If you look at financially successful people you’ll often find they have one trait in common: self-discipline.
Improving your discipline in one area of your life often spills into every other area. With that in mind, here are some self-discipline exercises. Try taking one of these on for 30 days and watch as your increased discipline starts to spread toward other areas. And if you want to accelerate things, we’ve included self-discipline hacks that involve money.
1. Tidy Up
Even if you keep your place clean, there’s always more you can do. Every morning, either right after you awaken or before you leave for work, make your bed. Put things away after you’ve used them. Wash your dishes right after you use them, and finish drying them and putting them away too.
2. Journal Every Day
Daily journaling frees up your voice and creativity. If you do it in the morning, you can make it a daily gratitude list, where you write down everything you’re thankful for — or write down your dreams after you wake up. If you do it in the evening, write about what you did that day.
3. Read a Chapter of a Book Each Day
Find a book of interest to you that will help you learn or refine a skill and choose a time of day to read at leat one chapter.
4. Drink More Water
Drink eight glasses of water or at least half of your body weight in ounces each day. An example of the latter: a 200-pound person would drink 100 ounces.
5. Get Fit
Commit to exercising for 20 minutes per day – do whatever type of exercise you prefer, just be consistent. If you’re already physically active, then give yourself a fitness regimen.
6. Write Down All Your Expenses
Buy a cheap notebook and every day after work write down all of your expenses. Better yet, jot them down in real time. This is a step toward budgeting.
7. Start Selling
If want to turn your discipline into income, then look for something around your house to sell each day. Try Facebook, yard sales or Craigslist. Try to sell something new every day for a month.
Acquire Self-Discipline One Hack at a Time
The point of these practices is not to try and overhaul your entire life in a month. Instead, pick one habit that you can commit to sticking with, day in and day out, for 30 days. By sticking with this one thing, you’ll see your self-discipline increase in other areas of your life as well.
Readers, how did you do with the self-discipline exercise?
Join our newsletter
Subscribe to get the latest "Engineer Your Finances" content via email.