The Book of Proverbs was written to help us be disciplined people. In chapter 15 we read, “Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding” (Proverbs 15:32).

I recognize that discipline may not be your favorite topic, but here’s the truth: Lack of discipline is self-inflicted suffering! If you refuse to impose discipline on yourself, you will suffer unnecessarily.

If you want to become a disciplined person, you must identify areas where you lack discipline and start working on those one by one. What you will discover is that when you achieve discipline in one area, it strengthens you and enables you to become disciplined in other areas. I’m going to cover a few really basic areas where discipline is needed in most of our lives.

  • Getting Up Early

It is said of the ideal woman in Proverbs 31:15 that “she gets up while it is still night.” She’s an early riser. Are you? Another proverb puts it more graphically: “As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed” (Proverbs 26:14). Getting up early and getting a good start on your day is a discipline all of us need.

Your day is won or lost in the morning hours and, by getting up early, you are much more likely to win the day! What does early mean? Early means you aren’t in a mad rush in the morning; you have time for meditation; you have time to get your day organized; and you have time to look as good as possible. It has nothing to do with whether you’re a “morning person” or not.

The Psalmist said, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). This is one of the most important disciplines that you need. Impose this discipline on yourself and you will quickly realize the great benefit in getting up early. You can do it!

  • Getting Organized

In Proverbs 28:2 we read, “. . .a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.” Do you have order in your life? Order—or organization—is a critical discipline for success. Clutter becomes a major energy leak. Without adequate organization, you waste enormous amounts of energy looking for things, worrying about what has fallen between the cracks, and putting out fires which have arisen because of your lack of organization. This makes you a poor steward of your time and energy.

You need a daily written plan to make your day orderly. There are many tools available today—but you need to choose one and use it. Lack of organization will cost you dearly and keep you from achieving your goals, realizing your dreams, and knowing the success that God has intended for you.