Published on January 22, 2013

running on a treadmill

The Importance of Self-Discipline 

Are you still on track with your New Year’s resolution? The first weeks into the New Year are always looked at with the most amounts of vigor and hope, but by now your resolve may have fizzled; that’s when self-discipline comes into play.

Self-discipline is required to achieve optimal health when breaking a habit (e.g., smoking) or rebalancing health issues caused by excess.

  • Self-discipline allows you to stay focused on your goals. It enables you to stay in control of yourself and of your reaction to any situation. Self-discipline is like a muscle: the more you train it, the stronger you become. Lack of self-discipline can cause low self-esteem.
  • According to an article in Psychological Science, self-discipline is a better predictor of academic success than IQ. A study found that highly self-disciplined adolescents outperformed their more impulsive peers on every academic-performance variable, including report card grades, standardized achievement test scores, admission to a competitive high school, and attendance.
  • Self-discipline is about making wise choices. From the food you eat to the amount of exercise you do is dependent on how disciplined you are. For example, exercise promotes a sense of control over the body that may translate to an improved sense of control over other aspects of life which is a key defense against stress. Those who exercise regularly demonstrate higher levels of self-esteem and maintain a sense of self-discipline. The five pillars of self-discipline are acceptance, willpower, hard work, industry, and persistence.
  • Acceptance is the most basic challenge people face. They fail to accurately perceive and accept their current situation. It is important to identify an area where your discipline is weakest. Assess where you stand right now. Acknowledge and accept your starting point, and design a program for yourself to improve in this area.
  • Willpower is a concentration of force. Choose your objective. Create a plan of attack and then execute the plan. Your willpower is at its lowest when you feel stressed.
  • Hard work is what many people try to avoid by doing what is easiest. But a strong challenge is commonly connected with strong results.
  • Industry is developing the capacity to put in the time and effort.
  • Persistence allows you to keep taking action even when you don’t feel motivated to do so, and therefore you keep accumulating results. Persistence will ultimately provide its own motivation.

Self-discipline becomes very powerful when combined with goal-setting, passion, and planning. Write down your goals once again and make sure that you do everything in your power to stick to them. Always finish any task you set before moving on to start another. For some, the thought of setting a goal may be overwhelming. Reach out for support so you too can experience the satisfaction of achieving a goal that is important to you.

Sources: Washington Post, University of Kentucky, Uncommon Knowledge, Ezine Articles, U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion & Preventative Medicine, Personal Development Insights, and Washington and Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Centers. For additional information, consult your physician.

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.