Tips from a Discipline Junkie: How to stay sane while striving toward your goals

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People have told me (once or twice…) that I’m a “disciplined” person. They ain’t wrong. I like to achieve. I like action steps. I like routine. When something isn’t going the way I want it to, I figure, let’s DO something about it. I generally follow rules. I do my homework. I don’t like procrastinating. I clean my house religiously. Way, way, waaaaay more than my sister-roommate would prefer. 

I also care about goals and improvement. But, for someone like me, a self-proclaimed “discipline junkie,” it’s possible to hold onto goals a little too tightly, so that they’re all you see and if you can’t accomplish them, you don’t have any value. Yikes. We can talk about those issues another time. 

For now, here are my three tips for how to have goals, work towards them, but not be an over-obsessed psycho:

  1. Work with someone who’s going to push you.
    Find someone and them your goals so they can hold you accountable. Ideally this person has some knowledge about how to help you reach those goals (like, I dunno, a coach?). If you’re like me, maybe you haven’t met your goals one too many times and it crushed your spirit. So then you swore off goals. It’s why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. The thing is, we’re not meant to do this life alone. And FFS get out of your head every now and then, or at least let someone else in there with you. Let someone help you carry the load! If your goals are to lift heavy, get a lifting buddy! If you want to get stronger at gymnastics, find a friend to do some drills with you. Someone you can text to say “that sucked today” or “New PR!” Spur one another on to good works. 

  2. Set attainable goals, but pick what matters.
    Also for the disciplined person, you’re probably not going to be able to achieve EVERYTHING you want right away. So pick some attainable goals for one to three months out (if you’re not disciplined, 3 months is too far away for you, beebs), and develop your plan of attack. After the three months, reassess. Did you hit all your goals? Did you hit one? What was maybe too lofty? What new thing can you reach for in the next three months? 

  3. Know that you’re going to fail sometimes.
    And it’s okay. Your loved ones won’t abandon you because you came up short. If they do, again, yikes. But guys, we’re human! We all fail. It’s just a part of life. It will sting a little and it’s okay to be disappointed and not feel great about it. But it doesn’t define who you are. It’s even okay if you don’t dust yourself off and try harder the next time. You can fail and that might just be the end of that goal, for now or forever. I’ll still love you.

I hope this helps someone whose brain is (or is not) like mine. Goals are good. Discipline is good. Achievements are fun. Aaaaand, we’re all human. Now, anyone need an accountabilibuddy? 

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