The Key to Having Everything You Want in Your Life
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition & Job Search Coach
The new year--and a brand new decade--is upon us. I dare say that by now, millions of people have signed up for new gym memberships, new diet plans, new dating sites, and new job boards. The hunt is on for a better, more improved version of the lives of those who have decided 2020 is their year for change.
New Year resolutions include making life-changing promises to oneself. The problem with most New Year resolutions, however, is that most people don't keep them. Gyms profit on long-term contracts that people signed in January and have predictably abandoned by February. The same goes for places that make a profit from those who want to lose weight. Dating profiles are often discarded after just a few weeks. And so it goes.
If you want to make a change in your life, forget about making resolutions. Set goals, instead.
I am not talking about mushy, mealy-mouthed, general, non-specific goals, either. Make your goals SMART goals: "Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely."
Once you have decided on the goals you want to make for the new year, then you can start working toward making them real.
But here's the rub about setting serious goals in your life. There is no way to accomplish them except through self-discipline and commitment.
There is good news about setting goals and sticking with them. If you are serious about changing your life, setting goals and sticking with them will help you create the new life you want for yourself. So, if you're going to make a significant change in your life, here are some things I would urge you to keep in mind.
Understand What Self-Discipline Entails
Self-discipline is not something that comes and goes with the wind. Self-discipline is--or becomes--a habit for those who are serious about making a significant change in their lives.
I recently watched the movie, "Brittany Runs a Marathon." It is based on a true story, and it is about a young woman who gets tired of how her life is going nowhere. She is equally tired of how she has let herself go, although her body image is not the main reason she ultimately decides to run a marathon.
Brittany decides to take charge of her life. She has drifted through her 20's into her 30's. She has no special relationship, and she stays up all night in part because of her job and in part because she has lost touch with herself. She drinks too much, eats, too much, and is generally out of touch with her body and her life.
She finally decides to make a change, and the change starts with putting on some sneakers and running--sort of--around the block. That goal turns into running farther and farther. In the end, after some losing weight, getting healthier, and feeling like she is in control of her life, she [finally] manages to run the New York City Marathon.
The movie depicts her struggle and some of the turning points in her life.
The main thing is that Brittany develops self-discipline. What I mean by that is that she is able to motivate herself and gains control of herself for herself. She isn't trying to please anyone else. She has committed herself to run the marathon, and she keeps her commitment.
If you have ever done this--set an internal goal and kept it just for yourself--I don't have to tell you that it feels pretty good. There is an intrinsic value in making a promise to yourself and keeping it.
Self-discipline enables you to stay on track even when things out of your control get in your way. It helps you make correct choices for yourself, even when you feel challenged. And it helps you to regulate your emotions as you keep your eye on the prize of meeting the ultimate goal that you set for yourself.
When you lack self-discipline, you make decisions based on what you want at the moment. You forget about the long-range good that is in store for you if you stay on track.
Self-Discipline is the Key to Achieving Your Goals
When you practice discipline, you can enjoy many benefits in your life. Those benefits will help you reach whatever goals you decide to set for yourself. Here are a few of the most critical of these advantages.
Realize Your Full Potential
Committing to what you want in life and practicing self-discipline helps you accomplish your goals, whatever they may be. You are also able to harness your true potential at the same time.
Self-discipline makes the difference between wanting something and realizing it--having it--in your life. With it, you can become, do, or have whatever it is you want in your life.
Learn the Value of Sustained Effort
Self-discipline teaches you to forego instant gratification. You need to commit to the long haul to realize long-term goals.
By engaging in sustained effort, you also develop a sense of pride in yourself. You realize just how strong you really are. You also develop a new respect for yourself when your hard work pays off.
Take Control of Your Life
When you develop good habits through self-discipline, you take control of your life. You can learn to make your habits work FOR you.
You start to live a life that is in balance with your core values and priorities. Living in balance with your core values will help you feel happier and more fulfilled. You will finally be in control of your destiny.
Develop a Forward-Thinking Approach to Life
Self-discipline helps you look forward to the future. You start to look forward to the positive things that are to come as a result of your efforts.
Looking forward to the future gives you an optimistic view of the world and yourself. You learn to appreciate the price you pay for things that are important to you. You begin to feel purposeful. And you know that your efforts are making a difference in the quality of your life.
Final Thoughts on Self-Discipline
Self-discipline can make a difference in your life and helps you realize your dreams. Invest in your future today. Focus on developing your self-discipline. By doing so, you are committing to a better, happier, brighter future for yourself and those around you.
You already possess the key to having everything you want in your life.
You may or may not be using it already, but you have it. You can embrace your life and go for the relationship, the body, the job, the life that you want. You just need to recognize that you have the ability within you. It's up to you whether you choose to use it or not.
Until next time.
I sent out a message yesterday about my participation in a special "New Year New You Virtual Vendors Show" Saturday, January 11th.
I will be going live to talk about stress management strategies for the new year, but others will be offering information and free gifts throughout the day and they will be talking about a variety of ways to make 2020 your year.