Self Discipline – the Secret to Success

Do you want to get out of debt, make more money and lose weight? We all would like to do that. And most of us have a good idea of how to achieve these very commendable objectives and we have the best intention to get started soon. In the meantime we find one excuse after the next why we can’t start yet.

According to the ‘Pareto Principle’ 20% of the people have 80% of the success. How do they do it? When interviewed most of them say that they are neither more intelligent nor did they have an easier start than other people.

The secret to their success: Self Discipline – successful people work harder. They do the things the other 80% are not prepared to do.

Like it or not: Success is the result of hard work. That means that the easy way is a dead-end which might gratify you briefly but doesn’t get you anywhere in the long-term.

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.

Vince Lombardi

Working hard is no fun to begin with. But once you have created the habit and see the first positive results you might actually get hooked on the feeling and enjoy it. Self discipline is the key to self-esteem and you feel more positive about yourself.

How can you make a habit of being self disciplined?


  • Set goals: Write down how your perfect life would look like in respect of family, business, health, etc.  They should be SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) and you need to have a good reason why you want to achieve these goals.


  • Learn what you have to do to accomplish your goals so you can decide which steps you need to take. Are you prepared to do what other successful people have done, over and over again until you have the results? You have to be willing to pay the price of hard work before you commit to go after your goals.


·         Once you know what you need to do and how you have to behave, make a habit of it. Here are some tips:

o   Start with ridiculous small baby steps. It’s much easier to do 3 minutes of exercise a day than 30 minutes three times a week. Increase the time after a few weeks of daily exercise.

o   Schedule the task if possible and keep tap on your progress. That’s how routines are formed.

o   Find an accountability buddy. You could agree that you’ll pay a fine if you miss your task three times in a row

o   Put a band around your wrist to remind you of your good intentions

o   Prepare for your negative self-talk with positive replies. You know all the excuses you usually come up with. Negative self-talk: ‘I need this cake now because I feel sad (or whatever) and one piece of cake won’t matter’. Positive reply:’ Even one piece of cake matters. I don’t need it. I am not hungry and the short moment of bliss is not worth the regret I will feel later.’

o   Persist and when you slip like we all do, pick yourself up and start again.

It’s hard to form good self-discipline habits but sooner or later they become automatic and it’s easy to stick with them. Ultimately you will learn to enjoy the stronger and better person you become.

Have a great day




  • Jon Crimes

    March 19, 2014

    Hi Gaby, very interesting post.

    That 80/20 principle seems to be getting everywhere! I was reading a book on it a few weeks ago, didn’t realise that the concept goes back many years?

    I particularly like your bit about ‘Smart Goals’. I’ve been guilty in the past of just working myself to the bone without having any goals to aim towards, recipe for disaster!

    I’ll be referring to this post again, thanks.

    All the best and look forward to reading some more great stuff.



    • Gaby

      March 19, 2014

      Thank you Jon for your kind words.
      I find I am much more productive when I write down my goals for the day in the morning. And it such a joy to tick them off when completed. The trick which I haven’t mastered yet is to only list the goals I can achieve on that day. There is always the unplanned phone call or event which takes up too much time. Maybe the answer is to work less 😉
      Have a fun day

  • Kim

    March 19, 2014

    Love it, love it, love it. Yes, yes and yes.

    I agree with much of what you’ve said. Self discipline is definitely the key to success. I read a great book recently which you might really like. It’s called “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg.

    Thanks for the great information.


    • Gaby

      March 19, 2014

      Thanks for the book tip Kim. I had a look at Amazon and it sounds like a very interesting book.
      Cheers Gaby

  • Dave Thomas

    April 17, 2014

    Hi Gaby

    I think sorting yourself out to realise your own self-discipline can be hard, but, as you say, starting small and increasing as you move forward is a great way to begin.

    The Pareto analysis applies across every walk of life and will probably apply to this course as well where 80% of the people will drop out!


    • Gaby

      April 20, 2014

      Hi Dave
      what a shame but most likely true. But I am sure that you belong to the 20% who will make it. I definitly intend to stick around and then we can promote each others products 🙂


  • Hi Gaby

    Great post about building self-discipline.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Best regards, Selma

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