How To Punish Yourself When You Lack Discipline

Look, I am not here to tell you that you messed up and it’s going to be okay. It probably won’t be okay and you’ll keep screwing up unless you find a way to properly motivate yourself to get things done.

Now most of you have probably tried all the positive, rewarding methods which just don’t work for most people.

Most people are far more motivated by fear of loss or punishment than they are by reward. I’ll give you an example.

The best way to build discipline is through creating small habits instead of trying to take drastic measures to force yourself to do something. Obviously you might not have the time to slowly develop your discipline for the task you need to get done right now but combining what you learn in this post with something more beneficial long term is the way to go. You can check out a website called Reality Pathing as they have some great information on how to develop discipline, build better habits and be more productive.


Let’s get into some negative, punish ourselves content so we can complete stuff right now, because that’s what you came here for, you crazy bastards.

First tell me which one of these would be more motivating to you, to complete a task?

Being rewarded with $1000 if you successfully complete the task.

Losing $1000 if you fail to complete the task.

If losing $1000 is much worse than winning, then you are definitely more motivated by fear of loss than potential to gain.

Most people are wired like this and for many of us we wait until the last minute to do a task because that’s the only time when the fear of loss sets in. It becomes “holy crap this is due in 6 hours and if I don’t complete it I will be fired from my job”.

However the fear of being fired or failing college doesn’t set in until it actually becomes a possibilty in the near future.

We need to create our own punishments that are very real and on a short timeline.

Here are a few things you can do to punish yourself, I don’t condone hurting yourself or anything like that but if that’s your thing I won’t judge you for it. I’ll include some more hardcore examples so you can see how far you could potentially go with this.

You could..

  • Give a friend or family member $100 and tell them only to give it back if you complete your task in the timeframe you set. Otherwise they spend it on whatever they want.
  • Have a friend slap you in the face, hard if you fail.
  • You could wait until you are about to go to sleep and pour a jug of water on your bed so that you can’t even sleep before fixing it. You don’t fix it you’ll probably screw your mattress up and punish yourself even more.
  • Force yourself to have a cold shower.

There are so many random things you can do to punish yourself, be creative.

My personal favorite punishment

To be clear I absolutely hate it but it works very well which is to deprive myself of sleep if I don’t complete my tasks for the day.

If I set out to complete 3 tasks and I don’t finish them I either can’t go to bed until it’s done or if I really want to sleep I can only sleep for a short period of time. To ensure this happens I set my alarm clock to allow 4 hours sleep max, put it on the other side of the room and make sure its as annoying as possible.

Then when the alarm goes off I have to get up and turn it off, now you might be thinking I could just go back to bed. Wrong. I also force myself to take 1 – 2 caffeine pills as soon as I turn the alarm off, so I can’t go back to sleep even if I wanted to.

This means i’ll feel like absolute shit all day but you can bet your arse I don’t screw up two days in a row. I may feel crap and find it hard to work properly but now the reward of being able to get a good nights sleep along with the fear of losing even more sleep if I don’t complete my tasks is well and truly enough to get me to make shit happen.


I feel I have to put this disclaimer because of the soft world we live in:
Please do not follow any of my advice as it could be harmful to your health and you should seek help from your doctor or psychologist if you are thinking of punishing yourself.

Most of all, whatever you decide to do is your choice because I am not telling you to do any of these things I am simply sharing my ideas on what someone “could” do if they wanted to punish themselves.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Keep posted for more content coming soon.