Do what you can: how to cultivate discipline

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On the heels of my previous post, “Persistence, determination…,” what if you don’t see the results of your consistent efforts right away? Or even within months or years of “showing up” each day? How do you fight the discouragement and keep on keeping on? That, my friends, boils down to the question: How badly do you want it? If it’s something that doesn’t occupy your thoughts 24/7 or make you excited to jump (or crawl) out of bed each morning, then whatever it is may no longer be worthy of your attention. And that’s okay. But if it is a dream that defines you or your purpose in life, then you must work through any disappointment or obstacles and chalk them up as growing pains. Maybe up your game, reprioritize. Simplify along the way. According to “Consistency Beats Talent…,” ‘Do what you can with the hours you have. Cultivate discipline. Master your time so you can maximize your production with what time you have.’

How do you cultivate discipline?

Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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Persistence, determination: how to win at life

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We become what we want to be
by consistently being what we want to become
each day.
~ Richard G. Scott

As I write this post, the wife of my former trainer just knocked out day #178 of showing up. Not simply getting out of bed in the morning (which, for many, is a feat to celebrate), but participating in some type of physical fitness. Every day. Segue into this article I recently read: “Consistency Beats Talent, Luck, Good Intentions, and Even Quality.” I’ve touched on the topic of consistency in past posts and think it’s worthy of another mention. Because whatever it is that we want to be good at requires showing up. Persistence. Want to become a published novelist, professional dancer, artist or athlete? Be the best spouse/partner, parent, employee, student and/or friend? Then show up. Every day. This isn’t rocket science, my friends. You don’t need a special degree or training. You just need to want it badly enough.

What do you want badly enough?

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Leave it to chance: when the choice is no longer ours to make

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Since I began blogging in 2010, of all the topics I’ve covered in my posts, the vast majority revolve around a common theme: choice. Obviously, there are circumstances beyond our control—our best friend moves away, our spouse severs ties, we lose our job or we become ill. But, we still have a choice (see “It starts with a choice”): how we react to XYZ. If someone insists they don’t have a choice, then what they really mean is they lack determination, resolve, backbone. Free will. Bottom line: Even when we choose not to make a choice, it’s still a choice. When I went back to school as a non-traditional student to pursue my bachelor’s degree, I chose to embark on a new career path. Nearly a decade later, I feel, at times, that my age is a stumbling block to future growth, change. Yet the biggest obstacle is that one day the choice will no longer be mine to make.

What choice do you leave to chance?

Photo courtesy of marin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Embrace the struggle: every good story contains conflict

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We must let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
~ Joseph Campbell

Nearly 18 months ago, I embarked on a rite of passage: the admittance into “Club 50“—a new season I embraced with enthusiasm, positivity and sparkles. Oh, the places I’ll go, to coin a favorite Dr. Seuss book title. I began to plan this next half century, my hopes and dreams—my bucket list—with gusto and determination. Yet, here I am, a year and a half later, my bucket filled with these same goals, along with a few plot twists along the way: loss, disappointment, unrequited dreams. But, if we release our plans—or, at the very least, loosen the reins—perhaps, in turn, we invite opportunities to build character and deepen relationships through our struggles. In the process, we might even create space to dream a new dream. And to share that dream with others.

What plan(s) do you need to release?

One day at a time

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Only 30 days

[Image credit: renjith krishnan]

Tomorrow is my final day of the 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge.  It’s also the end of my resolve to avoid sweets, alcohol, caffeine and anything non-vegan.  People have told me I’ll feel amazing afterward, and it’s true.  They’ve also asked if I’m going for 60 — and what I plan to do once the challenge is complete.  I’d like to keep going.  I’ve toned and trimmed some trouble spots.  I’ve improved my strength, balance and determination.  My IBS symptoms are better than ever.  My skin is cooperating.  And I learned I can do anything for 30 days.   However, I may swap out a day or two of Yoga for the gym a couple of times a week.  Maybe add a cup of coffee back into my diet.  For me, it’s become more about living one day at a time, while accepting where my body and mind is on any given day, rather than making more commitments.  So I’ll decide on Monday.

What have you done for only 30 days?