One of the most common excuses I hear from people for why they haven’t had the level of success they would like to have is this: a lack of discipline. It goes something like this.
I’m just not disciplined to get in shape.
I wanted to write a book, but I just didn’t have the discipline to do it.
If I had discipline, I would have done a lot better in school.
You may have said a phrase similar to these at some point in your life – Lord knows I have several times – and when you do, it only serves two purposes: to discourage you and distract you.
It discourages you by reminding yourself that you didn’t accomplish something you wanted to achieve. You didn’t get the job done. You failed. These messages certainly don’t do much for your emotional psyche, and they often keep you from making any changes moving forward. You begin to believe these messages write the story of your life and define who you are.
It distracts you by showing you who you have been rather than focusing on who you want to become. Most people, sadly enough, don’t believe they can change, so they don’t even try. Life just becomes a routine of impulsive decisions often filled with regret, lacking in purpose and wasting precious resources like time, energy and money.
If this sounds like your life, or like someone you know, the good news is you only need two things to be a disciplined person: a plan and a partner.
Most people don’t win with money because they don’t have a written budget each month. They don’t take the time to sit down as a family and decide where each dollar will be spent. Money has a funny way of disappearing when it’s not accounted for, and most people have no idea where it went. They didn’t have a plan.
But a plan means nothing if you don’t follow it, and this is where a partner makes all the difference. You need someone who will walk with you to make sure you stay on track. For me, this person is my wife, and we hold each other accountable to follow our budget each month. For some, this person might be a best friend, a mentor or a coach. It doesn’t really matter who is in your corner, as long as it is someone who loves you and has the ability to encourage and challenge you to stick with your plan.
Being a disciplined person is within your reach, and it’s time you take hold of it. Make a plan, even if it’s just for today, share it with someone and ask them to hold you accountable to doing it. You might be surprised at what you will accomplish by doing these two simple things.