Discipline is an ESSENTIAL aspect to living a successful life. This is the third part of a series of posts on growing in your self-discipline. If you missed the first two posts you can check them out at the following links: Discipline Boot Camp pt.1 and Discipline Boot Camp pt 2.
In today’s post I am going to discuss our External structure and how to develop it. Now, before we get into this second point, I want to make it clear that this information is based on my study of Dr. Townsend’s book The Entitlement Cure. Okay, let’s go!
Step 2: Work On Your External Structure
Proverbs 21:5 (NLT) – Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
In the second post, we looked at the development of an internal “operating system” for our life that will allow us to run the “app” of disciplined living. The first step was to work on worthwhile goals or as I will be referring to them today as “Big Picture” goals (goals that address the key aspects of our life; physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual).
Working on worthwhile goals will be good work for our internal structure; the problem is that if we do not have a high functioning external structure we will not be very successful at addressing the goals we made for ourselves. Here are two external structure exercises we can apply to our life that will empower our worthwhile/Big Picture goals.
First: Set Short Term Goals – you already have the “BIG-Picture Goals” that you are working on. Now, take those same big picture goals and set up a series of short term goals that will help you accomplish them. For instance, I want to complete my first book later this year (that would be a “Big-Picture Goal”); to reach the Big-Picture I will set smaller goals (e.g. commit to blogging more regularly, work on the book at least 2 hours each week, ask friends and others to give me feedback on the content of the book, etc…). The short term goals; as I work through them, will lead me to complete my Big-Picture goal. The same is true for any of our goals… If you want to lose 25 pounds, start by setting a goal of losing 2 pounds this week, cutting out sweets or soda this week, exercise an extra 10 min each day this week, and so on. Each short term goal will lead to the success of the long-term (Big-Picture) goal. What’s more, as we accomplish the short-term goals they give us a mental victory (it makes us feel good).
Second: Map out your goals on a calendar – This is so simple, yet many times we forget this vital step. We need to map out our Big-Picture (our worthwhile goals) by putting them on the calendar and then inserting our short term goals into the calendar. I do this each Sunday for the week ahead. Let me share it with you in terms of my Mt Biking. Each year I have several races I want to participate in and they are on my calendar, I know the dates of the races. The race, and how I want to do in the race are on my calendar (i.e. ICEMAN, Nov. 4, 1 hour and 49 min – that’s it, that’s my goal: Race, Date and the time I want to finish it in). So to calendar the short term goals I will take some time each Sunday to plan out my daily exercises to help me reach my Big-Picture goal (Monday, run 6 miles; Tuesday, Bike 35 miles; Wednesday, Bike 35 miles; Thursday, Bike 45 miles; Friday, run 6 miles). Each week I increase my miles so that as I get to the race I will be faster and can handle longer distances better.
Step 3: Recruit Relational Support
In part four, I will share how to recruit the help you need to reach your goals.
I want to coach you to success THIS YEAR. Schedule a free consultation visit with me and take responsibility for your life.
The Series Links
To view any of the posts in this series, use the links below:
- Discipline Boot Camp Part 1: https://wp.me/pajKXW-m7
- Discipline Boot Camp Part 2: https://wp.me/pajKXW-m9
- Discipline Boot Camp Part 3: https://wp.me/pajKXW-ma
- Discipline Boot Camp Part 4: https://wp.me/pajKXW-mb
- Discipline Boot Camp Part 5: https://wp.me/pajKXW-mc
- Discipline Boot Camp Part 6: https://wp.me/pajKXW-mi
- Discipline Boot Camp Part 7: https://wp.me/pajKXW-mj