10 Benefits of Self Discipline
Every day we have choices to make. Wake up early and go to the gym, or get an extra hour of sleep? Pack a healthy lunch to take to work, or buy something when lunchtime rolls around? Throw a little extra money in your savings account, or buy that new gadget or pair of shoes you’ve been eyeballing all month?
Deep down inside, we know which actions will yield the best results. Yet many of us struggle with making the best decisions – and fail to reach our full potential as a result.
How do we overcome these challenges? Self-discipline is the answer.
This post will cover why instead of relying on motivation you should be developing your self-discipline instead. Specifically the importance of self-discipline and the benefits you derive from being self-disciplined.
Why Is Self-Discipline Important in Life?
If you want to be successful and reach your goals, self-discipline is the most crucial skill to master.
Frequently, the best choices aren’t the fastest, easiest, or most pleasant. So you must exercise a high level of control over your emotions and behavior – this is why relying on motivation alone will never get you far.
Instead, improving your ability to do what is best for you regardless of initial desire is the only way to make consistent progress in life.
As such, if self-discipline is your foundational skill, you grow more effective in everything you do.
Consequences of indiscipline
To best understand why self-discipline is so important think of the consequences of not learning to practice self-control.
- Become aware of your undisciplined behavior and its consequences. For example, being overweight, in debt or stuck in a job you dislike. When this awareness increases, you will be more convinced of the need to make a change in your life.
- Make the effort to act according to the new decisions you make, regardless of motivation, or the desire to give up.
Top 10 Benefits of Self-Discipline
Discipline is not always easy, but it is well worth it.
When you develop a stronger sense of self-control, you can expect multiple improvements across many areas of your life.
Here are ten benefits of self-discipline:
1- More Self-esteem and Self-respect
When you discipline yourself to accomplish a goal, you also increase your self-respect. Think of the people you have the most respect for, and why you respect them. Chances are one of those reasons is that they have self-discipline. They set out to do something and they accomplish it.
By doing the same for yourself, you can have more respect for who you are as a person. Your self-esteem grows as you learn to become a person who is authentic and proud as you are someone who “does what they say will do”. Conversely when you continuously let yourself down your self-esteem suffers and you are more prone to fall into negativity.
2- Improved Health
First, improving your self-control leads to improved physical health.
Exercising control over the quality and quantity of food you consume, establishing a regular fitness routine, and drinking enough water help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your chances of illness and disease, and increase your chances of longevity and vitality later in life.
Disciplined people are more unlikely to give in to temptations that would keep them from their goals as they have learned to master these fleeting impulses. An example would be giving up going to the bar and working out at the gym instead.
3- Greater Academic And Career Success
Next, self-discipline helps you make choices that lead to higher academic and career success. Sometimes you must choose between studying longer hours and spending time out with friends, or staying late after work to complete a project and heading home to relax.
Self-discipline helps you see the value of delayed gratification, which pays off down the line.
4- Better Relationships
Self-discipline improves your relationships because you become a person who follows through on your commitments. People in your life learn they can trust you to do what you say you will, and they view you more favorably.
You are also good at setting boundaries as to which relationships help make your life better or take away from your life’s plan.
5- Better Financial Health
Next, gaining better control over your finances is another direct benefit of self-discipline.
While it’s more fun to spend money than it is to save, the disciplined individual sees the long-term benefit of putting money away for a rainy day. That’s not to say you pinch pennies and sacrifice quality of life. Self-discipline isn’t supposed to make you miserable. Instead, it’s about weighing the pros and cons and making decisions that bring you closer to your goals.
Examples of financial self-discipline that don’t require total restriction include regularly putting a certain percentage of each paycheck into your savings account or sticking to a budget that allocates a certain amount of money each month for discretionary spending. You still get to enjoy the present, though, not at the expense of your future.
6- Fewer Regrets
Another benefit of growing more self-disciplined is that you’ll have fewer regrets because you make better choices in the first place.
You’ll eliminate such problems as saying the wrong thing at the wrong time because you’re disciplined enough to think before speaking.
You’ll avoid jumping to conclusions, give yourself time to gather information before making decisions and make choices based on facts rather than emotion or opinion.
Also, your life will be more fulfilling in general as you have made decisions to work towards your dreams rather than looking back one day filled with regret as to what you wish you had done.
7- Improved Time Management
With an ever-growing list of things vying for our attention, it seems that time is often in short supply. One of the best benefits of self-discipline is improved management of your time.
For example, social media can be the ultimate time-killer if you don’t exercise self-control. While it can be useful at times, you can easily fall into the trap of mindlessly scrolling through news feeds when you could be completing more productive tasks.
8- See Projects Through To The End
Self-discipline helps you complete tasks and projects that you start, even when you lose steam or desire. Motivation is always high at the beginning of a new goal. Whether it’s a new diet plan, a new business idea, or even new relationships to a certain degree, when things are fresh, there is nothing but excitement and stimulation ahead.
Yet over time, motivation fades, challenges arise, reality sets in, and it’s tempting to go back to something more familiar or move on to the next shiny object.
Exercising self-control and choosing to finish what you start, within reason, even when you lose motivation and desire means you not only have the finished project under your belt, but you’ve learned lessons and acquired skills you wouldn’t have had you quit.
9- Discipline is Empowering
You may think that developing discipline is about sacrifice and limitations. This thought has probably been reinforced by previous attempts at changing your bad habits.
Actually, it can be very empowering to develop discipline. Think back to when you managed to make a change in behavior that was successful, how did you feel? When you overcome obstacles in your path and accomplish something with consistent work, you feel like you can do anything.
Successful people do not get there just because of luck. They make goals, plan how to achieve them, and then develop the discipline to accomplish those goals and plans. They do fail, they do have obstacles, and they may even modify the goals or go in a different direction based on working on those original plans.
You can improve things where you are not in debt, are healthy and fit, and have stable relationships, but it will require giving up instant gratification and adopting self-discipline.
It will not always be easy, but you will find it quite empowering to achieve your goals. When you feel empowered you do more and achieve more.
10- You become the Best Version of Yourself
No. 10 is really a combination of the preceding 9 benefits.
By applying self-discipline to all areas of your life you cannot help but become the best version of yourself.
In the process of becoming a person of solid character and morals, with high self-confidence, self-esteem, and authenticity you understand that taking daily steps in pursuit of your goals will inevitably lead you to success.
In other words, you become a person worthy of success.
If you want to succeed, you need self-discipline. You may want to get rid of bad habits that aren’t serving you and replace them with good habits that do. These could include exercising, reducing clutter, reading more, or saving money. You can accomplish these habit changes if you focus on one or two at a time, and consistently act on those goals over time.
The biggest obstacle to discipline is not a lack of willpower, but a desire for instant gratification. Especially in modern society, everything seems to be focused on having things done quickly.
As the American writer, philosopher, and artist, Elbert Hubbard once said, “Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
These 10 benefits of self discipline demonstrate the importance of incorporating self-regulation into your life. Taking the necessary steps to improve this most critical skill is perhaps the best thing you can do for your personal development and the likelihood of lifetime success.
Now it is your turn. Figure out a goal that you want to do, and set up milestones along the way. Then each day do something to make those milestones happen. It does not have to be anything major, just one more small step on the way to your final goal. When you reach that final goal, take stock of how you feel about yourself and what you are capable of doing.
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10 Benefits of Self Discipline