Overlooked Relationship Between Self-discipline and Motivation

Overlooked Relationship Between Self-discipline and Motivation

Editorial Team

When it's time to get something done, there are two approaches you can take.

The first and most expected method is to motivate yourself. The second method, which is less popular, is self-discipline.

But how related are they? And which is a more critical discipline or motivation?

Motivation and self-discipline are two essential characteristics that can assist people in achieving their objectives. Motivation refers to the desire to do something, whereas self-discipline refers to the ability to stick to a plan or routine even when things get complicated.

Both are required for success, but self-discipline is frequently regarded as more important because it allows you to follow through on your intentions to achieve your goals.

In other words, whereas motivation focuses on "why to do," self-discipline focuses on "what to do." It is a remarkable ability to manage behavior to ensure progress and goals. As a result, this concept encompasses more than emotion and focuses on consistency.

Why is Self-discipline Better Than Motivation?

We do not deny the importance of motivation. Motivation is one factor that determines your level of success in life, but we cannot rely solely on motivation because it fluctuates.

The issue with motivation is that it fades faster than you expect. You must keep an eye out for seven motivated murderers at all times. Motivation may not be sufficient to keep you focused and determined.

Most people struggle to achieve their goals because they rely solely on motivation to work.

What happens if you rely solely on motivation to achieve your objectives? Are you going to put off doing something? How many times and days will you procrastinate?

Your motivation works in the same way that your emotions do. You may feel highly motivated in the morning, but your motivation has faded by the afternoon, and a slump mood immediately strikes you.

Self-discipline removes emotion and impulse from decision-making, allowing you to make crucial decisions quickly and efficiently.

How to Build Self-discipline?

Of course, with a little extra effort, you can develop self-discipline. When combined with motivation, this will help you achieve even greater success. You can also use discipline to your advantage by doing the following.

1. Take Baby Steps

When you take small steps, you will find yourself a new person a year from now, with no idea when or how it happened.

The key here is to make a slight adjustment and allow your brain to accept it as the new baseline. Because the baseline has shifted, the next step will be more straightforward.

For example, if you spend five minutes each day organizing your office, you will quickly notice how much more productive you will be because it is clean and organized. If you start taking the stairs instead of the elevator, the small calories burned will add up to weight loss and an increase in energy.

2. Remind Yourself of Why You Began

This is one of the self-discipline tips that can help you keep going when life gets tough. Keep your end goal in mind while not losing sight of where you started.

Always remind yourself, especially when things get tough, how and why you set this goal and what you'll have accomplished when you're finished.
Set reminders on your phone to remind you how far you've come and how proud you are of yourself. Affirmations are also an excellent way to stay focused on your why.

3. Practice Prioritizing Tasks

Decide which tasks are worth putting in the most effort, and then plan your day to completely crush them. Setting a study schedule reduces your chances of procrastinating on unpleasant tasks.

Put things you don't necessarily enjoy at the top of your priority list, and you'll be relieved to have them completed rather than putting them off for another day.

4. Identify Potential Obstacles

You must now identify the obstacles you will most likely face while working toward your goal and devise a strategy for overcoming each one.

Assume your goal is to read one leadership book per week to improve your skills. You've encountered several roadblocks on your way to this goal in the past. For example, when you find a book you enjoy, it can be challenging to find time to read it every night. Your time is consumed by work, dinner, and the kids until late at night, and you are distracted by messages that arrive while you are reading.

Once you've identified the obstacles, devise a plan to overcome them. You could do the following in this case:

  • When you want to concentrate on reading, turn off your phone.
  • Make more time in your day for reading. Perhaps you could read during your lunch break or while waiting to pick up your children from school.

5. Keep Track of Your Progress

Pay attention to how you feel as your self-discipline develops and strengthens. You may feel liberated, happy, proud, and energized.

Consider keeping a journal to record your self-discipline goals and track your progress. This reinforces the positive changes you're making in your life and provides you with a record to look back on to see how far you've come.

Your self-discipline will improve over time, and you will be able to apply it to many other aspects of your life.

6. Learn from Previous Mistakes

What distinguishes those with strong self-discipline from those who do not? Those who have internal discipline have learned from their mistakes in the past. This approach ensures that you’ll not make the same mistakes again, improving your discipline.

For example, if your previous business went bankrupt, you may be better suited to handle it again. I'm not saying you won't, just that you got through it the first time and now know what to do to overcome this challenge based on your previous experience.

7. Countdown to Zero, Then Act

When you're feeling incredibly unmotivated, count down from ten and force yourself to do whatever you're doing. A quick countdown can help you get into the right mental frame of mind to get motivated.

Sometimes, we need a little push to take the next step—this is where self-discipline improvement begins.

The Best Three Books on Self-discipline to Read

Start reading books if you want to learn how to build discipline and find some more great self-discipline quotes. These suggestions can assist you in getting started.

Our habits play a significant role in learning to be self-disciplined. In Atomic Habits, author James Clear discusses how to change patterns and layer small habits on top of more extensive habits to achieve goals.

Excellent for anyone looking for a tried-and-true formula for improving their life or self-discipline advice.

Moreover, rather than relying solely on motivation, Clear discusses strategies for making positive change a natural and easy choice rather than relying solely on motivation. This how-to guide is not to be missed.


No Excuses!: The Power Of Self Discipline by Brian Tracy is, without a doubt, the best book on self-discipline. It demonstrates how to achieve success in your life, including personal and financial goals.

You'll discover how to be more disciplined, and each chapter includes exercises to help you apply the "no excuses" philosophy to your own life. I recommend this book, and I frequently find myself reviewing it.

If you want to break a bad habit for good, this book can help. The Little Book of Big Change, written by Amy Johnson, Ph.D., provides information about the brain and why habits work the way they do.

All of this can help you become the most productive and self-disciplined person.