Motivation. How can you be “disciplined” about your habits? Get the right motivation. Focus on what motivates you to train in Tang Soo Do for instance. Is it the exhilaration that you feel after a workout? Is it the sense of self-esteem that you get from accomplishing a goal? Is it the affirmation from friends, parents, fellow students and instructors when they share in your success? Is it the peaceful confidence you get from learning self-defense? When things get tough, remind yourself of your motivation. Focus on it. It’ll pull you along — that’s more powerful than trying to focus on the push of discipline.
Make it easy. Discipline is tough because whatever the task or habit you’re trying to do is tough. Instead, make it easy. Remove barriers. Having a hard time practicing at home? Make it ridiculously easy, by only practicing for 5 minutes. What use is practicing for 5 minutes? You’re creating the habit, not getting your black belt overnight. The 5 minutes of exercise will have only a tiny impact on your health, but it makes exercise super easy. If you can do that 30 days in a row, you now have an exercise habit. And you may find that you are motivated to spend more than 5-minutes along the way. "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Confucius
Focus on enjoyment. It’s hard to push yourself — to have discipline — when you hate doing something. So find something enjoyable about the activity. If you don’t look forward to exercise, find some good music, or a workout partner who you can have a nice conversation with, or a peaceful setting in nature that is just beautiful. And focus on that enjoyable aspect. Hate doing your paperwork? Find a peaceful sanctuary where you can do the paperwork and enjoy yourself. Maybe have a nice cup of tea or coffee, play some nice music. And focus on the enjoyment.
Repeat. You’ll almost inevitably slip up sometime, no matter how good you are. Unfortunately, people often take this to mean they don’t have discipline, and they just beat themselves up and give up. Well, it’s just a bump in the road. Get up, dust yourself off, and get going again. This is one of the reasons that we drill our techniques, forms and combinations - repetition is key to developing a successful habit.
Virtuous behavior is when one's motivations are aligned with one's reasoned aims: to do what one knows is best and to do it gladly.