Google defines self-discipline as the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.
Today is the first day of a new year and as we sit down and think about our lives the year before and try to make a written vow to ourselves to improve on some of the mistakes we have made I believe that it is important to understand “Self-Discipline”.
The first things to look at it our own belief system that dictates that we are pursuing to accomplish a specific goal based upon what we “believe” to be right for us. What is it that you believe in and how did that belief come into account? Do your beliefs come from expert voices we see on the news that tell us what is right for us? Is it a belief system that was developed through early years of our parents reflecting their own belief systems upon us? Did our parents have their own belief systems that conflicted in their relationship? Sometimes it is very easy to acquire the belief system of another simply because we believe that they are successful in their own pursuits of accomplishing a specific goal.
I believe that your personal belief system should be just that… personal. Whether it is paying off debt, saving money or losing weight it has to start from within. What is it that may stop us in our tracts to moving closer to accomplishing these goals we set out to reach each year? Do we have certain weaknesses that we really need to take a good hard look at first? And what do we base our emotional responses on when the going starts to get tough? In a sense I believe the questions we should be asking ourselves are “Who am I” and “What do I truly believe that I have they ability to accomplish”? What new goals do I need to set out for myself and why? Again, it is very personal and should have nothing to do with any other person. Of course by working towards these goals could have a positive impact on other’s like a single mom changing a few spending habits that would provide for food for her children. But, it is still personal and should remain that way.
And what about your ability? Do you really have what it takes to set out and work towards your New Years resolutions? Just maybe you don’t. And that is OK. Sometimes we have to take a real hard look at our situations and make the decision as to whether or not we actually have what it takes to reach a specific goal. I like to take a goal and pick it apart. I would love to be able to put $300.00 per month into a savings plan, but the reality is that I can only afford $100.00 per month. I know that shedding 30 lbs. would make me happy, but rather than looking at the end number maybe I should concentrate on burning body fat at an average of just a few pounds each month. What ever it is that you set out to do make sure that you understand that goals can always be broken down into smaller goals. If you only have the strength to get on the treadmill twice a week it is still better than not getting on it all. Or taking a night class and slowly working towards a career change is better than not going to school at all.
We love to spread ourselves out to the world around us most of our days, but just before we fall asleep at night those personal thoughts come to mind. Who am I and what do I believe in and why? Once this is figured out it then and only then will it be possible to make resolutions that we can be true to and find great pleasure in pursuing. You will reach a point at times where something in your life will give you reason to stop your pursuits but through understanding yourself it will be easy to work through these times.