The Road to Developing Discipline
I read an article today on developing discipline, 5 Steps to Developing More Discipline. It said
“Discipline is not really about will-power so much as it is focusing on what you really want. If you get clear on that, it suddenly becomes much easier.”
I find this to be a profound way of looking at developing discipline. Often time we think about developing discipline as need to “white-knuckle” ourselves into behavior modification, when in this case, Michael Hyatt, is proposing that discipline is actually about focusing on the right part of the equation.
Focus + Discipline = Goal
Developing Discipline is Fighting the Right Opponent
Sometimes we enter the ring fighting our shortcomings and misgivings without clarity about what it is we want to accomplish. It’s like the old adage, begin with the end in mind. I know from personal experience, how relatively easy you can become sidetracked in your pursuit of a said goal. In our diversions, however, we become consumed with variations of our original goals and many times wejust end up chasing our tails and never moving forward.
Developing Discipline Takes Time
On too many occasions, I have thought of ways to make extra cash quick. I have sold jewelry, intimate apparel, health foods, accessories, skin care, etc. The list goes on. And of course I have to some lesser extent made a few dollars, but I can tell you each endeavor was hsort-lived. Why? Because my goal was not clear. I thought too short term. Making a few dollars right now should not have been my goal. Rather my goal should have been more long-term, concrete, and intentional.
Developing Disciplined Lifestyles Leads to Success
In I Corinthians 9:27, Paul says: But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
In other words, he reflected on his own behavior, thoughts, and desires to make sure that his actions line up with his overarching goal of being an example of what it means to glorify and follow Christ.
The Franklin Covey planning system teaches that we should have a “life plan and personal mission statement”: a plan that extends beyond current needs and wants and addresses overarching values and desired lifestyles. Benjamin Franklin was known to record attributes he wanted to develop, the goals he wanted to reach, and the plans he made to do so in a small notebook. However, you decide to record your life plan is up to you, but it is absolutely necessary to make short-term decisions based on your long-term goals. The most important take away that the discipline of reviewing and reflecting your goals, shortcomings, and plans is the key to staying focused
For example, I currently have a comfortable non-profit job that I started alst year. My previous position afforded me the opportunity to travel and see the world, a desire I have always had. But I was always on the road. I met my now husband, shortly before I left that company for my current position. While I was not 100% sure that Juan would be the man I marry, I knew that I wanted to start arranging my life in a way that made room for stable, long-term relationships, and would eventually be conducive to settling down and starting a family. Raising a family is very important to me (and my husband). Therefore, in the short term I made decisions about my career that took that into consideration. It only made sense. Thus, as I move forward in my career pathway I will continue to make decisions based on the simple fact that I wanted to have a family in the long-term.
The same is true for personal improvement, professional endeavors, spiritual growth, etc. Begin with the end in mind. Focusing on the goal aids your ability isolate and put into perspective all the inevitable challenges and obstacles that lie ahead.
So what is it that you would like to accomplish that you have been unable to do so? What is the real goal and what instead have you been focusing on that got you off track? How do you plan to change your ways of developing discipline?
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