The Difference Between Motivation and Discipline

For my fellow career-minded individuals out there, we already know that motivation and discipline are both important for accomplishing goals…but let’s not make the mistake in thinking they’re interchangeable! Sometimes I’m motivated without being disciplined, and vice versa; other times I’m both, though there are the few times I’m neither. They’re a complement of each other. Let’s talk about the difference between being motivated and being disciplined so we can understand the components necessary to make them happen simultaneously.

First, let’s define them so we can comprehend their similarities and differences.

Motivation is the inner force for inspiration which drives you toward your goals in the first place. It can be internally or externally driven. Often, when motivation is internally driven, we label it through inspirational posters, sticky notes filled with words of encouragement, or through vision boards. External motivation could be dictated by family members, job requirements, or by professional advice. In either case, motivation is what helps you focus on your goals.

Discipline is the tricky one, as it’s completely dependent on the individual. It is the strategy and effort you take in order to achieve your goals. It doesn’t solely rely on motivation, but if you’re not motivated, it’s much harder to find the discipline to work toward goals. To me, discipline isn’t as fun as the bouncy feeling we get from being motivated, yet it’s just as crucial to achieving goals, finishing tasks, and meeting deadlines.

Of course, ideally, we would be both motivated and disciplined ALL the time, but that’s just not how real life works. Now that I’ve been working on building my business for the past year, I have some tips that can (hopefully) help you find both the motivation and discipline you need the next time you have your nose to the grindstone.



Every day write down why you want to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. An example of mine in working to launch the Bodypeace app is because it’ll allow me to have the chance to positively impact thousands to possibly millions of people. When I see that in writing every day, it re-energizes my desire to help others develop to their highest potential.

Creating a vision board that you see daily is a fun way to inspire yourself to reach your goals, which, in turn, shape your life. I personally have mine taped to my fridge, and it is filled with experiences, items, and the lifestyle I am working towards.

Talk to someone who has reached the same (or similar) goals as you. It’s always encouraging to hear when another person has accomplished what you’re trying to do, knowing that it is possible. It’s also a great time to take notes on how they accomplished that goal, and sometimes you can learn from them to reach your goal even quicker.



A major goal can be daunting, and there have been so many times where I felt overwhelmed or didn’t know where to focus my attention. Break down your goals into bite-sized actions. This will not only make your goals more accessible, but it’s also motivating when you finish one item and feel ready to move to the next. Before you know it, you’ll have met your goal!

Minimize distractions! Yeah, easier said than done, right? For me, technology is my top distraction. Since buckling down on my business, I’ve turned my phone to Do Not Disturb always, and even leave it in another room when I’m trying to get work done so I don’t feel tempted to check it. On your computer, there are websites like StayFocused and LeechBlock that allow you to temporarily “block” websites that normally distract you.

Try to accomplish at least one item daily that brings you closer to your goal. It can be as small as you like, and often I find it better to rest more if I check one thing off my list a day than it is to constantly try to work for hours on end. This also allows you to make small steps toward your goal, even when you have zero motivation. I’ve even found that completing these small tasks can sometimes bring my motivation back!


I could keep going on and on with these tips, but I don’t want to scare you away from my blog just yet, so we’ll stop here for now! The next time you feel that a goal is impossible to reach, take a moment to check in with your motivation and regulate your discipline. When you combine the tips above, you might surprise yourself with how quickly you reach that goal! What do you do to stay motivated and/or disciplined? Please comment below, I could always use some advice in this area. If you have any questions for me please feel free to reach out to me at!

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