11 traits of disciplined people that leads them to success

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If you want to be successful, you’re going to need some discipline.

While many dream of reaching their goals and being successful, disciplined people don’t just dream. They take action.

Not only that, but they make plans, set those plans in motion and stick to them.

Curious to know the traits of disciplined people?

Great! In this article, I’ve compiled a list of 11 key traits of disciplined people that leads them to success. Read on!

1) They set clear goals and write them down

It’s one thing to have a goal in mind, but disciplined people set clear goals of what they want to achieve and write them down.

Writing down your goals helps make them more concrete, and studies show that people who write them down are up to 1.4 times more likely to achieve them.

Michael Phelps who is an accomplished Olympian, has also talked about how writing his goals down have helped motivate him.

He said in an interview, “I write my goals down on a piece of paper and they’re there where I can see them because I have to have a reason, I have to see something for why I’m getting up in the morning and what I’m doing that day.”

2) They set small goals for themselves

It takes time to achieve your goals, and some people might be put off by this.

But to get to the main goal, you have to break it down into smaller ones. This is what disciplined people do.

Let’s take an aspiring novelist, for example. They want to write a 50,000 word novel. When you look at that word count, it seems pretty daunting, right?

But not when you break it down.

This aspiring novelist decides to focus on writing 500 words every day until they hit that 50,000 word count. That’s the small goal they’ve set for themselves each day, which will help them reach their target.

By setting small, achievable goals, disciplined people are able to focus on these and reach closer to success.

3) They set deadlines

Setting deadlines gives disciplined people a timeframe to work towards and keeps them on track.

Remember how much work we’d get done at college or university once those deadlines hit? But the best we could do for those first couple of months was write a headline and a couple of sentences?

Most of us might not have gotten anything done at all if we weren’t given deadlines for these assignments.

So you can see how setting deadlines helps disciplined people stay on target and smash their goals.

4) They don’t give in to temptations

Disciplined people have great self-control and are able to put their goals first.

Let’s say you’re supposed to work on an assignment, but a new season of a show has just come out on Netflix you’ve been waiting to see.

Are you going to abandon your work and binge-watch the entire season? Or will you finish your assignment first?

Someone who is not disciplined might give in and put off their work for another day, but disciplined people resist these temptations.

They know that giving in to temptations means it will take them longer to achieve their goals.

So, they’ll leave that Netflix series for another day, (even though they really want to watch it).

5) They make sacrifices to achieve their goals

Not watching a TV series you’ve been dying to watch because of work is just one sacrifice someone might make to achieve their goals.

It’s one of the more difficult parts of being disciplined. However, disciplined people know it’s necessary to hit their long-term goals.

If someone wants to lose a little weight, they might have to cut down or cut out some of their favorite snacks.

If they want to write a novel but they have a full-time job, then they might need to wake up an hour earlier or stay up late to get some words down. Or swap the time they’d usually spend on Facebook for writing instead.

Success takes some sacrifice, and not everyone is willing to do it.

But disciplined people will sacrifice these things because for them, it’s worth it in the long term.

6) They get rid of distractions

Distractions are everywhere.

Like social media, for example. How many of us have wasted hours scrolling through Facebook feeds or watching videos on Youtube?

It’s so easy to get distracted when working on your laptop. All you have to do is open up another tab, and Google search your life away.

Disciplined people eliminate these distractions so they can’t interfere with their work.

For example, someone working from home might silence their phones and turn on focus mode, so phone calls and texts can’t distract them.

Or they’ll only check their social media pages and emails during their breaks, so they can then focus on getting their work done.

7) They structure and organize their time

Disciplined people are masters of organizing their time and prioritizing tasks.

An example of this is someone who wakes up at the same time each morning to go for a 30-minute run before getting ready for work.

Or someone who checks and responds to their emails first thing every morning before starting work for the day.

They may also use a calendar to set times for getting things done or a to-do list to check off during each day.

8) They show up, even when they don’t feel like it

One of the tricky things about us humans is that our emotions can be unpredictable.

One minute, you feel super motivated to get things done. You’re all in on your plan to cut sugar from your diet or do 50 sit-ups daily to get rock-hard abs.

Next minute, you’re not in the mood to get out of bed, let alone do a sit-up! As for cutting out sugar? You’re craving cake, and your sweet tooth can’t resist it.

When your motivation fizzles out, you might abandon your goals and leave it for another day when you feel more motivated.

But disciplined people show up, regardless of how they feel. Even though they feel like staying in bed, they’ll force themselves to get up, throw on some clothes and put their abs to work.

They’ll go for that 30-minute run even though their legs ache and they have no energy.

Or they’ll churn out words on their laptop, even when it’s the last thing they want to do.

Disciplined people know they won’t always feel motivated to get things done.

However, they are committed to their goals, which keeps them showing up, even when they don’t feel like it.

9) They’re consistent

People who show up even when they don’t feel motivated to are consistent. The same goes for people who resist temptations, remove distractions and stick to a routine.

Consistency is key to reaching success, and disciplined people have got this nailed down.

You’ve probably heard of the famous author Stephen King, who has written over 60 books in his lifetime. He’s been able to accomplish this by being consistent.

In his memoir On Writing, King said, “I like to get ten pages a day, which amounts to 2000 words,” when talking about his writing process.

He also mentioned rarely deviating away from this target, which has undoubtedly helped him become the prolific author he is today.

10) They’re also adaptable

Disciplined people are even able to be consistent when faced with unpredictable circumstances.

So, say someone couldn’t write during their lunch break at work because of a meeting. They’d make up for it by fitting in some writing time later on in the day.

Or if they couldn’t work out at home because the family popped around, they’d stay up later to work out or wake up extra early and do double time.

While some people might see unpredictable events as an excuse not to get anything done, disciplined people will work their way around it.

11) They don’t let setbacks stop them

Even when faced with setbacks, that’s not enough to deter disciplined people from their goals.

That aspiring novelist I mentioned earlier may have struggled to write one day because of writer’s block, or the person on a diet could have caved in and ate a piece of chocolate cake.

These things happen. We are human, so we won’t get it right every time.

But people who are disciplined will keep it going. They won’t throw give up because of a setback. They’ll keep doing all of the things above which will inevitably lead them to success.


Success takes discipline.

The thing that separates disciplined people from everyone else is their ability to set concrete goals, establish a routine and stick to it. Of course, they’ll face temptations, but they won’t give in to them. They’ll make sacrifices too, but it’s worth it for the disciplined.

Don’t be disheartened if you’re not quite there yet. Anyone can be disciplined; it’s just something you have to work on. Work on developing these traits, and you’ll succeed in no time!