Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur
One of my accomplishments in 2022 was meeting my goal of publishing a second book, a historical fiction inspired by the life of my great grandparents who were Nebraska pioneers.
I wrote the first draft during Covid isolation, spending many enjoyable afternoons on the Nebraska prairie in 1875. Not much discipline needed at this stage and virtually no distractions. Because of Covid, I had to delay my trip to the Sand Hills, the location of most of the book, until the summer of 2021. Spending time in the space was wonderful inspiration (I even stood in a real sod house).
The real discipline began with the rewrite. This is where the rubber meets the road and an author has to doggedly go back line after line, chapter after chapter and bring the manuscript to life. Then there’s the phase where I had to make sure there were no spelling or grammatical errors. Every book is a labor of love backed by discipline.
Affirmation: I will embrace the discipline in order to achieve my goals.
Coaching questions: What are your goals for 2023? What would you like to accomplish by the end of next year? What discipline will it take to achieve your goal? Is it worth it?
Photo taken by the author in the approximate location of the novel.
There continues to be a growing body of research to support the impact of purpose on mental and physical health and how it can lead to longer life expectancy. Blue Zones newsletter
Dr. Robert Butler, the first director of the National Institute on Aging, estimated that an ability to define your life meaning adds to your life expectancy. His study found that individuals who had something to get up for in the morning that made a difference to them, lived longer and were sharper than those who did not.
My friend and I recently discussed this issue and drew the same conclusion. We also concluded that, as we age, we frequently need to overcome challenges, either mental or physical, to do that which brings meaning to our life. Sometimes our goals have to change with our abilities. Quilting might take the place of rigorous gardening for instance. As I consider this issue, I’m reminded of Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking. Physical disability need never be a factor as we define and carry out a meaningful life purpose.
Affirmation: I have purpose in my life.
Coaching questions: How do you define your purpose? What gets you up everyday (especially if you’re retired)? If you feel lost, how will you discover renewed purpose in your life?
Break every objective into its smallest pieces and take action with just one of them, even if it is the smallest one and seems insignificant. Bahram Akradi, CEO of Life Time
If you recently set a goal to run a marathon, 26.2 miles can be daunting. Break it down and think of 29,000 strides, taken one step at a time, and it may feel doable.Writing a book is challenging until you consider one word, one sentence at a time. Losing weight starts with saying “no” to one dessert or one dinner roll. Last year, when I reached only a handful of people with this blog, I never dreamed it would be read by people from 52 countries within a year. It happened a day at a time, a post at a time.
When we break our goals into smaller pieces and begin to take action, we can achieve our objectives. We can even play a role in turning around daunting, world-wide events like climate change by simple, everyday actions like eating more plants and less meat or buying locally.
Affirmation: I can reach my goals and make a difference one step at a time.
Coaching questions: Where do you want to make a change in your personal life and/or in the life of the Earth? What’s one step you will take to make this happen? On a scale of 1-10, how strong is your commitment?
Success isn’t magic; it’s generally the product of picking a good system and following it until luck finds you. Scott Adams, author of How To Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big
Tis the season of resolutions and goal setting. I’m a Life Coach and I’m supposed to be all about goals, right? For 2019, I’m changing my tune and suggesting success (whether business or personal) is about systems, exercised with such consistency they turn into habits.
Want to lose weight? Rather than setting a weight loss goal, create a system of eating and exercise. “I will exercise thirty minutes, four days a week and lower my carb intake to two a day.” Want to attract more clients? “I will make three cold calls a day.” Want to have more peace in your life? “I will sit quietly ten minutes a day.” You get the picture. Wondering how systems are different from goals? They sound suspiciously similar. Goals can be attained, which is a good thing (I’m not suggesting you eliminate goals), but then what? We lose those ten pounds, goal accomplished, and we resume our old habits. Once a system becomes a habit, there is no end. The behavior continues, you stay healthy and successful and you get off the roller coaster of annual goal-setting/achievement/failure.
Affirmation: I create systems designed for success.
Coaching questions: What systems do you need to put in place? What’s standing in your way of doing this? How will your life be different if you create positive systems for success?