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How To Build Discipline and Consistency: 7 Proven Strategies

May 7, 2024

By Will Moore

Ever feel like you’re constantly chasing your goals, but they seem just out of reach? The secret to bridging that gap might lie in two powerful skills: discipline and consistency.

In this blog, we'll explore practical steps for developing discipline and consistency, transforming them from mere concepts into actionable, daily practices. These skills are not just about strict routines; they’re the backbone of sustained success and the catalysts for turning your aspirations into achievements.

Ready to make these skills a core part of your success story? Let’s get started.

Discipline Vs Consistency

In a nutshell, the difference between discipline and consistency is: Discipline is the ability to make yourself take action, even when you don't feel motivated. It's the willpower to start something new.

Consistency is the ability to sustain that action over an extended period of time. It's the habit of regularly following through.

In other words, Discipline gets you going, while consistency keeps you going. In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear simplifies this by saying, "Discipline is how you kickstart a new behavior, but consistency is how you make it stick." Understanding this difference is crucial; discipline pushes you out of your comfort zone to try new things, while consistency helps solidify those efforts into routines.

Why is consistency and discipline important?

Consistency and discipline are fundamental to levelling up in any area of life. They act as the backbone for growth and achievement.

1. Achieving Long-Term Goals: Consistency allows you to make incremental progress towards long-term objectives. Whether you’re aiming to advance in your career, improve your health, or learn a new skill, regular, disciplined efforts lead to substantial cumulative effects. For instance, consistent study habits are crucial for academic success just as steady work on business tasks is essential for professional growth.

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2. Building Trust and Reliability: When you are consistent and disciplined, others view you as reliable and trustworthy. In a professional context, consistently meeting deadlines and maintaining a high standard of work strengthens your reputation and opens doors to opportunities for advancement and leadership roles.

3. Developing Mastery: Discipline is key to mastery in any field. Malcolm Gladwell, who proposed the 10,000-hour rule, believes achieving expertise requires dedicated and sustained practice. Discipline drives this process by ensuring you focus on honing your skills, even when progress seems slow.

4. Enhancing Self-Esteem and Confidence: Regularly meeting the goals you set for yourself builds self-confidence. Discipline helps you stick to your commitments even when motivation wanes, leading to a sense of accomplishment that reinforces your self-esteem. It's not motivation; it's discipline that sustains it. This self-assuredness, in turn, empowers you to take on new challenges and continue your personal and professional development.

5. Creating Beneficial Habits: Discipline helps you form success habits that can improve your life significantly. For example, the discipline to save money regularly can lead to financial security, while exercising discipline in eating can improve your health. Once these habits are established through consistent action, they require less effort to maintain, freeing up mental resources for other pursuits.

Read About Motivation vs Discipline

6. Reducing Stress and Increasing Predictability: Consistency in your actions can simplify your life and reduce uncertainty, which often leads to reduced stress. When you have a routine and structure your day effectively, you're less likely to feel overwhelmed by responsibilities. This predictability allows for better stress management and more effective use of your time.

7 Science-Backed Strategies to Build Discipline and Consistency

1. Define Specific Goals and Milestones:

Establishing clear goals is fundamental to maintaining consistency in your professional endeavors. By delineating what you wish to achieve and setting milestones along the way, you anchor your daily actions to these objectives.

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For example, if improving your physical health through consistent exercise is your goal, plan regular sessions and track your progress. As each goal is met, the satisfaction of achievement naturally encourages you to continue this cycle, gradually turning these actions into second nature.

2. Leverage Existing Habits to Build New Ones:

Building new, good habits on the foundation of existing ones is a strategic method for developing good habits. If your evening routine typically includes reading, add a brief session of planning for the next day’s important tasks. This pairing creates a natural trigger that enhances self-discipline. As James Clear suggests, the environment you create around you often determines the habits you foster, making it crucial to intentionally design routines that reinforce your desired behaviors.

3. Incorporate Elements of Play and Competition:

Introducing gamification to your routine can make maintaining discipline an engaging and enjoyable experience. By setting up a rewards system for completing tasks or achieving goals, such as consistent self-discipline in managing your workload, you can transform mundane activities into exciting challenges. This method not only makes the process of self-improvement fun but also ensures that you remain consistent in your efforts.

4. Regularly Evaluate and Adjust Your Progress:

To practice consistency effectively, it’s important to assess your progress regularly. This reflective practice allows you to stay flexible and adapt your strategies, ensuring that you are always moving toward your goals. Regular evaluation acts as a feedback loop, reinforcing your self-control and helping you adjust your approach to overcome any emerging challenges.

5. Adopt and Maintain a Growth Mindset:

Embracing challenges as opportunities for growth is crucial for developing consistent self-discipline. This growth mindset, as advocated by psychologist Carol Dweck, helps transform setbacks into steps forward, encouraging continual self-improvement. It’s about recognizing that self-control and the ability to remain consistent are not innate traits but skills that can be developed through perseverance and resilience.

6. Create a Supportive Accountability Network:

Sharing your goals and progress with a supportive network can significantly boost your motivation and enhance your ability to maintain discipline. Whether it’s weekly check-ins with a mentor or participating in a group focused on similar self-improvement goals, the encouragement and accountability provided by others are invaluable. This community aspect helps solidify the good habits you’re forming and dissuades the retention of bad habits.

7. Optimize Your Physical and Digital Environments:

An orderly environment supports disciplined behaviors and promotes focus on important tasks. Organizing your workspace and digital areas makes it easier to maintain the routines that contribute to your overall goals, such as physical health or consistent exercise. This strategic organization reduces the friction of starting tasks, making it more likely that you will stick to your planned activities and solidify them as part of your routine.

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Ready to Develop the Discipline to Level-Up Your Life?

Take the 2-Minute Core Values Quiz

To start implementing what you've learned above to gain momentum in all 5 Core Areas Of Your Life, the first step is to shine a spotlight on where you currently stand. Our Core Values Quiz is designed to do just that—in just 2 minutes!

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By taking this quick quiz, you'll gain immediate insights into your standing in the 5 Core Areas of Life: Mindset, Career and finances, Relationships, Physical Health, and Emotional Health. Discover which area you struggle with the most and kickstart your journey to a balanced and fulfilling life.

Don't miss this opportunity to activate and sustain the key to happiness.

Track Your Success: Keep the momentum going by making accountability fun! Our Weekly Habit Tracker App gamifies your journey, turning everyday discipline and consistency into a rewarding game.

OUR MISSION: AtMoore Momentum,we accelerate your growth in the 5 Key areas of life by making your habit transformation journey so simple, fun, and rewarding that your momentum becomes inevitable. Start building your success story today—because when you grow, you don't just move forward; you level up.

FAQs - Discipline and Consistency

What is the difference between discipline and motivation?

Discipline is the ability to make yourself do something regardless of how you feel motivated. Motivation is an emotional state that provides the desire or willingness to do something. Discipline enables action even in the absence of motivation.

Can you be disciplined without consistency?

No, true discipline requires consistency over time. Isolated bursts of self-control are not disciplined - discipline implies sustained action and follow-through. Consistency is what separates discipline from mere willpower.

How to be disciplined without motivation? What does it mean to be consistent in discipline?

To be disciplined without motivation requires developing systems, routines and habits that make the desired behavior automatic rather than relying on motivation. Being consistent in discipline means performing the disciplined action repeatedly, sticking to the routine regardless of how you feel on a given day.

What is the key of discipline?

The key to discipline is developing the mental fortitude and self-control to override momentary impulses, emotions and distractions in order to take valued action. Having a strong "why" or purpose behind the disciplined behavior is also crucial for sustaining motivation long-term


Will Moore is a gamification, habits and happiness expert.

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