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It's frustrating to feel like you're never making any progress on your goals. And when it always seems like an uphill battle, trying to figure out where to make improvements can feel almost impossible. This is where the best books on self discipline can come in handy.
But like the world of self-help, there is an ocean of self-discipline material out there, all promising to help you power through to your goals.
That's why we've narrowed down our favorites to give you an evergreen list of the most helpful books on self discipline!
The importance of books on self discipline
If you've never stepped into the personal development world before, then you might be a bit hesitant to pick up some books on self-discipline. But self-discipline, while a seemingly simple concept, isn't always a no-brainer to implement.
So first, let's get clear on what self-discipline is. (Note: You might hear the terms self-control and willpower thrown around with self-discipline, too.)
Basically, self-discipline is your ability to control your actions, feelings, and emotions—consistently. That's the key: consistency.
When you feel like you're losing willpower and can't make it past day three with your exercise goals or saving money, turning to some books on self-discipline can help give you the direction, insight, and tips to keep going.
You can also check out these specific examples of self-discipline for more insight.
Why are self discipline books helpful?
There are many different benefits of mastering the skill of self-discipline, such as:
- Reducing anxiety
- Helping you achieve your long-term goals
- Feeling happier overall
But even for the best of us, mastering this skill every day, day in and day out, is a challenge. That is where self-discipline books can help!
Get motivated and inspired
You know that feeling—when you make an action plan for the week or suddenly get uber-dedicated to cleaning your house so it looks like a perfect Pinterest pin?
Inspiration can really set a fire under you to help you get motivated.
And the benefits of inspiration are no joke. In fact, inspiration is likely to lead you to do well with your goals.
Diving into a few new books about self-discipline is a smart way to get you motivated and inspired to start tackling your new goals—and then take them to the finish line.
Get professional insight
Of course, finding the motivation to get started is only half the battle.
For many of us, willpower and self-discipline can easily wane halfway through the process. That's why we can all use a few tips on how to stay the course.
When you check out the best books on self discipline, you'll get professional insight from some of the world's top psychologists, researchers, and scientists.
For example, one of our favorite books about self-discipline (spoiler!), Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength, is written by the dynamic duo, Roy F. Baumeister, research psychologist, and John Tierney, NYT science writer.
This way, there's no need to worry about reaching all your goals on your own. Instead, with an armful of books on self-discipline, you'll have a slew of experts and their insider know-how to help you get there.
17 best books on self discipline
Is your reading list looking a little slim?
We've got the answers. Pour yourself a cup of tea. Get comfy. And get ready to get inspired with your pick from the list of the 17 best books on self discipline:
1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
Surely, you've heard plenty about what it means to develop a growth mindset. Well, Carol S. Dweck is the renowned psychologist who first introduced the world to this concept of the growth mindset—and she's spelling out all her tips here.
In this book, The New Psychology of Success, you'll learn how to build lifelong resilience and work on self-improvement.
2. The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil Fiore
Next, this page-turner is all about self-discipline strategies. Writer Neil Fiore shares strategies to help you understand and learn how to deal with the role modern technology plays in procrastination.
Ultimately, you'll get a plan to help you lower your stress and increase time efficiency with the book, The Now Habit. Win!
3. Self-Discipline in 10 Days: How to Go From Thinking to Doing by Theodore Bryant
With the right insights, you can improve your self-discipline in just 10 days. To that end, you'll have to learn how to improve your time management and how to identify and rid yourself of subconscious beliefs that sabotage your self-discipline.
If you're looking for a book to help jump-start your self-discipline, Self-Discipline in 10 Days could be it.
4. Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual by Jocko Willink
The book, Discipline Equals Freedom, by Jocko Willink (a commander of the special operations unit of the war in Iraq) shares helpful strategies.
It's one of the best books on self discipline and it will help you overcome weakness, procrastination, and fear.
5. No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy
Above all, self-discipline is about putting a stop to making excuses for yourself. That's why No Excuses puts the focus on learning how to apply a "no-excuses" approach.
In the end, you'll learn how to work towards your personal goals, business goals, financial goals, and overall happiness with discipline as the key ingredient for everything.
6. Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney
As has been noted, Willpower, from Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney, is a crowd favorite when it comes to learning about willpower and self-discipline.
Importantly, this book will open your eyes to a new way of thinking about self-control—and then give you the tips to master it.
7. The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit by Amy Johnson Ph.D. and Mark Howard Ph.D.
Obviously, breaking bad habits is easier said than done. However, with insights from Amy Johnson, Ph.D., and Mark Howard, Ph.D., in The Little Book of Big Change, you'll learn how to rewire your brain so you can overcome your bad habits once and for all.
Using a combination of neuroscience and spirituality, this writing pair will prove to you that you are not your bad habits and that you do have the power to effect change.
8. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel
Famously, Walter Mischel organized what is now known as the Marshmallow Test in the 1970s. Now, his book The Marshmallow Test answers the fundamental question: Is willpower prewired, or can it be taught?
9. The Science of self-control by Howard Rachlin
Unquestionably, there is a science to self-control—at least that's what Howard Rachlin believes. In this book, he proposes a new science of self-control based on principles of behavioral psychology and economics.
Specifically, he argues that we need to develop harmonious patterns of behavior in order to master self-control with a strategy he calls "soft commitment."
10. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
All in all, motivation plays a big role in finding self-discipline. That's why the book, Drive is one of the best books on self discipline that introduces a new way to think about motivation.
First, Daniel H. Pink exposes the mismatch between what science and what business tell us about motivation. Then, he outlines new techniques to master finding your motivation.
11. The 5-Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins
Heads-up! Audible named the 5 Second Rule the #1 nonfiction book of the year. And we can see why.
Undoubtedly, Mel Robbins' five-second rule has taken the world by storm. For life-changing tips on becoming a better decision-maker, this is the page-turner to turn to.
12. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal
Based on the Stanford University psychologist's course, "The Science of Willpower," this book, The Willpower Instinct, harnesses insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine to explain the science of self-control.
Moreover, it gives you practical goods, too. You'll learn how to improve your willpower to improve your health, productivity, and overall happiness in one of the best books on self discipline.
13. The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner
Interestingly, The Practicing Mind takes a look at the act of learning, in general. Clearly, it takes a good sense of self-discipline and self-control to learn a new skill.
That's why Thomas M. Sterner's book focuses on different methods of practice. In this book, you'll learn how to build your discipline and clarity so you can better learn new skills—anything from golfing to cooking to dancing.
14. The Science of Self-Discipline: The Willpower, Mental Toughness, and Self-Control to Resist Temptation and Achieve Your Goals by Peter Hollins
Above all, improving self-discipline means learning how to resist impulses. And that's what the book, The Science of Discipline, teaches you to do.
Specifically, it gives you a roadmap of the human psyche to help you understand what drives your cravings.
In the long run, you'll be able to overcome these cravings and achieve your long-term goals.
15. Willpower Doesn't Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success by Benjamin Hardy
Contrarily, this book says willpower is just a fad. Wait, what? That's right.
This book explains that your willpower won't take you far without an environment that helps you succeed.
For that reason, the book, Willpower Doesn't Work, discusses why it's most important to alter your surroundings to support your long-term goals.
16. Neuro-Discipline: Everyday Neuroscience for Self-Discipline, Focus, and Defeating Your Brain’s Impulsive and Distracted Nature by Peter Hollins
Ready for a wake-up call? The book Neuro-Discipline by Peter Hollins says all humans are predisposed to laziness and energy conservation.
Thus, in order to improve self-discipline, the trick is to learn how dopamine works and how we can stimulate it for our own purposes.
17. 365 Days With Self-Discipline: 365 Life-Altering Thoughts on Self-Control, Mental Resilience, and Success - Martin Meadows
Unfortunately, self-discipline is not instant. Rather, it's something that you need to practice every day. That's where the book 365 Days With Self-Discipline comes in as a daily companion to remind you to stay disciplined.
In this guidebook, you'll get brief, daily insights from the world's brightest minds to help keep you on track when the going gets tough.
Make willpower your superpower with the best books on self discipline
Part of the magic of mastering self-discipline, willpower, and self-control is that you can use these skills to improve pretty much any area of your life—including your finances.
Whether you're having a hard time saving, creating a budget that works for you, or finally opening investment and retirement accounts, learning how to harness the power of self-discipline can help you reach your financial goals. These books about self-discipline can help you be more productive.
To learn even more ways to improve your life, check out these personal finance books and these reads about leadership!