Discipline. The Secret Sauce of Goal Setting
If we are going to set and achieve goals, the Change Chef says we need to wrestle back the meaning of a word that was distorted by our parents and schools.
Many of us spent time waiting outside the head teacher’s office or in our bedrooms waiting for the principal or our parents to be disciplined. Discipline spelt t-r-o-u-b-l-e. We came to fear discipline. It was a punishment, a humiliation, a one-off event that visited with a smack or a suspension designed to correct our course.
Many of us felt the sting rather than the lesson of discipline and we came to see it as something to be avoided. But what if discipline has been unfairly maligned and taken a bad rap? What if hoping that discipline would never darken our door again has led to all sorts of problems that cast us adrift?
Discipline is the Change Chef’s friend
If we are going to set and achieve our goals, we need to make friends with discipline. Keeping it at arms-length will inevitably get us into the very trouble we tried to avoid all along. After all, life has a way of dragging us in all different directions. Too many people sleep walk into a job they don’t like, with debt they can’t repay, living in a house that is falling apart.
Lack of discipline causes drift.
To avoid this drift, we need to build a better relationship with discipline. Not the kind of smack or suspend discipline many of us grew up with, but the friendly kind. The stuff that forms habits and routines that help us follow through on our promises, maintain our motivation and keep on track.
It’s in the small stuff.
It’s the small stuff that athletes talk about trackside, puffing and panting after the end of a big race; reaching for PBs, the 5am starts, the unseen sweat, blood and tears that motivate them to get up every single morning to achieve a goal. Discipline is not looking at the gold – it is looking at the next few days – and mostly the next few hours.
Big dreams are achieved by small habits.
In fact, the leadership guru John C. Maxwell claims that he can tell you if you’ll be successful five years from now just by spending today with you. He’s trying to observe your habits, what you prioritise, how you work, what you eat, what you spend your money on.
You probably don’t need to look too far beyond your bank account or fridge for a thorough audit on your disciplinary habits! Discipline is not looking at the debt, it’s making choices in your daily spending. Discipline is not looking at the scales, it’s looking at your next meal. It’s not looking at the big hairy goal and feeling overwhelmed, it’s about taking the next step.
We need to remove the idea that discipline is an event. It’s a friend that walks slowly beside you, encouraging the next step on your way to achieving your goals.
To learn more about how discipline is the superpower of goal setting, join us at The Change Chef.