How to Build Self-Discipline to Accelerate Growth & Success

Self-discipline is not a fun topic – but, it’s critical to our success. As I explore what it takes to build self-discipline, I’m going to share what I’ve learned so far including all the things that have helped me increase my level of self-discipline. How do you accelerate your growth and success by choosing the right thing when in the moment you don’t really like doing it?

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4 Things to Do to Build Self-Discipline

There are times when we commit to something, then lose motivation halfway. We want to achieve a goal, yes – but there are days when we know we have to stick to the plan, but you just don’t feel like doing it. This is where our self-discipline gets tested.

Self-discipline is essential to our growth and success, but we also need to balance that with grace for ourselves. We have to know – are we pushing too hard on the wrong thing and taking the right things lightly?

I have been doing the 75 hard challenge to test my self-discipline, which inspired me to talk about this topic. I’ve learned – still learning – on how to best increase or build self-discipline. Here are the four things I’ve learned (so far):

#1 Have an environment set for creating habits and discipline

If you want to build self-discipline, you need to design the right environment – meaning surrounding yourself with people who support you. I’m lucky to have a family that cheers me on in my 75 hard challenge.

You have to be aware of the current environment you’re in. If you find yourself with negative people who influence you, or a situation wherein you just can’t move forward, that’s fine. As long as you’re aware of the negative situation, you can problem-solve it. It’s not a blindspot that hinders your success – you can strategize a solution to overcome it.

#2 Get clear on who you want to become

Think about the end goal. What kind of person do you want to become by building self-discipline?

For me, I want to be the kind of person, the kind of leader, speaker and consultant who has enough mental and self-discipline so I can show my absolute best for my clients. That’s the reason why I put myself in the 75-hard challenge, even if it’s out of my comfort zone. I want to know that I am not controlled by something external – there are many pieces of our life puzzle that are within our control and I’d like to show up to know that I control everything that I can control. Makes sense?

I want self-discipline to be part of my identity, and it can be yours too.

#3 Make a decision and become self-aware of your “blockers”

Most of the time. we allow ourselves too much wiggle room on the tasks we need to do to achieve our goal. We let ourselves off the hook just because we’re “not feeling it” today. So, we negotiate with ourselves – “Oh, it’s raining out, I can’t work out outside.” or “Oh, I could never do that because (insert excuse here).Excuses are what kill self-discipline, so is procrastination.

So, the next time you find yourself negotiating or giving an excuse, ask yourself – am I not going to do this because of an excuse or is it really because I need the grace to rest? Remember, you still should put yourself first – if you think not doing the tasks you need to do will benefit you in a healthy way, then go for it. The challenge of going for growth and success should not be a punishment.

#4 Put routines in place to makes success inevitable

When you want to achieve something, it’s best to put routines in place to give you momentum on doing the challenge for it to actually start happening.

Whenever you say you’re going to do something at this time, and then the time comes and you don’t want to do it, overcome that resistance and do it. Feeling that resistance, understanding how it feels in your body, being aware of that resistance, can help you mentally to overcome that resistance.

Make a non-negotiable routine. Force your body to move until it becomes second nature. Think too – when you feel resistance, are you legitimately not doing it because you’re exhausted and need to rest of because you feel overwhelmed, scared, or putting too much emotion on it?

You can push your journey back. You can have a day if you need it. You can still go back to do the things you need to do – part of self-discipline is you’re still going to do it even if you rest today.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to self-discipline, it’s healthier to think about what we’re going to gain rather than what we’re going to lose. The best place to start when building self-discipline is to find your WHY. Decide – who do you want to be? Where do you want to be? What do you want to achieve?

Self discipline becomes really simple once it formalizes itself in passion. When you’re passionate about something, it becomes really easy to do.

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Allison Graham headshot smiling leaning against a grey wall, blue cardigan and white top

Welcome! I'm Allison Graham

Let’s face it – life is tough enough without having behaviour patterns that make life harder than it needs to be! 

That’s why I’m obsessed with finding ways to make the human experience easier by offering strategies for problem solving, dealing with chronic pain, leveraging empowering stress, and stopping patterns that create destructive stress. 

I hope you find huge value in my content. To go deeper please check out my online courses, coaching, and keynote speeches