How to be a self-disciplined student

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Self-discipline is one of the hardest things to achieve. Everyone wishes to settle into a productive routine. But they can only follow it once, twice or a week maybe. The willpower diminishes and they are back to the same routine. Sticking to a healthy routine for quite a while can make you habitual to that discipline and you will not need the same willpower to do it every time. That phase is the most difficult one and requires all the effort and motivation. How to be a self-disciplined

So, if you want to make healthy eating your lifetime habit, studying consistently a thing of routine, and waking up early as effortless as anything, you will have to look into the science of self-discipline. Discipline comes from a strong will and motivation. But that motivation alone cannot make your disciplines. It just brings in willpower. A successful person is disciplined in life not only motivated. So, instead of listening to the so-called motivational speakers, look at it from a realistic point of how. 

Here is how you can make yourself self-disciplined by understanding the science behind it.  

Pleasure and mind 

Our mind processes our actions as the ones that are pleasurable and the ones that do not give any pleasure. We always wish to eat junk food because it gives us pleasure. We prefer playing over studying because studying is such a boring task and playing is a pleasurable activity. Above all, social media is based on this principle of pleasure. We open Facebook and see the posts and ads that give us pleasure in such a fraction of a second. So, we easily get distracted by it. 

The second thing that our mind process is the time that it takes to get pleasure. For example, if you are hungry and looking for food, you will see if you have some available in the fridge. You will be delighted if it is available. On the other hand, if you have to cook it, you will try avoiding the task. Why? Because it will take quite time to achieve that pleasure. Likewise, even if studying gives you pleasure, it takes a lot more time to achieve it as compared to using social media. So, you will more likely do the task that gives you pleasure in a minimum time. 

Discipline and pleasure

Since the activities that are possible to happen quicker are more likely to be done by you, you can use this principle in your favor. For example, make it difficult for yourself to reach social media by deleting the apps, and blocking them from your phone. This is also a way of showing hard love to yourself. You know you would want to use them but it is possible to live without them more healthily. Convince yourself not to use it and then take them out of your reach. Now when you would feel like using them, you will have to download them and log in again which will make the process longer. 

Just like that, you can make your books more accessible to you which will leave you with lesser reasons why to avoid studying. Moreover, set easy targets for you in the beginning. If completing a topic is difficult for you, you can start with an easier topic that you already know about. This way, you will start receiving that pleasure of accomplishment in a minimum time. Sticking to this, you can add challenges for you, increase your target and time of studying. This will bring you to a stage where you will need less willpower in doing a task. That is the sign you are moving towards self-discipline. 


WOOP is an abbreviation for wish, outcome, obstacle, and plan. This term was coined by psychologist Gabriele Oettingen to help people discipline themselves. Now the above-mentioned things can not be enough to make you find pleasure in the long and difficult activities like studying. Following WOOP, you can change your perspective about liking and preferring an act over other. 

First of all, you wish and associate an outcome with it. For example, by studying hard every day you will be a successful mathematician. You can associate some monetary benefit or anything that incentivizes you. Decide the hurdles you have on your way to that outcome. That may be excessive sleeping, social media, hangouts, or anything. Next thing is to have a substantial pan. This plan will include

  • Your study hours
  • Study breaks
  • Activities during break
  • The time after which the study hours will be increased
  • What to do when you will feel like using social media or hang out during study hours

Planning all these things and acting on them can help you a lot to get into a routine. You can also set small or immediate outcomes that are easy to achieve and realistic. This will motivate you to follow this routine more rigorously. You can watch this video for a better understanding of the discipline and pleasure concept. 

Read more: Seven ways to be a prominent student in your class

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