5 Traits of Self-Disciplined People

Self-discipline is commonly associated with deprivation – people believe that being disciplined means living austerely while restricting and limiting your desires. Such a way of living doesn’t sound like a happy one. However, this is just a myth. 

A Journal of Personality research paper shows that exercising self-control can actually make you happier. Another study found that self-discipline was more useful in predicting academic excellence than IQ. Moreover, a number of successful people all over the world seem to possess a common trait – self-discipline. To share in their success, here are five personality traits of self-disciplined people that you should practice, too:


  • They are good at avoiding temptations and delaying gratification.


Children want what they want, and they want it now. As an adult, you learn that some of the things you want may not be good for you. You also learn that by delaying instant gratification, you can aim for and actually achieve bigger goals. For example, when you are trying to lose weight, avoid temptation by not buying junk food. If friends stop by with some sugar-glazed donuts, refrain from diving in, and simply hand them the box of leftovers when they leave. This way, you won’t have to face temptation when you are alone. Keep your reasons for starting out on this journey, as well as your intentions and desired results, in mind at all times.


  • Self-disciplined people know the importance of taking care of themselves. 


Self-disciplined people know exactly how important self-love, compassion, and health are. Exercising self-discipline to wake up at 5:30 in the morning becomes difficult if you only put yourself to bed a couple of hours ago. By ensuring that they go to sleep on time – yes, that may mean having a designated bed time – self-disciplined folks ensure that there is no unnecessary stress added to their plates. Take better care of your body and mind by eating healthy, making responsible choices when it comes to alcohol, exercising, sleeping for at least 8 hours every night, and being compassionate to yourself.


  • They set strong boundaries.


One of the common traits in self-disciplined successful people is that they have very strong personal boundaries. They do not tolerate anyone pushing their mental, emotional, and physical limits. Strong boundaries help you specify the kind of behavior that you are OK and not OK with. Successful people don’t demand respect; they command it because of the way they conduct themselves. If you do not like how someone talks to you, lay down your boundaries, and let the person know that you will not stand for them yelling at, belittling, or disrespecting you. You should also specify what consequences they will have to face. For example, you may wish to say, ‘If you disrespect my time by arriving late again, I will not wait for you,’ and then be sure to follow through if this situation ever arises. 


  • They aim for realistic goals and timelines.  


Self-disciplined people know that achieving goals is best done one step at a time. Therefore, they break down their long-term goal into smaller parts, and set mini milestones. When you haven’t participated in a marathon before and want to become fit for an upcoming 5k race, the best thing to do is to divide your goal into smaller steps. Start by running a couple hundred meters daily, and then gradually increase the distance you need to cover. Don’t expect to run a 5k with three days of training. 


  • Self-disciplined people are proactive.


After setting realistic goals, self-disciplined people come up with different ways to get closer to achieving them as easily as possible. For example, they don’t believe in making excuses or procrastinating; they start working on their goals in a proactive manner as soon as they are ready.

Self-disciplined people are often labeled ‘boring’ and spoken of as if they are missing out on life. The truth is that these folks know who they are, what they want, and how to go about turning their dreams into reality. Practice these traits, and you will begin noticing the difference in your mindset and life, too.