What does being disciplined look like? It is getting up to exercise instead of sleeping in because you’ve made a commitment to get in shape; it is steadily working on a work project whose deadline is looming instead of surfing social media; it is setting aside an hour every day to write — and sticking to it — because you want to publish a book. Essentially, being disciplined is having the self-control to do whatever will get you closer to your goals, even though there is the temptation to do something that feels better now.

How disciplined are you?

Being disciplined is crucial to forming good habits. It’s taking the long-term view, and doing what will raise your self-respect. If discipline is something you want to develop, start small — today, simply do one thing you know you should do, but have been avoiding. Tomorrow, do two! Your self-esteem will get a boost, which will give you energy to do more.

This week’s Challenge: This week, I will choose to do those things that raise my self-respect!

Avoiding being Obsessive (overuse): It is important to take into account your environment when being self-disciplined, or you may become rigid and obsessive. If you find you are choosing to do something simply because you’re supposed to, even if circumstances might call for a different action, then you have shifted your focus from your long-term goal to the daily action itself.

For example, using the exercise example above, if you wake up one day with a fever, it’s in your best interest long-term to rest that morning instead of exercising; doing so will help you heal and get back to your regular routine more quickly. Losing sight of the big picture — in this case, your overall health — and focusing on the daily activity actually can lead to an erosion of self-esteem, and obsession can lead to anxiety or depression.

When faced with a decision about what to do, remind yourself of your overall goal and then choose the action that makes the most sense at this time.

Commendable Trait: Disciplined
Underused: Undisciplined
Overused: Obsessive
Strength: Diligence
Quadrant: Wisdom

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