In this session, participants will explore the concept of self-discipline as an important characteristic for leaders and for success in achieving goals.


  • Character
  • Self-control and Self-motivation


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of self-discipline as a personal characteristic.


  • Gaining Self-Discipline activity sheet—make a copy for each participant
  • Pen or pencil for each participant
  • Whiteboard or easel pad and marker


Text in italics should be read aloud to participants. As you engage your post in activities each week, please include comments, discussions, and feedback to the group relating to Character, Leadership, and Ethics. These are important attributes that make a difference in the success of youth in the workplace and in life.

Activity 1

Gaining Self-Discipline

Give each Explorer a copy of the Gaining Self-Discipline activity sheet. Tell them to decide on some personal improvements they want to accomplish in different areas of their lives. Go over the different areas and ask Explorers to make suggestions of possible goals. After you have made sure they understand, ask them to think of one to three goals in each area. Have them write their goals in the spaces provided and then indicate whether it is something they will do daily or weekly. Ask them to keep track of how well they do.

Activity 2

Finding Motivation

Motivation is sometimes a problem in achieving self-discipline. Different people are motivated by different things. Ask the Explorers to think of ways they can help motivate themselves to continue working on the goals they set in Activity 1.


For example, some may want to make a chart and check off each time they achieve a goal. Others may want to drop a quarter in a jar each time they reach a goal—using the money at the end for some special treat. Write the motivations on the whiteboard or easel pad. Ask Explorers to decide on a motivation for themselves and write it on the back of the activity sheet they completed for Activity 1.

Use the questions below to carry out a closing reflection.


Some sample questions are below. They are designed to help the participants apply what they have learned to their own interests. You are welcome to use these questions or develop your own questions that relate to your post or specific focus area.


Focusing Questions

  • What tasks were you asked to accomplish today?

Analysis Questions

  • How is self-discipline an important characteristic for leaders?
  • Why is it important to put goals in writing?
  • Why is motivation sometimes a challenge, even when it is related to achieving something worthy?
  • How might you use this in your potential career?

Generalization Questions

  • What are some ways that Explorers can practice self-discipline?
  • What can you do to help yourself become more successful in achieving goals and strengthening your self-discipline?
  • How might you use this in life or in college?
  • Why is this important?
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