If you refuse to do these 7 things, you’ve mastered the art of self-discipline

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Ah, so you’re one of the disciplined ones, aren’t you? 

You’ve pushed through the procrastination, dodged distractions, and now you’re wondering, “Have I finally mastered the elusive art of self-discipline?” Well, let’s find out. 

If you’ve already kicked these 7 habits to the curb, you’re not just disciplined — you’re a self-discipline master. 

I can’t say I’ve quite gotten that far yet, but through my personal development journey, I’ve gotten pretty close. So, why not take a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come? 

Join me as we go through this list, and let’s see if you’ve truly mastered what it takes to live a life less ordinary. Ready?

1) Procrastination

Ah, procrastination, my old friend — or should I say, frenemy? 

For the longest time, I thought of procrastination as a harmless habit, something that could easily be pushed to the side when the “right time” came along. 

But let’s be honest, that so-called “right time” is a mythical concept, isn’t it?

I used to find myself waiting for the perfect moment, only to realize that moments are fleeting and time waits for no one. 

The novel I wanted to write, the gym routine I planned to start, the healthier eating habits — all delayed indefinitely while I told myself I’d do it “tomorrow.”

If you’ve managed to kick procrastination to the curb, kudos to you. It means you’ve realized that time is a precious commodity, and every second spent delaying is a second lost. You’re no longer hostage to that debilitating “I’ll do it later” mindset. 

You’ve achieved something many of us, including me, find challenging: the discipline to prioritize and act, rather than defer and delay. 

And let me tell you, it’s not just an accomplishment; it’s a cornerstone of a life well-lived. 

2) Impulsive spending

Who among us hasn’t been lured by those tempting “limited-time offers” or the thrill of an unplanned shopping spree? 

I’m embarrassed to remember how easily a quick scroll through an online store could derail my entire budget for the month. 

It felt good in the moment, almost like a mini celebration. But when reality set in, and the credit card bill arrived, the regret was undeniable. 

If you’ve managed to say “no” to impulsive spending, you’re on another level of self-discipline. 

I know it’s not easy resisting the allure of instant gratification in exchange for long-term financial health. 

You’ve cultivated the art of mindful spending, considering the real value of each purchase instead of surrendering to the heat of the moment. 

This isn’t just about saving money; it’s about building a life that prioritizes needs over wants, future gains over fleeting pleasures. 

So give yourself a pat on the back — you’ve mastered a form of self-control that not only keeps your bank account healthy but also brings you closer to fulfilling your long-term goals. 

3) Emotional eating

Food — the comforter of broken hearts, stress-ridden minds, and simply bored souls. Who hasn’t drowned their sorrows in a tub of ice cream or munched away their stress with a bag of chips?

I used to think that I never did this, yet I frequently reached for a bag of chips or pack of donuts. But they have no nutritional value for me and I wanted to eat “healthy” — so I was clearly kidding myself. 

They might have momentarily filled a void, but they were just a temporary fix that often led to guilt and even more emotional turbulence later on.

If you’ve conquered the habit of emotional eating, you’re not just disciplined; you’re emotionally resilient

You’ve learned to separate your feelings from your eating habits, a feat that requires incredible mental fortitude.

You understand that while food can bring pleasure, it’s not a solution to life’s complex emotional challenges. 

Instead of reaching for a snack, you probably reach for healthier coping mechanisms like exercise, meditation, or talking things out with someone you trust.

This kind of discipline goes beyond self-control; it’s a mastery over your emotional responses, allowing you to navigate life’s ups and downs with a clearer mind and a healthier body. 

4) Skipping days for your goals or habits

Oh, the temptation of skipping just one day. “What harm could it do?” we often tell ourselves. 

Whether it’s a fitness regimen, a writing goal, or even a simple daily meditation, the allure of “taking a day off” can be incredibly seductive.

I’ve had my share of days where the warmth of my bed seemed far more appealing than hitting the gym or writing another page. The justification was always ready: “I’ve been good lately; I deserve a break.” 

But that one skipped day often led to another, and before I knew it, my hard-earned habits were unraveling.

If you’ve resisted the temptation to skip days for your goals or habits, you’ve achieved a level of discipline that’s truly admirable. 

You understand the value of consistency and the power of momentum. Each day you stick to your routine, you’re not just moving closer to your goals; you’re reinforcing a commitment to yourself.

This is more than just habit; it’s a lifestyle, a long-term commitment to your own development and well-being. 

You’ve probably found that even on the days you didn’t feel like it, pushing through led to a sense of accomplishment that far outweighed the temporary comfort of skipping.

5) Neglecting sleep

Ah, sleep — often the first sacrifice on the altar of hustle and productivity. You might have once worn your sleep deprivation as a badge of honor, convincing yourself that the extra hours awake could be used for something “productive.” 

That was me to a T, trading sleep for a few more hours of work, convinced that my drive was all I needed to power through.

But if you’ve stopped neglecting sleep, you’re a step ahead in the self-discipline game. You’ve come to understand that sacrificing sleep is not an act of heroism but an act against your well-being. 

Poor sleep can muddle your thoughts, reduce your emotional resilience, and even weaken your immune system.

By prioritizing rest, you’re actually gaining an edge — improving your focus, enhancing your mood, and even boosting your creativity. It’s not just about the quantity of hours but the quality of your wakefulness during them. 

If you’re consistently clocking in 7-9 hours of quality sleep and waking up refreshed, you’ve truly mastered this aspect of self-discipline. 

6) Gossiping

Let’s talk about the guilty pleasure that many of us have indulged in at one point or another — gossip. It can seem so tempting, so innocent. I mean, who doesn’t want to be in the loop, right? 

But let’s get real. If you’ve kicked this habit to the curb, you’re showing incredible self-discipline.

Why? Because gossip is not just idle chatter. It’s a reflection of something deeper, something lacking within ourselves — whether it’s insecurity, boredom, or a need for social connection at any cost. 

I’m not too proud to admit that there was a time when I found myself caught up in the cycle of gossip, mistaking it for genuine social interaction.

But by refusing to participate in gossip, you’re taking a stand for integrity and kindness. You’re deciding that the quick thrill of being “in the know” is not worth the long-term cost of potentially harming someone else’s reputation or your own character.

The truth is, the people worth knowing and the relationships worth having are built on trust, not rumors. 

If you’ve made it a rule to only speak words that help, heal, or empower, you’ve mastered an important dimension of self-discipline. Your words have power — use them wisely.

7) Focusing on the negative

Most of us wouldn’t call ourselves negative people — but when you really examine the language you use and especially how you talk to yourself, you might need to think twice.

And that’s why, sadly, focusing on the positive is a mark of great self-discipline, and worthy of a big pat on the back. 

I know how hard it can be. If there are rose-colored glasses, then I was walking around with dirty, murky grey ones. 

Every little setback made me pity myself, and I always had something on my mind that I was unhappy or upset about. The world seemed like it was full of problems I couldn’t solve and people I couldn’t please. Sound familiar?

Well, here’s the thing: training your mind to see the good in situations and people isn’t about ignoring reality or pretending that life is perfect. It’s about choice. 

You’re choosing to give your energy to thoughts that lift you up instead of drag you down. You’re making a deliberate decision to focus on solutions rather than problems, on possibilities rather than limitations.

This mental shift isn’t just about feeling good — it’s strategic. A positive mindset opens you up to opportunities and solutions you would never see if you were busy lamenting your problems. 

It makes you resilient, resourceful, and more effective in whatever you set out to do.

Becoming a master of self-discipline

Congratulations, my friend. If you’ve managed to ditch these 7 habits, you’re not just disciplined — you’re a master of self-discipline

And even if you, like me, still have a little way to go, know that every step forward is an achievement in itself.

Mastering self-discipline isn’t about becoming a rigid, joyless automaton. It’s about gaining the freedom to live on your own terms

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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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