How To Build Self-discipline + 17 Journal Prompts

Setting goals means nothing if you don’t follow through. I said what I said. Everyone has set goals and then worked on them for a month only to stop when it gets hard. Me and my workout routine is a prime example. Having self-discipline is crucial for actually following through with your goals and seeing results. 

However, that’s a lot easier said than done! Wouldn’t it be easy to just have self-discipline? Unfortunately, it is a skill you need to work on.

So, here is how you can build more self-discipline and some awesome journal prompts to help! 

What is self-discipline?

You really are your own worst enemy. Jim Whittaker said, “you can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.”

Self-discipline is the ability to push forward regardless of how you feel or if you want to. 

Often times people get self-discipline confused with motivation. Eventually, motivation runs out and you need something more (self-discipline) to keep going. 

No matter what someone tells you, they are not motivated ALL the time. No one is!! While sometimes you will feel extra motivated—like after listening to an inspirational podcast or seeing progress—what really makes the difference over time is discipline.

Motivation fades but discipline holds its course.

5 ways you can build up your self-discipline 

Self-discipline is a muscle and it needs to be worked! You won’t just wake up tomorrow with endless self-discipline.

There are many ways you develop more discipline, some are easier than others. 

As always, I suggest a baby-steps method. Jumping in with two feet is great at first but I don’t think it can be sustainable. Making small changes over time makes everything less overwhelming.

1 – Remove temptations

Depending on your goals, removing temptations can be the easiest and most effective way to practice self-discipline.

For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, remove all junk food from your house. 

It can be hard to resist a bag of chips after a long day at work but if it’s not there you can’t have it. Over time you build up your self-discipline towards snacks and may be able to have them in the house and know they are only for certain times.

2 – Create new habits 

Habits are a great way to practice and develop discipline in your life. 

If your goal is to spend less time on your phone, you could start a new habit where after dinner you read a book instead of scrolling on your phone.

To make it more fun you could track your habits and challenge yourself to do them a certain number of times a week or month! 

For a whole post about creating healthy habits, read here! 

3 – Change your mindset 

You know that phrase, mind over matter? It’s true. Your mind is so powerful! 

If you keep saying you can’t do something or can never make a change, you won’t. 

If you believe in yourself and tell yourself you can do anything or you can persist when times are tough, you will be more likely to succeed. 

When I’m mid-workout and I’m tired and the lady on the TV (I do YouTube workouts lol) says we’re going for another 30 seconds of burpees… I’m ready to throw in the towel. 

However, I DECIDE (because it is a decision) to practice my self-discipline and I tell myself that I can do it. It’s only 30 more seconds, that’s not too bad, I have done worse! And guess what? I get through it. I could have easily given up and if I had told myself it was too hard, I was too tired, or I couldn’t keep going I would have stopped. 

Mindset matters! 

4 – Have a backup plan 

I like to always think of things that could go wrong (thanks anxiety). However, in this case, it can actually come in handy.

Life isn’t always super simple. Plans change, things go wrong, and you need to pivot. 

So by having a backup plan BEFORE anything goes wrong is actually setting yourself up for success.

To remain disciplined even when times she tough or something unexpected happens can be difficult but if you have a plan b you will know exactly what to do. 

5 – Journal 

Journaling can truly transform your life if you are willing to try and put in the effort. 

There can be many reasons why you struggle with self-discipline. You might not believe in yourself, it could be learned from childhood or a million other reasons.

Journaling gets you to really think about things and dig deep. It can kinda be like DIY therapy. 

I think using journal prompts that guide you to explore your self-discipline (or lack thereof) is a great way to build on the skills you need to be more disciplined. 

This leads us to the next part of this post… the journal prompts!

Related reads:

Journal prompts for self-discipline 

  • What is the hardest thing you are trying to achieve right now?
  • What types of barriers make you want to give up?
  • When was the last time you pushed through discomfort to achieve something?
  • Create a backup plan for one of your goals. 
  • How does your environment affect your discipline?
  • How do you feel about yourself when you give up?
  • What do your actions say about your priorities?
  • Why do you think you struggle with discipline?
  • Were you taught to follow through with things as a child? 
  • What has been distracting you lately? Do those things affect your discipline?
  • What time of day do you struggle most with discipline?
  • Name a few goals you didn’t achieve because of your lack of self-discipline. Can you figure out exactly what went wrong?
  • Do you currently have any daily habits? What are they?
  • How could you build more discipline into your day using habits? What new habits could you start? 
  • How would you feel if you achieved your biggest goals?
  • What would make it easier for you to push through the tough times?
  • When do you feel the most motivated?
17 journal prompts to help with self-discipline
how to develop self-discipline so you can achieve your goals

In conclusion 

Anyone can improve their self-discipline! It’s important to understand that discipline and motivation are not the same thing. 

Discipline is a skill that can be learned and by creating healthy habits and asking yourself some hard questions you can build up your self-discipline.

Just like anything in life, it’s good to know what your WHY is. Why do you want to develop self-discipline in the first place?

Personal growth is a journey so go easy on yourself but remember that no one is going to change for you! You are in control of your life and YOU get to decide to change 🤍

Do you struggle with self-discipline?

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