Discipline – The Necessary Evil of Wellness!


Self-Discipline, by definition, is the ability to listen and to act based on your inner voice, regardless of how you feel, other influences, or the temptations you face. Discipline is the key to self-mastery. So why is this so hard?

So many people struggle with maintaining healthy choices and keeping to their goals. We have misperceptions that we are supposed to be excited and want to be engaged in these wellness practices. The truth is… discipline is hard. It’s rarely anything that we love to do or get super excited about. It’s often something we internally combat and make excuses for. We will find 100 reasons why we should not deliver or more importantly not show up for ourselves. Breaking into a better emotional and behavioral state is work, hard work. We need to accept that this will always be hard work and something that you must employ, daily or regularly, if you want to feel better and be better!

Research shows that people who have a good sense of discipline are less likely to suffer from major mental health issues and more likely to experience overall increased wellness. Some mental health benefits of being disciplined are it increases depressed moods, it creates less anxiety or stress, it combats drugs or alcohol abuse, it decreases potential for develop eating disorders, and it helps manage obsessive compulsive disorders.

Often mental health practitioners will say, “the key to real therapeutic change is when someone finally figures out how to show up for themselves.” It’s the improved habits and disciplines they enforce on themselves that creates positive change. They learn to be healthier and show up successfully.

The benefit of any discipline consistently comes later. It’s not always in the moment of but the sooner or later future. It will show up in the long term and create a new fondness of self. It’s choosing what I want the most. It will get you to the transformative self. Self- discipline creates confidence and motivation. Confidence being the internal stability of self-worth and motivation being the momentum. Momentum will keep the motivation alive. It will increase your focus making you work harder. Discipline creates a drive to succeed and find joy in the success. By being disciplined you will gain tolerance, patience, and a better sense of self-control. All key traits needed for an overall healthy, happy person to be present every day.

Easy steps to create a discipline:

  1. Set clear goals. Clearly outline what your goal means to you and how you intend to achieve it. Meaning is necessary for a discipline to be initiated.
  1. Make a commitment to yourself. You must have meaning and purpose in this. Knowing you are worth the effort and wanting to get back the control of your life.
  1. Make it apart of your daily routine. It is critical to make time each day and figure out where the discipline will fit into your day. Make a place for it, be consistent. Establishing an autopilot routine is essential for the discipline to occur.

Keeping distractions and temptations away will help you to commit and focus on your goals. Being mindful or purposeful of your attention about what your goals are and when your discipline should take place will help you stay on track. Persevering, staying steadfast through hard times will keep you motivated and keep you from self-sabotaging. Executing or carrying the discipline through will keep you in alignment of success and build the journey of your productive self.

Self-discipline is a practice. It is something that you must demonstrate everyday even if you fail or falter. You must put exertion at it and be available to it. You must practice repeatedly until it becomes an automatic behavior and/or thought. Find the courage to put the work in, be patient, and wait with hope.

By: Kristina Tracy, LISW-S