Tidbits to Enhance Your Self Discipline

New Hope Counseling, PLLC

'Unleashing the Peace Within'. Vol. 1 Ed. 7

Self Discipline

There is an old saying that I think is under appreciated. It goes something like this: "If you want something done right, then do it yourself." That is a good quote! It suggests the need to stop waiting for someone else to do what you want or need to be done and to do it yourself. Do you want a better world? Then stop waiting for someone else to do it. Do it yourself! 

Now to our topic: self discipline. Speaking of 'stop waiting for someone else to do it' we get to look at ourselves to do those things that need to be done to put our lives in the order we desire. What are our tool to do so? Self discipline. That means we get to stop expecting someone else to get their lives in order so we don't suffer as much. We get to stop waiting for others to finally get it right and we get to do it ourselves. 

We get to experience a personal wake up, and stop waiting for a better day to come, and to begin now to become who and what we're meant to be. Let's get started!

1. Make Your Bed

One small thing that you can do starting tomorrow, that will have a greater impact on your sense of self than you can imagine, is to make your bed. Making your bed is a simple thing that takes a relatively small amount of time, and is something you can do the moment you roll out of bed. Try it! If you have a partner, then make up your side of the bed. Don't wait for him or her. Don't be someone else's prisoner. Don't make excuses as to why you can't do it. Do it! Then something, at least one thing, will be done right and it will set the tone for the rest of the day. When you at last return to your bed, tired from a full day of problem solving, then you will have a nice surprise waiting for you when you retire - you will have a reward that you will have given yourself. And it will feel so good to have earned it yourself. 

2. Get There on Time

We all have places to go and things to do. And if not, then we are not listening to ourselves good enough and need to dig down deeper till we find something meaningful and purposeful and then set our minds on doing it. Your next task, if you choose to accept, is to get where you're going on time. If you are to be somewhere at 8:00 am, then arriving at 8:02 am is not good enough. You should expect better of yourself. Showing up at 8:02 am is forgivable but you don't need forgiveness. You need self discipline. Self discipline will grant you the respect you desire. It will give you a better sense of professionalism, and it will create the sense that you do indeed mean what you say. When you say 'I'll be there at 8:00 am' and then your arrive at the expected time, you are saying that you are a person of your word, and that makes you invaluable in a society ruled by law, where one's word is their sacred bond. One's word is their law, over which he or she is their own police officer. You will have demonstrated through your actions that your word is important to you, and you fully intend on fulfilling that word in every occasion - without excuse. 

3. Give Yourself Enough Travel Time

If you have somewhere to be, give yourself adequate time to get there, with time to spare. If it takes 30 minutes to get to your appointment, then leave 40 minutes early. Give yourself leeway for the unexpected to happen. Most days that will be enough, but on some days, despite your best efforts, it still won't be enough - but that's okay. You don't need an excuse. You have done all that can be reasonably expected that is in your control to do. Learn to let it go then and to hit the reset button. 

4. Make No Excuses

If you show up at 8:02 am that's not bad. If you show up at 8:15 am. Ouch! However, make no excuses. Don't grovel on the floor either. That's not dignified. Rather thank them for their patience. That is all you need to do, then make internal plans on how you can do better next time. Nothing more is needed. You will do better, and you should believe that of yourself. 

5. Leave On Time

If its important to arrive on time, it is also important to leave on time. You don't need some elaborate reason to leave on time. Just say you have commitments to get to, even if its to shampoo your dog. Your decisions are important and so is your time. Honor your own time, by leaving your prior commitments when they are done. Let the time frame and schedule be your friend, and practice following those useful boundaries so that you get into the knack of self-discipline. You will change your own world, and learn that you have great power in it. Give it a try! He or she who can control their word and their schedule, following it as set, is able to be their own boss and their own master.

Being your own boss and master is the pinnacle of freedom, and it is not something that you get by being born in America or turning 18. It is something that happens to us when we are self-disciplined, which means our word is our bond and we fulfill our commitments without excuse and even joyfully. 

6. Accept Earned Consequences

Were you pulled over by the police? Did you get written up at work for a slack comment made? Did you receive a late penalty for an unpaid bill? Is your partner upset with you because you for got your anniversary? Is your child upset because you made a promise you did keep? Did break your work, your diet plan, had one to many drinks, failed a test, lose a valued client?

Accept that despite your best efforts you are going to fail - and that's okay! If you handle it wisely failure can be the beginning of a new start. Failure, set back, defeat, or earned consequence can be benefited from - as long as we have the right attitude. 

Wish the police officer who pulled you over a good day. Take your bosses feedback. Pay the late fee and say "I'll do better" and "I can handle this with grace'. Hug your partner and say "I'm sorry! Let me make it up to you", and then do something about it. Hug your child and tell them promises should never be broken, then fix your mistake, but don't blame someone else for your mistake - even if there is some truth to it. Excuses don't make you powerful, your word does, and believe that you mean what you say. So when you fail at keeping your word embrace your earned consequence, for doing so is the key to your liberation. You don't need the rescue of a lie. You are big enough and powerful enough to take it on the chin. And to take it on the chin gracefully, like one who truly believes in doing what they say and one who is willing to take their lumps for it when they don't. In fact, insist that you take your lumps, even when they let you off. Then you will truly have self-discipline, and you will be loved and honored for it. But only if you have a good attitude about it. 


When we can do these few things, and do them as a rule, then something happens to us. A door opens to another life. We emerge from poverty. We leave behind the role of a victim. We no longer need to be the aggressor. We have all that we can handle in the management and control of our own selves. And that is enough of a start to grant anyone a chance at lasting happiness. 

Dennis Tucker, LCSW Therapist/Owner

New Hope Counseling, PLLC

9176 S. 300 W. STE 13, Sandy UT 84070


(801) 979-0610