Updated: May 9, 2020
There are several things I was “supposed” to get done in 2016, and lo and behold, a lot of them did not happen. But I’m choosing to not beat myself up about it. (No judgement zone here) It is the end of yet another January and I’ve already let a resolution (or two) slip a little. My non-accomplishments have taught me one thing: It’s not about desire alone, I need DISCIPLINE.
Think about it, if I asked you what you desire to accomplish/achieve, I’m sure you can name at least one thing. No matter how big or small, there is just always something we would like to see happen. I know many of us desire to see a certain number in our bank accounts, desire to change jobs, desire to have our “dream” jobs, or have an entire vision board of the things we desire. Shout out to your well crafted vision board, but that does not automatically lead to results. We have to do something. We need to have discipline.
I can remember several new year resolutions to lose weight or work out more. I worked toward my goal faithfully, for a whole week, then I fell off. This has been my cycle more times than I’d like to admit. I desired to get in shape and I certainly knew the results I wanted to have and when I wanted to have them by. But I lacked the discipline to stick with it once the motivation stopped being enough.
The word discipline has such negative emotions attached to it. You hear it and think about someone cracking the whip or punishment. But there’s a different way to look at the concept of discipline. It isn’t about punishment for doing something wrong, but rather training yourself to make a habit out of doing what’s right.
Our Struggle with Discipline
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11
Many of our desires require us to do things that we’ve never done before. This means we have to start some new beneficial habits and get rid of old habits. If you’ve ever tried to start something new or stop something you’ve done for a long time, you know the uphill battle it feels like. Training ourselves to do something new and different, over and over until it becomes habit, isn’t always pleasant.
I can picture myself achieving all types of things. But if I don’t actually make a plan, and train myself to stick to that plan, then my goal is just a figment of my imagination. My motivation levels tend to to up and down, according to circumstance or mood. That makes it a very unreliable tool when it comes to getting anything done.
So how am I tackling the whole discipline thing? I’ve begun to mark down doing rather than result only. Awaiting to see the final results I’m looking for doesn’t always make me do anything. It is easy to become distracted when you aren’t seeing the end result, but if making the act itself my daily goal, then it is something tangible in the short term I can focus on.
Whatever your goal is: don’t give up. Typically, each step towards the end result is more important than where you want to end up. Starting a new habit or dropping a bad one is not always easy. Give yourself permission to be a beginner! Whatever your desire, it’ll take discipline to accomplish.