40 Self Discipline Examples & Tips to Improve Your Life

Examples of self discipline at work, at home, and with your money management

Self discipline examples take you from feeling discouraged to shattering your glass ceilings. Even when you face new challenges.

Some days it’s easy to do the right things. You eat well, spend money wisely, and are a stellar role model.

Other days, you long to crawl back into bed. You say to yourself…

  • I need to get up early – Eh, I’ll do it tomorrow.
  • I should eat a healthy lunch – Why bother?
  • I want to make this project stunning – I don’t feel like doing it.

We all experience this. But, how do you utilize self-discipline so that how you feel doesn’t matter? You do it even when you don’t want to. Because that’s how the greatest, most influential people achieve their goals.

What does self-discipline mean?

First, self-discipline affects almost every other life skill. It’s why it is so useful!

Self-discipline definition and examples: Why is self-discipline important?

Self discipline examples embrace delayed gratification and impulse control. It’s about putting your long-term future ahead of short-term pleasure.

Greater self-control helps you:

  • stay focused
  • make better choices
  • be more resilient
  • elevate your emotional, physical, and financial wellbeing.

how can I improve my self discipline?

The answer lies in everyday choices. Check out the self-discipline examples below. Then, learn precisely how to improve them!

Pro Tip: Don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes. Self-discipline is an ongoing practice. Shake them off and look forward!

Financial Self Discipline for Wealth

When managing your money, self discipline plays a starring role. It helps you adhere to budgeting techniques like the 50/30/20 rule. It also enables you to avoid pitfalls such as lifestyle creep or debt.

Key examples of financial self discipline include:

1. Track Your Budget Regularly

For this, you track every penny. By knowing where your money goes, you can better distinguish between wants and needs. And correct sneaky money habits quickly.

Pro Tip: Schedule a routine time to do this each week or month!

2. Define your Financial goals

Without clear goals, you are a wandering ship in the ocean. Create specific financial goals around retirement, kids college, debt, and more, so you can steer in the right direction. And reach a destination you are proud of.

How to change and overcome your self limiting money beliefs: take responsibility

*65 Smart Financial Questions to Ask Yourself for a headstart. 

3. Cut Out Impulse Buys

This self discipline example requires you to think before you purchase.

Pro Tips: Give yourself a 24-hour wait rule before making big purchases. It also helps to remove yourself from impulse temptations (ads, sites that get you to buy, etc.)

common overspending categories: low spending ideas

Related: How to Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Want

4. Save Consistently

You live below your means. This gives you regular cash flow to save into an emergency fund or other savings.

Not sure where to start? Join a savings challenge and witness the transformation it brings to your financial self discipline!

5. Invest in the Market

Saving is not enough to beat inflation. This self discipline example requires that you save first, research, and then take consistent action to grow your money.

Related: How to Invest Your First $500

6. Buy With Cash

“Easy money” is easier than ever in today’s “no money down” world. But anything that you buy on credit will require you to come up with larger amounts later. Saving first is a huge benefit to your future self.

Need to pay down debt? Use free debt trackers >>

7. Be Patient

If you sometimes fly off the handle (like I do), you know that patience is more than a virtue. It’s an act of self-discipline.

And with money, patience is the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Wealth doesn’t grow in a day. But if you are patient as you practice the other self-discipline examples, you will be rewarded.

8. Invest in Yourself

how to boost your income, increase salary

It’s far easier to plop down on the couch than to put extra time and money into working on your future. And yet, this one will multiply your wealth exponentially.

See how to invest in yourself >>

9. Do Your Taxes Right

It takes serious self-discipline to track, learn, pay, and be smart about tax strategies. It’s why so many multimillion-dollar celebrities get into tax trouble. Get expert help if you need to, but you also must understand the basics.

10. Build An Unbeatable Mindset (Around Money & Life)

positive and limiting beliefs examples about money, life, and success

Cultivate discipline around your thoughts and you will win in the game of life.

Do the stories you tell yourself limit you or allow you to rise?

Examples of Self Discipline at Work

In the workspace, self discipline is the force that propels productivity and fosters a respectful environment.

11. Schedule Your Week

This could be three crucial tasks a day or a military-grade hourly schedule. Either way, planning your week enhances focus on your top priorities and work-life balance.

12. Do the Most Important Task First

Create your to-do list. Then, prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. Consider using the ‘eat-the-frog’ method. Do the most critical thing first!

financial saving checklist motivation: words about real progress and self-discipline

13. Take Breaks

Contrary to popular belief, working yourself into the ground doesn’t help you. Take regular short breaks and vacations. You’ll avoid burnout and stay productive for years.

14. Limit Distractions

When you work, you work. Create a workspace free from unnecessary distractions. Force yourself to focus on only the task at hand.

15. Learn Obsessively

Best ways to increase your income and make more money from your job

Set aside time for learning and development. When you become the best student, you make yourself more valuable to those around you.

Related: Make learning fun with money trivia questions >>

16. Listen & Ask for Feedback

It’s not easy to take the time to understand what someone is saying. Or listen to critical feedback.

But both are worth it. Learn to communicate effectively and accept all types of feedback. You’ll grow into an unstoppable leader.

17. Say No: Self Discipline Examples

save money motivation checklist: jump the hurdles

The person who does everything, does nothing well. Say no to:

  • activities that don’t excite you
  • people who drain your energy
  • temptations that you don’t need

18. Show Up Early

Not on time. Not late. But early.

19. Make and Keep Commitments

If you make a promise to your colleagues, boss, or customers, you keep it. Period. A person’s word is their integrity.

Self-Discipline Examples At Home

At home self discipline examples create an environment where things get done. And life runs smoothly.

20. Emotional Regulation

Practice staying calm in daily interactions. Forgive yourself and others, and try to move on instead of ruminating. (And never go to social media in anger!)

Pro Tip: Meditation and breathing exercises have helped me tremendously with this!

21. Steady Sleep

Keep a consistent bedtime routine that allows for 6-8 hours of sleep a night.

22. Consistent Exercise

self control and daily discipline examples list for students, adults

Stay fit with regular workouts or family walks. Aim for daily movement of at least 20 minutes.

23. Self-Care

Carve out moments for yourself, be it your skin-care routine, or a hobby.

DailyQuiet timeMovement
WeeklyTime with friendsHobby
YearlyHealth check-UpsVacations

24. Eat A Healthy Diet Self Discipline Examples

printable monthly meal planner template pdf; free

Eating a healthy diet can require self-discipline in multiple aspects. Perhaps it’s

  • cutting out sweets
  • meal planning
  • limiting alcohol
  • not eating out
  • tracking your food intake

25. Nurture Your Connections

Allocate time to spend with friends or family. Check in with loved ones, like calling your mom once a week. Or paying attention to your kids instead of getting lost in your phone.

26. Cultivate Gratefulness

If you feel like it’s never enough, it won’t be. You also won’t find joy and beauty often.

Pro Tip: Write or think of three things you’re grateful for every day.

27. Get Up Early

Step by step millionaire morning routine example

This requires the flip side: going to bed at a decent time. It means refraining from the next episode of Netflix before bed. And then getting up with enough time to start your day in the right mindset.

See: How to Build a Millionaire Morning Routine

28. Keep Your Home Uncluttered

In this day and age, it takes self discipline to maintain a minimalist home.

infographic on decluttering; how to declutter fast

Get rid of your stuff with:

29. Not Eating Between Meals

Any time that you make the conscious decision to NOT eat, it’s an act of self-discipline. This could be fasting, or it could be not snacking between meals.

30. Unplug From Devices

Watch any child throw a fit when their device is taken away, and you will immediately understand how addictive they are.

It takes true discipline to stay off of social media, email, and text messaging.

31. Give Up Something

Whether as a 30-day challenge or for Lent. Giving up a luxury is a great way to exercise your self-control muscle.

Related: Best Work Ethic Examples

Teaching Kids Self-Discipline Examples

32. Doing homework before playing

Help kids get into a routine of doing what needs to be done before they use screens or play. This sets them up for a life where they do the right things.

33. picking up toys

Teach kids that you pick up toys before moving on to the next ones.

How to Build Self-Discipline

Here’s the thing about self-discipline — those who have it build it in specific ways. You can’t get up in the morning and hope it will be there!

1. Get accountability

free habit goal commitment card contract template, self discipline examples

Studies show that we perform better when we have someone to watch or check in on us. So, grab a friend, colleague, or family member and report to them once a week.

*Fill out the free commitment card.

You can also pay for someone like a personal trainer or coach, who has this accountability built in.

2. Write Out Your Goals

“People who wrote goals down, made a plan, and enlisted friends to help them by sending regular progress reports succeeded closer to 75% of the time.” (Dominican University study)

write your goals: millionaire morning routine ideas

Jot down where you want to be in two, five, or eight years, and hang it somewhere you’ll see each day. Visual reminders, like a vision board, are wonderful motivators.

3. Turn Self-Discipline Examples into habits

Interestingly, if you perform these self-discipline examples long enough, then they become habits that require far less willpower. 60 days is a great mark to hit.

When self-discipline and habit merge, you have the sweet spot.

4. Avoid Decision Fatigue

Studies show that the more decisions you make in a day, the lower your willpower becomes. It’s why you feel so drained as a mom of kids, or a business owner who makes many decisions.

Plan your easy decisions in advance. Things like:

  • What to eat for breakfast
  • What to wear
  • What workout you’ll do
  • Who will take the kids to school

Incorporate this into a nightly or morning routine, and you’ll save your mental prowess the rest of the day.

How to have better self-discipline at home, school, work, examples and ideas list

5. Break big goals down into smaller goals

If your big audacious goals seem daunting, you’ll be likely to quit when challenges arise. Instead, break goals down into smaller deadlines that keep you moving forward.

6. Create Rules

A month ago, I realized that I was buying chocolate almost every time I went to the store. What started as a “treat” turned into a weekly habit. So, I made the rule that I could only pick up sweet treats for a special occasion. This one rule is simple, but it has cut back on sugary stress snacking by at least 80%.

Life rules can minimize decision fatigue too! Double bonus!

7. Surround Yourself Wisely

If you hope to improve self-discipline, find people who already do it. Not only will they inspire and teach you, but positive peer pressure will make it easier too.

The same can be said for objects and places in your life. Place healthy foods within reach and junk food in the basement. Visit places that aren’t going to make you battle yourself over making good decisions. By controlling your environment, you can give yourself a massive boost in self-discipline.

Powerful Self Discipline Affirmations

Use these empowering self discipline affirmations in your routine. Get your mind right and your life will follow!

Best examples of self discipline affirmations in everyday life
  • I choose what is right over what is easy.
  • “I am in control of my financial choices, steering towards prosperity with each decision.”
  • “Every day, I choose actions that align with my goals and personal growth.”

Repeat these affirmations to cultivate a disciplined mindset. You’ll be surprised at the mountains you move!

What’s Next?

Self-discipline empowers financial well-being and improves work and home life. It’s truly unmatched in what it can do for you!

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