14 habits that set disciplined people apart

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Disciplined people were once like the rest of us.

But bit by bit, they pushed themselves to develop habits that could make them likely succeed in life.

If you want to know what they are, then here are 14 habits that set disciplined people apart.

Do at least half of them, and you’ll see your life transform in no time.

1. They are on “self-start”

That is to say, they don’t need others to nag them simply so that they’ll actually do something with their lives!

They don’t sit around waiting for people to wake them up in the morning or tell them “hey, you need to be ready in one hour!” or “hey, you need to start reviewing for your exams.”

Sure, they might appreciate it when other people remind them, but they generally are not needed—they already have their own reminders, be it in their heads or in their phones.

2. They remind themselves of their goals religiously

They aren’t the kind of people who would write their goals down in a notebook and… just fail to open that notebook ever again.

No, disciplined people would always have a way to remind themselves of their goals close at hand—like, say, a planner app—and then check it quite often.

The human mind is quite fallible, and they don’t trust themselves to remember everything they need to do perfectly. That’s why they consult their reminders often.

3. They keep pushing their limits

Disciplined people get things done because they’re not content with just being “good enough”—they go the extra mile and try to keep pushing their limits.

They enjoy lazing around just as much as the rest of us.

And as far as they are concerned, the faster they get things done the more free time they get to enjoy life with.

So they keep pushing their limits day by day, trying to see if there’s anything they can do to be more efficient or better at what they do.

4. They stick to their daily routine no matter what

If they have vowed that they’re going to bathe at 7, eat breakfast at 8, and go to work at 9, they will do that even if they feel a bit under the weather or they have a very bad hangover.

And they will happily power through whatever work needs to be done, regardless of how they’re feeling, rather than taking their condition as an excuse to slack off.

They will try to go and do 100% of the work they set out to do—and if it’s so bad that they must slow down, try to shoot for at least 50%.

The only times when they would actually break their daily routine is when they’re faced with a genuine emergency, like them having to rest if they have a flu, for example.

5. They keep track of their progress 

Disciplined people are efficient. And one of the ways they manage to remain efficient is by keeping track of their progress.

In knowing what they have already achieved and what they still need to do, they manage to avoid wasting their time by getting distracted or accidentally doing the same thing twice.

On top of that, by keeping track of their progress, they also keep their spirits high—it can be easy to forget just how much you’ve done until you actually sit down and see it written down.

6. They make sure they’re inspired daily

Disciplined people know that one of the most important things they can do to remain consistent and stay disciplined is to keep their morale high.

Them getting inspired by all the progress they’ve made is already a given. But they aren’t content with just that.

They would also read books about those who have struggled with the same problems they are dealing with or those who have achieved what they want to achieve. And then they’ll tell themselves that whatever it is they need to do, they can do it.

7. They love themselves—the tough kind

They are their own coach and cheerleader rolled into one.

When they find themselves faltering and tempted to fall behind and be lazy, they tell themselves “no, keep going! You got this!” or “Your future self needs you!” instead of “It’s okay, you need your rest. After all, you’re only human.”

Sure, they are aware that they have to relax, but they know when it’s time to work…and when it is, well…they gotta. No excuses.

They love themselves by encouraging themselves to push through with hard things that they know they can handle.

8. They say no to time-wasters

We all need to keep ourselves entertained, surely. But then five minutes becomes ten then twenty…then without us knowing it, we’ve wasted one whole hour scrolling or playing video games…when we should be doing more important things.

Disciplined people know this, and so they avoid getting sucked into things that do nothing but waste their precious time.

Instead of scrolling through social media chasing drama after drama, for example, they would instead focus on their work so they can reward themselves with guilt-free leisure later on.

9. They frighten themselves a little to stay on track

Fear can be a very good motivator, so long as one uses it smartly. 

If they’re feeling lazy and unmotivated to work, they would look at their bills and remind themselves what’s at stake.

If they’ve been trying to get on a diet and they feel tempted to eat another bucket full of Turkish Delight, they’d imagine themselves being a 500-lb diabetic.

Things like these, done sparingly, can be like a bucket of cold water to the face—a sharp wake-up call reminding them to stay on course.

10. They break their tasks down into smaller pieces

We all only have so much willpower to spare. 

If we don’t use that willpower wisely, we will use it all up before we’re even halfway done with our goals.

This is one of the reasons why disciplined people are always trying to find newer and better ways to achieve their goals as efficiently as possible.

And one of the ways they can do that is by dividing big tasks into smaller pieces that are much easier to achieve.

Saying that “I’ll write 31,000 words this month!” is much more intimidating than saying “I’ll write 500 words a day”, for example.

11. They reward themselves generously 

Disciplined people don’t just give themselves “tough love”—they also treat themselves well for a job well done. 

They would assign rewards to their goals, like “if I manage to lose 30 pounds this month, I’m buying a fancy coat” or “If I manage to win this promotion, I’m going on a holiday with my mom.”

And when they do manage to achieve these goals, they will make good on their promises and buy that chair and have that holiday.

12. They set limits

It can be tempting to stay awake for 5 more hours just to get a little more work done, or to push 7 hours of practice even though they know their body starts aching at 5.

But while disciplined people like to push their limits, they aren’t so reckless that they’ll neglect their own wellbeing.

Staying awake to get more work done will disturb their sleep schedule and their work will suffer as a result. Pushing to 7 hours instead of stopping at 5 puts them at risk of straining a muscle.

There comes a point when pushing too hard is actually counterproductive, and disciplined people know better than to cross that line.

13. They’re honest with themselves

Delusion is the mortal enemy of discipline and productivity in more ways than one.

Someone can only be truly committed to their goals if they completely understand their reasons for doing so in the first place.

It wouldn’t do if they were to try to lose weight saying that they’re doing it because they want to be “healthy” when in truth they’re simply motivated by a desire to look pretty for bikini season (and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that!).

They will face doubts about what they’re doing at one time or another. 

For example, they might already have got a “healthy” body anyways, so why are they even trying so hard to go on a diet?

When they really can’t answer it properly, they lose motivation. They’ll think “nah, I’m actually good.”

14. They always try to do the right thing

Disciplined people want to get things done so that they can keep on moving with their goals. But that doesn’t mean they’d be okay with cheating or cutting corners—what they do, they do properly.

If they know they need to take 2,000 calories a day, for example, they’re not just going to eat nothing all day and then drink 3 cups’ worth of sugar in one sitting to hit their calorie goals.

And if they know they need to write code that would let their app read video files, they’re going to put it together manually instead of just copying and pasting code they found online.

In other words, disciplined people have integrity.

Conclusion

Disciplined people are not born disciplined.

It takes WORK (lots of it) to become a self-disciplined and responsible human being.

Luckily, it’s only hard at the beginning. Once you pick up one habit and stick to it, the others will become easier to incorporate into your daily life.

Start with one habit now, and add another one after one week…or even a month! 

And if you start slacking off, don’t beat yourself up. Progress is not linear. Just keep trying and don’t ever stop because building good habits is the only way for us to get closer to success (and a happy life).

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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