3 min read

How to develop self-discipline

How to develop self-discipline

By greatest marathon runner and the greatest boxer

No matter your goals and aspirations you’ll move closer to them if you’re self-disciplined.

Below I'll cover 3 practices to improve your self-discipline.
But before we start, let's quickly establish why discipline important.

Don't take it from me, take it from Mike Tyson and Eliud Kipchoge:

"You’re nothing without discipline!
Cause you give out under the slightest struggle without discipline."
Mike Tyson

The first person to run a marathon below 2-hours, is also a big believer in discipline:

“The indisciplined ones aren’t free, they are in prison.
The disciplined ones are free in life”
Eliud Kipchoge

(In case you’re wondering how crazy hard running a sub two hour marathon is)

This is what Tom Brady's mentor has to say about it:

“Your role is to be consistent.
Single most important word in sport is consistency”
- Greg Harden (Tom Brady's mentor)

What's Discipline?

According to one of my favourite philosophers:
“Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but do it like you love it.”
Mike Tyson about discipline

Eliud views the blocks of self-discipline as vitamins which made it really relatable to me.
The same way my body needs nourishment, my mental aspects also need supplements. Make sure every day to take the vitamins and you’re good.

One of the mistakes I made was to integrate too many changes all at once into my life.
Don’t be me. Don't try to incorporate all the vitamins all at once.
My suggestion is each month have a “theme”, during this month you focus on one vitamin. 
ℹ️ Change your computer password to a saying that reminds you of this theme.

Which vitamin to start with?

I like to start with the one I’m most likely to fail at.
Basically start where I suck the most. It’s where I’ll see the biggest gains the fastest. 

Vitamins of self-discipline

Vitamin P: Know Your Priorities

Without knowing these you’re floating in a vacuum, because you have no idea where you’re going.

What are you trying to accomplish? What’s your North star?
What’s your version of hell? What are you running away from? Write it down!
If it's not written done you can weasel your way out of it.
You can start with the North Star method

Vitamin N: Learn to say No

Say No to things that are moving you away from your Priorities.
Ask yourself:
"Is this moving me towards what I want?"
If not, say No.

Saying No is tough! Make it easier for yourself.
Have prepared refusal sentences you can use:
"Sorry, but I'm super busy, I have to pass this time."
"Thanks for offering, but I've got an important thing I MUST focus on."

Vitamin C: Don't Complain

Did you expect reaching your goals to be easy?
I’m guessing you didn’t.
You thought it’ll be hard. Well guess what?
“This is what hard feels like.”
– Alex Hormozi.

Navy Seals call it "Full Benefit".
The mindset of getting the good stuff out of any situation, no matter how shitty it is.

Instead of complaining, turn it around 180° and tell yourself the exact opposite.
“I have to pay the bills” → “I get to pay the bills because I’m lucky to have a place to stay in”
“I have to run in the rain” → “I get to workout in harsh conditions and improve myself even more. I’ll be ready for hard times.”

Next time you face a sink full of dishes or some other yuk task, love it for the opportunity it’s giving you to improve yourself.

🧠 This is mirrored in our brain’s structure.
The area of the brain which is incharge of Willpower and Tenacity grows by doing things we don't want to do.


  1. Know the basics vitamins (building blocks) of self-discipline.
  2. Integrate them into your life one-by-on. Choose one to focus on for a month.
  3. It’ll be hard, but that’s a good thing. It means you’re growing and your brain is developing. 

What vitamins would you add to the mix?


Pick one of the vitamins and focus on improving it in the coming 4-weeks.

Bonus points: Write it done, tell a friend or someone to hold you accountable. (If you don't know who to share it with, send it over to me. I'll help you).