Self-discipline is a character trait that most people admire and often wish they could be as disciplined. Self-discipline isn’t something you are born with but you can master over time. And mirroring other people can be a great way to learn.

But you may be unclear on what self-discipline trait someone has because all you know they are getting things done and are committed to their own personal goals.

Here are six examples of self-discipline you can mirror to develop your own disciplined life.

Create Realistic and Adjustable Goals

When setting goals all too often people think it’s set in stone and that you can’t change your mind or that you have to go all in all the time. There’s an unrealistic expectation because there’s a limiting view on how much effort it’s going to take to reach the goal. It won’t take long however to realize that it may take a little more than one anticipated.

For example, if you want to write a book, and you set yourself up to write 5000 words a day, there is a good chance you are going to burn out. Setting small goals that can change as you make progress will help you achieve tha bigger goal.

Instead of forcing yourself to write 5000 words a day, you could start small, like 240 words, and then when it is too easy they add more to the daily target. Self-discipline involves constant evaluation. Aim for the minimum and if you are in the flow do more. Making your goals smaller will lead to greater success.

This is something I teach in the workshops I lead because all too often I find that people want to set multiple action plans and then do them 7 days a week. However, choosing one goal and place the focus on 3-4 days a week has a much higher success rate.

Stabilize Your Energy

People with high levels of self-discipline like to have consistent energy levels. If you have steady energy, you can better budget your time and energy. Most people can achieve this clean energy state by avoiding insulin spikes and watching their caffeine intake.

I also find it’s super helpful to know at what time of day you work best. Personally, I do my best thinking and writing work during morning hours, so it makes sense that I would utilize that time.


Don’t fall into the trap of thinking less sleep will make you more productive. Sleep connects directly to our impulse control. Our hormones and cognitive functions are all connected to proper sleep. Self-disciplined people make sure they get enough sleep daily.

Something that can help you figure out how much sleep you need, by tracking how productive you are on 5, 6 or 8 hours of sleep. I need 8 hours of sleep and at times till require a nap during the day. Sleep is really good for your brain, your energy and your overall wellbeing.

Remove Temptation

Most self-disciplined people remove the temptations for their lives. Whether you are trying to avoid social media to get more work done, create a budget, or stop smoking. Removing temptation will be the quickest way to help develop the discipline needed to avoid the objects that are keeping you from your goal.

And this is easier said than done. An alternative to this is having an accountability partner. Someone that you can check in with weekly or bi-weekly and tell them what you’re going to do and then follow up to tell them you did the work.

Long Term Thinking

One thing that highly disciplined people have is an ability to think in terms of the end game. Long-term thinking allows you to achieve your goals. Gratification delay is a key factor in success.

Keeping an eye at the end goal will often help to stay motivated and showing up for yourself and therefore develop self-discipline. In 2007, I went back to college and it was online. There were regular discussion posts and deadlines for writing papers. It was at times overwhelming and I didn’t want to do the work, but knowing that I would have my Master’s Degree in the end to do the work that I do helped me stay focused and be self-disciplined to get the work done.


The final and hardest factor in developing self-discipline is honesty. Being brutally honest about your successes and failures is the only way that you can improve on the next project or attempt. Self-discipline is the ability to be honest about your actions or behavior even when that honesty may hurt you. And means looking at perceived failures and reflecting on them, acknowledge what did or didn’t work.

If you have any of these traits, chances are you have some level of self-discipline already. If you have all of these traits, you are probably a very disciplined person. Don’t worry if these habits seem foreign to you. Self-discipline is difficult. If it wasn’t, everyone would do it.

And there’s nothing wrong in getting the help and support you need to develop these traits. And you can get just that when you join The Gathering and push yourself to the next level.

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Petra Monaco

Petra Monaco

The Rebels Den

Petra Monaco is a published author, coach, mom and breaks the status quo for fun. As a foster kid, she knows the challenges and excuses people make as she rewrote her own story and then worked her way through to become a Master's level therapist. However, after watching her son fight for his life due to a rare genetic disorder and three liver transplants, she now coaches creatives and multi-passionates to stop waiting for “one day” and the “perfect moments’. Petra helps you dive deeply into the heart of things in order to discover your next steps, inspires you to set up your own personal framework so you can break free from fear, doubt, and overwhelm so you can start creating the life you want now. Petra uses her personal story to inspire and motivate people into doing the work they need to do to create change because she believes that your excuses are just avoidance. You can have the cake and eat it too if you're willing to show up for it!
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