several keystone habits at the end of a year.
Little by little, one keystone habit at a time, you will discover you’ve changed your life!
- How to Change Your Life By Setting Goals
- 4 Simple Tricks to Help You Actually Finish That Goal You Set
- 5 Accountability Sources to Help You Reach Your Goals
- Why You Should Write Your Goals Down
- Goal Setting for the Type B Personality
- Why I Started Doing 10 Push-Ups a Day
- How to Get Up Early When You’re Not a Morning Person
- How to Become An Early Riser, Even If You Hate Mornings
- 6 Tips to Find Motivation to Work Out Every Morning
- How to Get Up Early Even With a Crazy, Ever-Changing Schedule
- 5 Simple Ways to Jumpstart Your Success Every Morning
- 3 Small Things Can Add Up to a Changed Life
- How to Get Up Early — Even if You Have Young Kids
If hope these simple steps will help you learn how to become more disciplined and change many areas of your life!
Theresa Williamson says
I have trouble budgeting my income. I guess I need to write down everything that gets paid through the checkbook and what it is for.
Julie Swihart says
I’ve always admired your self-discipline! I imagine it’s a big reason you’ve seen so much success with your blog – because you follow through even when it’s difficult! Thank you for your example!
I remember hearing you suggest people make a to-do list each day, so I started doing that about a year ago. It’s really helped me align my daily activities with my goals.
Crystal Paine says
Thank you so much for your encouragement! And that makes me SO happy to hear how well a to do list is working for you!