Self-discipline is one of the most important character traits a person can develop. It is the ability to control one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions to achieve the desired goal. People who are self-disciplined resist temptation and stay focused on their goals. They stick to their plans and see them through to completion.
Here are ten signs you may lack self-discipline. But don’t worry – if any of this is true for you, you can improve.
- You Don’t Follow Through – If you don’t get things done that you said you would, it’s likely because you’re not organized, aren’t setting goals effectively, and have not set up your environment correctly.
- You Don’t Have a Plan or Schedule – If you make plans or think you have a schedule, but you never stick to it, it’s probably because you lack self-discipline. Self-discipline embodies the ability to stick to your plans and schedule despite any distractions or disruptions that come your way.
- You Often Procrastinate – Many folks try to put things off until the last moment, insisting that they work best under a strict last-minute deadline. Unfortunately, this often leads to sub-par work, as well as extra stress and anxiety. If you’re frequently putting things off until the last minute, it may be time to start working on your self-discipline.
- You Frequently Give In to Temptations – Many people who lack self-discipline also give in to temptation or impulses because they have difficulty saying no to themselves. This can be a significant problem if it leads to overeating, spending too much money, or engaging in other harmful behaviors.
- You Struggle to Say “No” to Things – There may be things you don’t need to do that you are now doing. If so, you are unlikely to get those things done promptly or well. If you say yes too fast without looking at your schedule for a myriad of reasons, look to your self-discipline.
- You Have Trouble Staying Focused – When you work on self-improvement but ignore your self-discipline, you set yourself up for disappointment. You can make significant progress toward your goals but if you lack self-discipline, it won’t be easy to maintain that progress.
- You Frequently Make Rash Decisions – If you don’t think about your choices, you may regret them later. It’s always best to make decisions when you have all the information and have had time to think things through. Otherwise, you may make decisions that are not in your best interest.
- You Often Find Yourself in Stressful, Difficult Situations – When you avoid planning ahead or preparing for difficult situations, you set yourself up for failure. As a result, you end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, which can lead to poor decision-making.
- You Tend to Be Disorganized and Chaotic – People who lack self-discipline are sometimes chaotically messy because they don’t have any system to follow or set of rules to guide them. Studies show that clutter leads to a lot of stress and anxiety, as well as problems personally and professionally.
- You Frequently Feel Overwhelmed or Out of Control – This happens if you often take on more than you can handle, or you allow yourself to get caught up in activities that are not productive. Focusing on what is truly important can be difficult when this happens, and you may feel scattered and stressed.
If you recognize these signs in yourself, it’s likely because you lack self-discipline. The good news is this is something anyone can work on and improve with time and effort. In addition, making a concerted effort to control your thoughts, words, and actions will lead to positive changes.