Discipline. It’s that elusive quality that seems to propel some people towards great success, while others languish in a constant cycle of promise and procrastination.
If you’ve ever admired the likes of athletes, accomplished academics, or successful entrepreneurs, you’ve admired the power of discipline.
But what if you’re more disciplined than you give yourself credit for?
Let’s uncover the 8 signs of a disciplined person and see just how disciplined you really are.
1) You stick to routines
Have you ever tried to adopt a morning routine?
You may have even heard of things like the “miracle morning” or the “5 am club”, or tried copying a celebrity’s 9-step morning routine for success.
I’ve personally tried more morning routines than I’m willing to admit.
The problem? Sticking to them. As we know, change only happens when you compound smalls actions over time, and the key to doing that is.. *drumroll*… discipline.
It doesn’t do me any good to plan to do 10 minutes of duolingo every morning if I only actually do it once per week.
So this is definitely something I have to work on.
But hopefully you’re better off with this than me — and actually stick to whatever routine you have defined for yourself.
2) Time is very valuable to you
If you had the choice, would you rather earn 10% more salary, or save 4 hours of work each week?
Except for situations where it’s really urgent to earn more money, the most disciplined people tend to value time much more than money.
Because the pursuit of getting more money never ends, and it can get very out of control, leading to overwork, burnout, and neglecting your health or relationships.
But when you understand that time is the most precious commodity, you choose very carefully what you allow into your plans and what you commit to.
You keep your priorities and goals in sight, and only spend time on things that will actually get you closer to them — cutting out any useless or unnecessary things out of your life that bring no value.
Of course, there are plenty of things that waste our time but are tempting — so this is a surefire mark of a disciplined person.
3) You do things even though you don’t feel like it
We all have things to do that we don’t look forward to, or even drea.
It might be cleaning out those weird stains in the fridge. Or getting that suspicious mole checked out. Or even something as mundane as doing your workout.
But here’s the question: do you do them anyways?
If yes, it’s a clear sign that you’re more disciplined than average.
Sure, you don’t like those things any more than the next person. You might even complain about them, groan and roll your eyes.
But then you get up, and you do what needs to be done. You don’t let those feelings stop you, because you understand that those tasks are necessary or important for a reason.
And just because you don’t feel like doing them, doesn’t diminish that importance.
This is something that logically everyone can comprehend, but few people have the discipline to follow through on.
4) You keep a clean and organized environment
Look around you. What do you see?
If it’s clean counters, organized books, and a clear workspace, congratulations — you’ve got great discipline.
I know it’s tough. Trust me.
Who really wants to clean up after a long day of work? Or tidy up the kids’ toys for the hundredth time?
No one. It’s tedious and time-consuming. But disciplined people do it.
Why? Because they know the power of a clean and organized environment.
It gives you a sense of control, reduces stress, and it also boosts your productivity.
And it’s not just about cleanliness. It’s about creating a space where you can think, create, and work without distractions.
Which means that a clean environment is not something that proves your discipline in itself. It also helps you maintain discipline for all other areas of your life as well.
5) You meet all your deadlines
Alright, alright — we all slip up most of the time.
I’ve learned to be pretty disciplined, and I still forget to make a phone call or schedule an appointment by the time I was supposed to, from time to time.
However, for disciplined people this is definitely the exception rather than the rule.
Because you made a commitment, and that really means something to you.
This ties into point 3 that I mentioned above — the commitment may not be fun (and let’s be honest, they often aren’t). But you still honor your word and you’re willing to endure a little discomfort to do it.
And besides, the satisfaction you feel afterwards of getting things done on time is so totally worth it.
6) You don’t depend on motivation
I’ve been going to the gym very regularly now for almost a year. I see amazing results — people have even started complimenting me on how athletic I’m starting to look.
They ask me how often I go to the gym. “About 3-5 times per week, depending on the week,” I say.
This is where they make a surprised or impressed face, and say “Wow, you must be so motivated!”
Well, let me tell you a secret. I’m motivated, sometimes. And sometimes, I’m REALLY not. Heck, sometimes going to the gym is the last thing I want to do.
I’d so much rather sprawl out on the couch with my Nintendo Switch and a bag of Cheetos and forget that something like the gym even exists.
But you know what? True discipline cannot rely on motivation. Because motivation is never constant. It comes and goes, it has highs and lows, and sometimes those lows may even last a while.
If I let my motivation determine my discipline, I’d be nowhere close to the results I have right now.
7) They set their own deadlines before the actual deadlines
Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s law? It states that “work expands so as to fill the time which is available for its completion.”
Here’s a practical example of what that means.
Imagine you have to complete an application for a job, an award, or something else important to you. Only, whoops – it’s due tomorrow! You can be sure you’ll have it done by the next day.
But now imagine you have 30 days to finish it. For some reason, it will take you 30 days… even though clearly, you could have finished it in 1.
This law really works against discipline, because it makes us procrastinate, drag out short actions into long ones, and waste time on things that we could have finished much sooner.
And that’s why disciplined people ignore deadlines — or rather, they set fake ones much sooner than the real deadline.
It doesn’t matter if you have three months to get something done — if you can get it done in the next 20 minutes, that’s when you’ll be done with it.
8) They use logic and reasoning over emotions when needed
Emotions guide us through our whole lives. Only, sometimes they don’t make us make the best decisions.
We lash out at people in anger, blurt out the wrong thing, or even do something we regret such as cheating on our partner.
This is part of being human — and we all make mistakes, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
However, this is an area where you can make significant improvements in your life, using discipline.
The trick is learning to follow logical reasoning over emotions. As much as you want to eat that cake, you know your diet is important to you, so you don’t order it.
And actually, the most disciplined people don’t just fight these temptations — they make their lives easier by finding a way to eliminate them entirely.
This could mean walking away from the display window with the cakes, or covering that part of the menu.
Either way, you understand that the heart of discipline is in following the mind, even when your heart wants to go in a different direction.
Want to build more discipline in your life?
Now you can recognize the 8 signs of someone who’s more disciplined than the average person.
How many of them did you recognize in yourself? Perhaps most of them — in which case congratulations, you are extremely disciplined!
But even if it was just a few or none at all, don’t worry at all. Discipline is something we can all work on, and as I hinted at in a few examples above, I was definitely not disciplined in the past.
Rather, it’s something I acquired during my personal development journey, and now it continues to serve me in every area of my life.
And now, you can do the same.
- If you feel your life is “boring”, say goodbye to these 10 behaviors
- If someone displays these 12 behaviors, they lack humility
- If a woman displays these 10 behaviors, she probably lacks self-esteem