Top Ten Self-Discipline Habits to Create


As I wrote a message to the participants of “75 Days of Action Challenge” this morning – this is a facebook event, see details here – the thought occurred: 

What are some of the most popular success habits people have worked on with me over the years? I thought you might benefit from knowing this.

Today I asked you to[ request #2]

Select another thing to do DAILY…this time, let it be something that you KNOW will impact your life tremendously. Let it be something that will take some EFFORT. Is there something you’ve been putting off or doing in a stop and start fashion that you KNOW, by doing this thing you would take your life to a whole other level of existence?

We all have those sorts of actions…actions that, if taken, will form powerful success habits that will impact EVERY area of our life. Discuss with your accountability partner – try SKYPE, btw – but DECIDE today and START TODAY.”

So here’s the top ten list for self-discipline:

  1. Bedtime/Wake-up routine that WORKS. – Going to bed early enough to get up at the time needed to have the day start right is a habit successful people ALWAYS reference as a key to their success.  Not only does our bodies and minds REQUIRE adequate sleep and rest, but rising early enough to get those quiet things done impacts the rest of my day every time.
  2. An attitude of gratitude – having a habit of saying and meaning “thank you” throughout your day is powerful.  What we are grateful for expands in our life.  I’m presently [as it has not always been the case] in the habit of saying thank-you for the challenges as well.  The really are tomorrow’s blessings. This has been demonstrated more times than I can count. Thank everybody for everything – not just with words, but with your attitude and actions. Be grateful!
  3. Reading and Learning – being on a continuous quest for knowledge about the world, your self, your “work,” parenting, technology, etc.  My pastor suggests committing to learning at least one new thing per day.
  4. Exercise. Need I say more?  Whether it’s in the gym, walks or play…all successful people schedule some sort of physical activity that keeps them alive, healthy and well.
  5. Eating well. Another obvious one.  Limiting caffeine, alcohol, sugars and general junk food is essential for good health.  Good health is an essential aspect of “success.”  Successful people understand that their health is directly linked to their creativity, energy level, mindset, emotions and output.
  6. SMILING – yes, smiling:-) .  I’ve worked with several people and actually live with one very successful person – my husband, who has worked on “smiling” more as a priority habit.  It’s not just about the smile…it’s the spirit of optimism behind it.  It’s the commitment to joy and laughter behind it.   Optimistic, joyful people produce more and do more.  Did the success lead to the smile or the smile to the success? Well a whole book can be written about that one…suffice it to say, if all a person has to smile about is their success, they are anchored to a moving target and are dependent upon outside factors.   Not a good thing.  Smile easily, frequently, deeply!  It’s a tonic for the mind, body and soul.  It breeds success.
  7. Be STILL…that would be the habit of PAUSE.  As with sentences – can you just imagine this blog without punctuation?! So is a life without stillness and pause and rest.  Be still long enough to connect to your source.  For me that is God.  Successful people know how to tune out and get re-energized.  Stillness is the most powerful way to do this. It’s called meditation by some.  But don’t get confused with technique, just get still, get present and permit your mind to concede ‘power.’  Thoughts and thinking can really keep a person busy, even when they’re sitting still. The idea is to tune into your deeper source, not your patterned thoughts and self-centered cares.
  8. Deep Breathing. ..which by the way is what you can do when you pause throughout the day.   Breath, deep breath is a habit that is MOST understated and underestimated.  It’s actually not one that gets mentioned often by folks I coach.  But I have to bring it up because it’s pivotal to success. Breathing  from your diaphragm  is breathing to excel. That’s the kind of breath that pushes the needed substance into our blood stream to our brain. We simply need oxygen and all that’s in it for a reason: LIFE!  Ask any high performing athlete or performer, they will tell you about the power of breath.
  9. Patience & Calm. This is the habit to develop if you struggle with anger, intolerance, hasty decisions, dependencies, worry, anxiety, disorganization, and more.  Having a habit of patience allows you to remain present – not in the past, full of anxiety and not in the future, full of worry. Of course there are other characteristics and habits that would would need  to be developed to support this place of patience and peace.  Successful people know what the “small stuff” is and they know how impotent and effective  it is to fight against circumstances outside their control. They’re wise.
  10. Forgiveness.  Having a habit of letting things go, releasing, not taking offense, not holding on to guilt is most powerful.  And of course with this habit and mindset, patience, calm, inner peace, joy, stillness, smiling, gratitude, creativity, kindness, productivity, accountability, self-discipline…all flow naturally  and powerfully.

I’m recovering from a serious bout of guilt…and finally self-forgiveness.  See my entry here about it.

I know…2, 9 & 10 are not as simple and straightforward as the others…they require more soul searching but you can create specific action steps to build these success habits into your life.  As for the others, they each require a commitment that is lasting and anchored to your plan for your life.

These are the habits over the years that  people –  super successful people – have identified as having the most impact in their lives because they developed the habit of self-discipline and self-mastery.    Not just in their business life but in the entire of  their life – personal, relationships, community, home life and work life.

These are the self-discipline “watershed habits,” create these and many others  will follow.

So look over this list again and tell me if the action you selected to focus on falls into any of these categories.  I’d be curious to hear what you are working towards – whether it’s listed here or not. So be in touch.

Wishing you an abundance of peace, joy and light,

Julette Millien


2 Responses

  1. Excellent article! Many things to incorporate into my daily routine.

    My new habit was to determine at the beginning of the day the one “must do task” that will be done by the end of the day and throughout the day, figure out how to accomplish the task, and then do it. I’m assuming that we’ll be adding new habits throughout this event, so I’ll add your tips after today.


  2. Thanks Edith – and you’re very welcome!

    As you select your ‘must do task’ of the day, be sure to visualize it done! See it vividly. Be clear on WHY it needs to get done – how does it bring something into your life that you are excited about.

    Have fun 🙂

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