Self-Discipline: Persisting Until You Reach Your Goals

In this episode, we will be discussing an issue that affects a lot of us, but before we open ourself up to more growth, I would love to thank you for your love and support thus far. I can feel it through the number of reviews, subscriptions, downloads and sharing that you do. If you are yet to follow, subscribe or leave a review on Apple Podcasts or any other platform, kindly do so to stay tuned to the upcoming episodes that are made just for you.  

— INTRO

Are you like me? Did you set some goals for yourself at the beginning of the year? Did you make up your mind to start something new, something great? Did you make up your mind to get rid of some habits – to never do somethings again?

After some days into the new year, one tends to look back, reflect on the events that have taken place so far and how much you are still sticking to your plans and goals for the year. If you’ve not broken any of your new year’s resolutions, If you are still on track with all your plans and goals, that’s awesome and I would like to learn about how you do it. But as human beings with weaknesses, we may have removed one or more goals from our list. We may have done that thing we promised ourself never to do again. And we ask ourself; „but I am very motivated, I have the willpower, so why can’t I reach my goal?“

I believe that one tool that helps to remain on track is self-discipline. The ability to push yourself forward, stay motivated, and take action, regardless of how you’re feeling, physically or emotionally. It means that you would always show up, do the work and also be accountable to yourself. This could be a very huge challenge, it could seem difficult and impossible the first couple of times, but I have learnt that self-discipline is just like a muscle that you can train. The more you work on developing and training it, the stronger it becomes. Also, your Motivation, hard work, persistence, the ability to follow through on your intentions, and willpower contribute to your self-discipline.

Okay, now we know that we can develop this skill or ability. But how can we go about it?

The first thing we have to do is to make our goals SMART. The goals have to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bounding. For example, if you are determined to read a 100 page book within 5 days, you can break down this goal into smaller sub-goals of maybe completing 20 pages a day. The goal is specific, it is measurable, it is attainable, it is relevant to read a book and you have given yourself a time bound of 5 days. By breaking the goal into sub-goals, you have the opportunity of starting small. You might have to strive a little bit at the beginning to finish the 20 pages on the first day, but gradually you develop the self-discipline to allocate appropriate time to achieve the sub-goal.

Continuing with the example of the 100 page book, one thing that could prevent you from reaching your daily goals could be distractions of any form and kind. The optimal thing to do is to remove any form of distractions or temptation. Is your television or your smartphone or maybe some social media apps going to stop you from reaching your goal? You could discipline yourself by staying faraway from them. You can temporarily delete the apps or stay far away from your smartphone and television. You can also determine to focus only on reading the book between 6 pm and 8 pm, and remove any electronic device or anything that could delay or prevent you from achieving this. It is also quite important to find the best time to work on the goal. If you know that you can easily finish the twenty pages in the morning without much distractions, then that would be perfect. Or maybe you can read 10 pages an hour after waking up and the next 10 pages an hour before sleeping. It’s advisable to choose the time and plan that works best for you. 

I know that it is easier to say, „Just put your phone away and focus on the book or your goal“. But in reality the temptation could be so overwhelming that you give in to them. I learnt something from a sermon and it could maybe be useful for you. Pastor Craig Groeschel said, „Choose what you want most over what you want now“. Choose what is most important over what you want now that would only give you a short and temporary pleasure. You can also make use of words of affirmation. For example, you can say, „I AM DISCIPLINED. CHRIST’S POWER IN ME IS STRONGER THAN THE WRONG DESIRE IN ME“

One thing that helps to complete a mission or reach a goal is motivation. Why do you want to read that book? Is it for an examination? Do you want to learn a new skill? Do you want to find out what happened to a particular character at the end of the novel? The motivation provides a driving force and helps you to follow through with your plan. Also thinking long term helps to stay motivated. In our current example, we can see ourselves in the next 5 days as someone who has acquired more knowledge or skills. These skills could continuously help you for the next 2, 5 or even 10 years.

Since we have made our goals measurable, we need to monitor our progress. How do you feel after completing the twenty pages for the day? Did you feel proud of yourself? Were you energized or even motivated to continue the next day? Was it difficult or easy to achieve the goal? Were there obstacles you had to deal with? These are questions we could ask ourselves and note the answers in a book or journal to keep track of our development and progress. It is important not to beat yourself up or be angry at yourself for not meeting your goal for the day. Just note it all down. Processing the data would help us to know our strengths and what we still have to work on to be self-disciplined.

A lot of times, I try to wait for the right time and mood to start working on my goals. Something that I and a lot of us have found out is that sometimes the right time to start something is now. A lot of goals do not require you waiting for a particular season or mood. I found out that some of the waiting in quotation marks could just be excuses to procrastinate. Just open the book cover, flip to the first page and start reading.

Your goal might not to read a book, it might be to exercise more or eating healthier or achieve something greater financially, spiritually, socially, mentally or in any other aspect. The same points could be helpful to develop the needed self-discipline to reach your goal:

– Make your goals SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bounding

– Break big goals into smaller sub-goals with milestones

– Remove distractions and temptations

– Think long term and find the motivation of the goal

– Keep track of your progress

– And remember that mostly the best time to start with that precious goal of yours is NOW.

There is so much we can achieve and accomplish if we work on our self-discipline.

Thank you so much for listening. Remember that I see you, I love you and I appreciate you.

Self-Discipline Persisting Until You Reach Your Goals

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In this week’s episode, we will be discussing how we can develop our self-discipline to reach our various goals in life. Quoting Pastor Craig Groeschel, he said it is important to choose what you want most over what you want now. It required self-discipline to be able to push yourself forward regardless of how you are feeling emotionally or physically.

Read more about self-discipline: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/self-discipline.htm

Listen to Pastor Craig Groeschel’s sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgRCDHanN8&ab_channel=Life.Church

Thank you for joining me on this MIRROR TALK podcast journey. Kindly stay connected by subscribing or following on any platform. Please do not forget to leave a review and rating.

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