Action, Motivation and Discipline

We are approaching the time of year when people begin making resolutions. I love resolutions! I am goal driven. I love a good list of things to achieve and then start checking them off. Big and small (this is partly why I started using DayZeroProject several years ago!). I make New Year's Resolutions but I also don't wait around until Monday or New Year's Day to make changes. I make them as soon as I realize what I need to do.

People will say "2020 is going to be my best year" and they list off their goals to save money, get fit, pay off debt, get promoted, go back to school - any number of great things that will benefit their lives.

And then the first few weeks of January are a flurry of activity. Getting a machine at the gym is a nightmare in January. By usually by February this has died off almost completely.

People want to be motivated. But motivation doesn't work like that. Motivation is not something most people just wake up everyday and have. If I spent my life waiting for motivation to strike, I'd never get out of bed.

"The momentum of continuous action fuels motivation, while procrastination kills motivation." 
- Steve Pavlina

This quote is so true. To build motivation, you must take action. I think about getting my master's degree. I really wanted it. But some days all I wanted more was to quit. It is frustrating being a grown woman trying to have a career and social life and marriage and go to school. But I took action, which did to some degree build motivation. And further, that developed something even more important: discipline.

Discipline is what gets me to workout on the days I really don't feel like it. It is what keeps my house clean when I don't feel like cleaning. It is what helps me excel in my job when I am having a bad day.

When you think about people who excel in most things and compare them to people who are average or struggling, usually the difference is not that they have some super human talent or ability. It usually boils down to discipline. Being able to apply oneself to a task when the emotions within don't match up.

This can be hard to do. But as my favorite line form A League of Their Own states, "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!" This is one of my favorite quotes ever. Being able to develop discipline sets people apart. It takes someone from achieving to being great!

I think discipline is something anyone can develop, but it requires commitment. First, a commitment to take action. And to continue to take action when the motivation isn't there yet. That builds motivation. Actions inspires more action. Seeing the results of this progression over time helps build discipline.

Whatever your goals  and resolutions, whether they come on New Year's Day or next Wednesday afternoon, you are so much more likely to achieve them once you build that discipline.

I get asked that a lot, "where do you find your motivation?" But I don't wait for it. It's awesome when I wake up motivated. But when I don't, I take action anyway. I have literally never regretted making progress on something even though I wasn't "in the mood." I am always happy that I took action.