Self-Discipline in 3 Easy Steps

For instrumental music while reading, choose: hi-fi (broadband) or low-fi.

Do your intentions fall short? Do your new year’s resolutions fizzle out year after year?

Do your plans for weight loss and fitness crash and burn in a pile of potato chip crumbs?

Why is it so difficult to follow through and accomplish what you set out to do? Usually, there is one important missing ingredient: personal discipline.

For most of us, the idea of discipline is an external force — it’s something that comes from the outside. For instance, we discipline our children. Most of us are familiar with discipline as a verb (something we do to someone else), but we’re not so familiar with the concept as a noun (something we cultivate from within and apply to ourselves).

“Nothing of importance is ever achieved without discipline. I feel myself sometimes not wholly in sympathy with some modern educational theorists, because I think that they underestimate the part that discipline plays. But the discipline you have in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority.” – Bertrand Russel (1872-1970)

Personal discipline is not a common attribute these days, especially in the west. For many, any remnants of personal discipline have been smothered by arrogance, a false sense of invincibility, and the attitude of entitlement. This short-sighted, bloated approach is the expectation that all things should come to you from the outside. Personal discipline is a balanced approach that recognizes that all things come from deep inside. Discipline works from the inside out.

What is Discipline?

Although rare, it’s not a complicated idea. Here’s a simplified look at the concept of personal discipline:

Discipline is a decision made for yourself, based upon the best information available at the time. The information is compelling enough so you recognize that a change in your behavior will enhance the quality of your life. The facts and the prospect of a better life are sufficient to inspire you to make a promise to yourself. Then, personal discipline is simply your moment-to-moment choices that allow you to keep your promise to yourself.


“Your mental attitude is something you can control outright and you must use self-discipline until you create a Positive Mental Attitude — your mental attitude attracts to you everything that makes you what you are.” – Napolean Hill

Weight Loss and Fitness

Here’s an example almost everyone can relate to: Most all of us have fantasized about being slimmer, more fit and healthier. For many, that’s as far as it goes. (But it’s a good start because fantasy is where all fantastic stuff comes from.) Most of us really don’t have the facts or the know-how to follow up on such a vague mental image as “being slimmer, more fit and healthier.” The reason these things rarely materialize for most of us that we are missing one or more key ingredient of personal discipline. Let’s take it step by step.

1. Get the facts. Motivate yourself by saturating yourself with pertinent information. This step provides you with compelling reasons WHY. As an example, thirty years ago when I quit smoking, I went to the library and spent a few hours with medical journals looking at pictures of terminal patients with lung cancer. I left there with very graphic, very compelling reasons WHY to quit smoking. I was motivated. I didn’t wait for those reasons to come to me. I knew how powerful they would be, so I went out and found them. This is the proactive approach to jump-starting motivation and personal discipline. (Back to the example of weight loss and fitness, see previous article, “Finally the Truth About Diet and Nutrition — The China Study Review.” This book will help provide you with compelling reasons WHY.)

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

2. Once you know why, it’s easier to make a good decision. In this example, the decision is to lose weight and be more fit. The reason why is because it will enhance the quality of your life. Spell it out to yourself in specifics, like this:

Being trim and fit will give me more energy. It will make me healthier, and my immune system will be stronger, so I am not susceptible to diseases. The quality of my life will be enhanced, as well as the quantity. Fact: healthy, fit people live longer than unhealthy fat ones. If these reasons are not compelling enough to inspire you, dig a little deeper. Try these:

I choose to be thinner so I look and feel sexier. If you are male, an improved diet can help with virility (or lack thereof) and put the problem of erectile dysfunction to bed without drugs. Get the facts — not the pharmaceutical industry’s propaganda, but study the hard science until you get a clear understanding of how nutrition affects bodily functions. (Again, refer to the previous article, “Finally the Truth About Diet — The China Study Review.” Read the review, and then read the book.)

Whatever motivates you, learn as much as you can to provide yourself with compelling reasons to follow through on your resolve.

If this still isn’t enough, maybe you have some personal image issues that are getting in the way of getting fit, just for yourself. If you can’t seem to do it for yourself, do it for those who love you. These are the same people who will be taking care of you if you don’t do it. Can you do it for them? Does that motivate you?

For example, the protein casein found in dairy foods has been scientifically linked to prostate cancer, as well as other cancers and other nasty diseases. Especially if you have a history or genetic links to any of these conditions, can you motivate yourself to quit putting that stuff in your mouth, for the sake of friends and family? Can you do it for your spouse?

If you get the facts and understand that something is literally killing you prematurely and that ignoring it can make your spouse an early widow or widower, can you squeeze a little personal motivation from that?

If you can’t motivate yourself for you, try this: Do it for those who love you. Your lack of discipline could result in you early demise . . . how long do you want to make them miss you?

3. With these first two steps in place, now you can make a promise to yourself. The objective is to saturate yourself with enough facts and resulting motivation so that you can keep your promise to yourself.

It Gets Easier

Before we actually get around to taking action, our imaginations run wild with terrifying scenarios about how difficult it will be to give up things in our diet. Instead, play the substitution game. Don’t allow yourself to feel deprived. This is all about enhancing your life — not about deprivation. Look for healthy and exciting alternatives. Broaden your horizons to include new things in your diet that you may have never tried otherwise.

Rejoice in the diversity. Feel gratitude for the information that allows you to enhance the quality of your life. And enjoy your new-found dedication to personal discipline and the enhanced self-image and vitality that comes with it. It’s worth the effort.

If you feel yourself beginning to slip by dwelling on a fleeting desire for something you know is not in alignment with the promise you made to yourself, stop. Give it a moment. See that it’s just a mental habit or possibly a physical addiction. It’s not supporting your new image of yourself.

Trust Your Feelings

If you give in to it, how will that make you feel? Is that how you want to feel? Your feelings will give you fool-proof feedback about whether or not any urge is in alignment with your deepest desires. (See previous article, “How Do You Feel — About Inner Guidance.”)

Does your target mental image look fit, slim and energetic? Any craving that flits across your mind that is not in alignment with your target mental image will pass, if you will just give it a little time. Train yourself to wait. When you get a craving, don’t act upon it immediately. Give yourself the benefit of the buffer of time. Every time you demonstrate the upper hand on cravings, it becomes easier the next time.

If you took the time to do step 2 thoroughly, your desire for fitness will be stronger than any fleeting urge to put something undesirable in your mouth. Just because it may be tasty or because you are used to it will no longer be good enough.

Ladies, is a moment on your lips worth a lifetime on your hips? Gentlemen, is a moment in your mutt worth a lifetime on your gut?

You’ve got to want your target more than you want any momentary indulgence. You do that by dwelling on step 2 — why.

If all the usual reasons are not compelling enough to inspire you to take action in sync with your desired objective, play your trump card: If you’re having trouble doing it for yourself, can you do it for those who love you? They will be the ones taking care of you if you break your promise to yourself. They will be your survivors. Can you follow the tips in this article and brush up on your self-discipline skills for their sake?

They’re counting on you. Now, count on yourself!

“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves…self-discipline with all of them came first.” – Harry S. Truman (1884-1972)

The example in this article is primarily weight loss and fitness, but these three steps of discipline can be applied to all areas of your life. You can cultivate personal discipline to:

· Stop talking too much and listen more.
· Quit lashing out at your kids or spouse.
· Be kind and courteous — even to jerks.
· Be cheerful.
· Turn off the news and allow yourself to gravitate to a better attitude.
· Quit being judgmental.
· Take 3 deep breaths before you respond to a potentially volatile situation.

“Without discipline, there’s no life at all.” – Katharine Houghton Hepburn (b. 1909)

Self Discipline in 3 Steps Review:

1. Saturate yourself with the facts — lots of facts.
2. Make the decision of what you want — spell it out clearly in great detail.
3. Make a promise to yourself, and keep it.

While reading, did you choose to hear the relaxing instrumental music linked at the beginning of this article? To learn more about it, click here.

Listen FREE to the song samples below . . . chosen to enhance the ideas in this article.

Related Songs
Trash Our Treasures
People seem to have a history of awarding seemingly insignificant details with places of prominence in our lives, while ignoring or even destroying the most important aspects.

Time of Our Lives
Time is so fleeting, so elusive, it’s good to remember the importance and power of living right now.

Take the Plunge
Their advice is "for your own good", but the last thing you need to hear is their worst-case scenario.

Celebrate Life
Create your own personal celebration of life by your choices, rather than allowing life to be something that merely happens to you, or around you.

Bubba on the Barbie
This is a tongue-in-cheek look at the popular American tradition of the backyard barbeque.

Clean Plate Yodel
A vivid childhood memory of the first time I saw people singing and playing music and making people laugh from the stage. At the time, I didn’t know any better and thought, "Hey, that looks like a good job. I wanna do that when I grow up." Well, I never did grow up, just older, and I still don’t know any better. And yes, it is a great job!

Fill o’ the Fair
This carnival of life is so rich and diverse, let’s squeeze every bit of happiness, joy, and delight as possible out of every single day.

Songs by Tupelo

Related Links

Related Articles

Finally the Truth About Diet – The China Study Review
Finally, here’s an authoritative diet and nutrition book based on hard science and exhaustive research. This revealing book is written by one of the world’s most respected authorities in the field of nutrition. In his own words, he has been “in the system for almost fifty years, at the very highest levels, designing and directing large research projects, deciding which research gets funded and translating massive amounts of scientific data into national expert panel reports.” There is so much useful information in this book, I consider it one of the most important books I have ever read and give it my highest recommendation. Change your diet and change the quality of your life.

Is Food Your Medicine or Poison?
Food is not what it used to be. In the relatively recent past, food was universally recognized as the fruits and nuts that grow on trees, the vegetables that grow out of the soil, plus some fish and game. If you were to take a ride in a time machine and show our ancestors what we eat today, they would recognize very little of it. For the most part, it’s over-packaged, over-processed, over-rated and under-nourishing. Every day, we choose our future health and vitality by what we choose to put in our mouths. Three times a day we have the opportunity to act upon our resolve to experience optimum health and vitality . . . at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bon appetit.

How Do You Feel – About Inner Guidance?
Is it a hunch? Is it a voice in your head? Is it something you feel? Don’t confuse what you feel with who you are. Once you are able to access this awareness of pure being and identify yourself with it, you won’t get carried away by whatever emotional cloud happens to be passing by. Celebrate life through one of the more subtle forms of communication available to us – inner guidance.

Enhance Your Self-Image on Purpose
Here are twelve common sense reminders on how to inspire yourself. The word “inspire” derives from root words that mean “in spirit” or “spirit within.” Although there’s always another step to take, these points are a natural result of recognizing and identifying with this realization of who we really are.

Persistence and Perseverance for Winners – Losers Just Quit
Giving up is easy. Most people make a habit of giving up. In fact, they make a life of it Persistence through a solution-oriented attitude is for visionaries, dreamers and other winners who refuse to take “no” for a final answer.

Integrity Through Self-Reliance
When you live your life as if the whisperings from your soul really matter, you are living life in your own way, on your own terms, based on your own realizations on what is right . . . what is good . . . and what is true for you. You are tuned into your own station. The signal you are receiving and the message you are broadcasting with the story of your life are both on the same frequency. You are joyfully and gratefully choosing your favorites from the buffet of life.

How to Keep Your Word
This article is a poignant reminder of the power of your word. Celebrate life by honoring your word . . . and therefore the people with whom you interact.

Being Present through Sensuality
The idea is to occasionally turn off the senses in order to better tune into the aliveness that lies beyond them. The realization that there is something beyond the world of the five senses can provide an “aha” experience, especially at first. With the senses turned off (or even turned down), there remains a vibrant sense of aliveness – the world of feeling and the realm of being.

The Trouble with TV
Does TV enhance our life experience or get in the way of living our lives? Celebrate life with this refreshing perspective on the boob tube.

Articles by Tupelo

This is the end of the article entitled Self-Discipline in 3 Easy Steps published by Tupelo Kenyon on February 10, 2008 at 12:34 pm | In Diet and Nutrition, Discipline, Health and Fitness, Inner Guidance, Productivity - Copyright 2007 - All rights reserved worldwide.

For more info about "Music to Feel Better" click here. The Inspired on Purpose Association is good to share. Get info on FREE 30-day trial for friends & family.


Why wait for inspiration to strike?

Be proactive, and allow it to come to you.

This newsletter brings it directly to your inbox.

"Inspired on Purpose" newsletter by Tupelo Kenyon contains articles, reviews and resources to supercharge your personal development, inspiration, productivity, abundance and joy.

10 FREE Bonus Gifts:

FREE Video: The Subtle Side of Manifestation:
How to Make Your Biggest Dreams Come True
(1 hour multi-media course by Tupelo Kenyon.)
Feel Better First, Your Passion as Your Compass, & 3 others

Uplifting Music Albums

by Laughing Bird
(Tupelo and Janey Kenyon)


"Music to Feel Better" song sampler & instrumental sampler

You'll also get
an audio story and FREE Special Report

Get it now below, or get full details on Home Page.

Privacy policy: Your email address is secure.
I will not sell, rent or trade your information to anyone for any reason. Period. - Tupelo Kenyon

First Name:

If you liked this article, please let others know about it at the social bookmarking site(s) of your choice . . .


Thank you, Tupelo.

P.S. Are you looking for something specific? Try Google search:


3 Trackbacks

TrackBack URI

  1. [...] Self-Discipline in 3 Easy Steps [...]

    Pingback by » Make a Decision Easier — February 24, 2008 #

  2. [...] Self-Discipline in 3 Easy Steps Why is it so difficult to follow through and accomplish what you set out to do? Usually, there is one important missing ingredient: personal discipline. For most of us, the idea of discipline is an external force – it’s something that comes from the outside. For instance, we discipline our children. Most of us are familiar with discipline as a verb (something we do to someone else), but we’re not so familiar with the concept as a noun – something we cultivate from within and apply to ourselves. [...]

    Pingback by » Trade TV Time for Habits of Personal Development and Success — July 7, 2008 #

  3. [...] Self-Discipline in 3 Easy Steps Why is it so difficult to follow through and accomplish what you set out to do? Usually, there is one important missing ingredient: personal discipline. For most of us, the idea of discipline is an external force – it’s something that comes from the outside. For instance, we discipline our children. Most of us are familiar with discipline as a verb (something we do to someone else), but we’re not so familiar with the concept as a noun – something we cultivate from within and apply to ourselves. [...]

    Pingback by » Know Thyself – Ignore Comparisons and Be Yourself — July 7, 2008 #

Comments are closed. Trackbacks are active.

Copyright © 2007 Tupelo Kenyon - All Rights Reserved
11:11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . RSS Feed - Subscribe to weekly articles free.^Top^ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11:11