These are principles from Pastor John MacArthur, who said that the most important decision he made after receiving Jesus Christ as His Savior and Lord was deciding to live a disciplined life. I took notes when hearing him speak about these principles, and summarized them onto one piece of paper to help some teenage friends awhile back. Here I add illustrations, not because the average intelligent reader needs them to understand these short points, but I do know from personal experience that I am far more likely to remember a series of illustrations than I am words. Once my mind recalls at least some of the pictures, then the words come back as well and maybe start making a difference in my life.
Principle 1: Begin with Small Things— it's the little things that make for the big successes. They may not be important in themselves, but Jesus said, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much" (Luke 16:10).
Principle 2: Clean Your Environment—start with your desk and room. Learn to be discontent with a mess. Leave a place better than you found it, never worse.
Principle 3: Make a Schedule—learn to anticipate things and plan accordingly to make things go smoother for everyone concerned.
Principle 4: Wean Yourself from Being Entertained—learn to be productive when you find yourself with extra time. Read something worthwhile, have an edifying conversation, take a walk with someone...
Principle 5: Be on Time—order your universe so you can arrived clothed and in your right mind! Being on time as a habit communicates volumes about how seriously you regard your work or service, and the people with whom you work, go to school, or serve.
Principle 6: Keep Your Word—even in small matters. Don't make promises you can't keep. Learn to accurately evaluate your time, talent, and resources. The only way to do that is to discipline yourself.
Principle 7: Do the Hardest Task First—that keeps it from remaining undone, and you from becoming a procrastinator.
Principle 8: Finish What You Start—making that commitment helps you not be be hasty in committing yourself to something you shouldn't be, but also not to be a quitter once you've made the commitment.
Principle 9: Practice Self Denial—show yourself who's boss! Prove to yourself you can say no when you want to and that you don't live at the whim of impulse.