Ten Top Habits To Grow Self-Discipline

By Julette Millien

Over the years I have worked so hard on being self-disciplined. It surely DID NOT come easy! These ten habits took time, sweat and some tears to create.

And it’s not just me. Based on the many, many conversations, sessions and interventions over the years, with people who were desperately trying to grab control of their lives, these are the “gateway” habits that come up again and again.  Create any one of these and you will see and feel immediate impact on your productivity and level of joy. Create all ten and you will hardly be able to touch the ground!

  1. An attitude of gratitude – having a habit of saying and meaning “thank you” throughout your day is powerful.  What we are grateful for expands in our life.  I’m presently [as it has not always been the case] in the habit of saying thank-you for the challenges as well.  The really are tomorrow’s blessings. This has been demonstrated more times than I can count. Thank everybody for everything – not just with words, but with your attitude and actions. Be grateful!
  2. Reading and Learning – being on a continuous quest for knowledge about the world, your self, your “work,” parenting, technology, etc keeps you at the top of your game.  Whatever industry you are in, in terms of knowledge and information, it’s growing.  I’ve been on a “learn at least one new thing per day” journey to stay informed. It’s also my ‘stay young’ strategy!
  3. Exercise. Need I say more?  Whether it’s in the gym, walks or play…all successful people schedule some sort of physical activity that keeps them alive, healthy and well.
  4. Eating well. Another obvious one.  Limiting caffeine, alcohol, sugars and general junk food is essential for good health.  Good health is an essential aspect of “success.”  Successful people understand that their health is directly linked to their creativity, energy level, mindset, emotions and output.
  5. SMILING – yes, smiling:-) .  I’ve worked with several people and actually live with one very successful person – my husband, who has worked on “smiling” more as a priority habit.  It’s not just about the smile…it’s the spirit of optimism behind it.  It’s the commitment to joy and laughter behind it.   Optimistic, joyful people produce more and do more.  Did the success lead to the smile or the smile to the success? Well a whole book can be written about that one…suffice it to say, if all a person has to smile about is their success, they are anchored to a moving target and are dependent upon outside factors.   Not a good thing.  Smile easily, frequently, deeply!  It’s a tonic for the mind, body and soul.  It breeds success.
  6. Be STILL…that would be the habit of PAUSE.  As with sentences – can you just imagine this blog without punctuation?! So is a life without stillness and pause and rest.  Be still long enough to connect to your source.  For me that is God.  Successful people know how to tune out and get re-energized.  Stillness is the most powerful way to do this. It’s called meditation by some.  But don’t get confused with technique, just get still, get present and permit your mind to concede ‘power.’  Thoughts and thinking can really keep a person busy, even when they’re sitting still. The idea is to tune into your deeper source, not your patterned thoughts and self-centered cares.
  7. Deep Breathing. ..which by the way is what you can do when you pause throughout the day.   Breath, deep breath is a habit that is MOST understated and underestimated.  It’s actually not one that gets mentioned often by folks I coach.  But I have to bring it up because it’s pivotal to success. Breathing  from your diaphragm  is breathing to excel. That’s the kind of breath that pushes the needed substance into our blood stream to our brain. We simply need oxygen and all that’s in it for a reason: LIFE!  Ask any high performing athlete or performer, they will tell you about the power of breath.
  8. Patience & Calm. This is the habit to develop if you struggle with anger, intolerance, hasty decisions, dependencies, worry, anxiety, disorganization, and more.  Having a habit of patience allows you to remain present – not in the past, full of anxiety and not in the future, full of worry. Of course there are other characteristics and habits that would would need  to be developed to support this place of patience and peace.  Truly successful people know what the “small stuff” is and they know how impotent and effective  it is to fight against circumstances outside their control. They’re wise.
  9. Forgiveness.  Having a habit of letting things go, releasing, not taking offense, not holding on to guilt is most powerful.  And of course with this habit and mindset, patience, calm, inner peace, joy, stillness, smiling, gratitude, creativity, kindness, productivity, accountability, self-discipline…all flow naturally  and powerfully. The extra personal baggage created by un-forgiveness blocks the blessings you work hard to create and receive.
  10. Bedtime/Wake-up routine that WORKS – Going to bed early enough to get up at the time needed to have the day start right is a habit successful people ALWAYS reference as a key to their success.  Not only does our bodies and minds REQUIRE adequate sleep and rest, but rising early enough to get those quiet things done impacts the rest of my day every time.
  11. I KNOW I said 10! But this one just can’t be left out….ORGANIZATION! From goal-setting to keeping ideas properly housed to clearing your work space and knowing where to find what you need when it’s needed, it all adds up to running an efficient and organized operation at home and at work.  At one level or another, being successful depends on being organized.

I know…1, 8 & 9 are not as simple and straightforward as the others…they require more soul searching but you can create specific action steps to build these success habits into your life.  As for the others, they each require a commitment that is lasting and anchored to your overall plan for your life.

These are some of the habits over the years that  people –  super successful people – have identified as having the most impact in their lives immediately and permanently.  They lead to self-discipline and self-mastery.    These habits won’t have major impact in just one area of your life.  They will impact your entire life  – personal, relationships, community, home life and work life.

These are the self-discipline “gateway habits,” create these and many others  will follow.

So take another look and see which of these powerful success habits you will tackle first.


6 Responses to “Ten Top Habits To Grow Self-Discipline”
  1. Karen says:

    I so enjoy reading your thoughts and encouragements. Maybe one day I will be able to put them to task for me.

  2. Col Dunn says:

    To dear Julette Millien, there was one more important discipline to your list. It is ‘prayer’ to be aware of the gift of the Holy Spirit that gives us the 86,400 breath each day to do all the self disciplines we require to have abundant life, that so manifestly enriches outlives.

    With thanks in all things that matter, to keep focused with love, not fear
    to keep connected, and to keep the communication flow, and to pause and ask am I doing this from love. So I say blessings b’ Yeshua for unto Him is all the power and Glory forever more throughout Eternity. So be it!

  3. Magz says:

    Great pointer, Col.

    I loved the article very much.

    I would also add Inner Peace. We go through life not appreciating ourselves. Having some “Me” time daily has strengthened my discipline.

    Truck loads of love and peace.


  4. rita Oct, 12, 2015 at 4:am. says:


    Very interesting to read.I lack Tolerance,thank God I am kind it will help from my lack of some of the things you have mentioned keep on trying to do my best to keep on learning.God Bless.

  5. rita says:

    RITA BORG Oct 12 2015 at 8,am
    Thank you for the way You keep on building us with great lessons
    Your teaching is forever grateful.My lack of discipline is I need to love myself more. I will try to find peace and keep on love and do my best.
    God Bless

  6. Sbongile Chabeli says:

    My long term goal is to build additional three rooms and a garage on my existing house. Have been unemployed for the past two years. Will start a new job on Monday.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

GoalsOnTrack Newsletter

Subscribe now to receive four wonderful ebooks for free to help you reach goals, build good habits, increase income and become more productive in life. They are beautifully designed, well written, practical and easy to read!

Plus, you'll have free access to all our member resources. Subscribe below to get your free access code in the confirmation email.

We respect your email privacy