Suppose your goal is to lose 20 pounds. You start your diet and you diligently put in your time at the gym. Then there’s a birthday party in your family. A nice, big dinner. Ice cream and cake.
Being true to your goal means taking it easy on the festivities – even passing up dessert all together. Resentment can begin to set in. Other people get to indulge. Why don’t you?
Or suppose you have decided to start an online business. You know there is money to be made there. But it’s hard work. You need to learn about marketing, setting up a website, getting traffic and so much more.
It takes a lot of time to get your business up and running so you are still working at your day job to pay the bills. You spend two hours a night on your online business. And then, when you get into work, the whole office is talking about Game of Thrones.
You don’t have time to watch TV. And, it makes you crabby.
Or your goal is to pay off your credit cards and get completely out of debt. You have a budget that forces you to cut back on spending. And you’re making progress. But then your sister shows up with a pair gorgeous boots. You want them. You really want them. But it would break your budget to buy them. Why does your sister always get everything she wants?
Sometimes working toward your goal feels like denial instead of like a joy. Take that for granted. But don’t stop working toward your goal.
The resentment you feel is momentary. It will come but it will go, too. Don’t let it stand in the way of your achievement.
The self-discipline you bring to achieving your goal is long-term. And the results are long-term, too. When the birthday party is over and the TV show has gone off the air, the changes that you are making will continue to add value to your life. The self-discipline that brings the long-term results is a gift you give yourself.
Anticipate those moments. Be prepared for them. If you know they’re coming, you will be able to handle them better.
And if at some point your self-discipline fails you, and you give in to the temptation you would otherwise avoid, acknowledge it to yourself. Forgive yourself and get back to your plan. Don’t let that small failure derail yourself from working on your goal. It’s like Lance Armstrong says, “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
It may not always feel like it, when you are passing up treats and relaxation and nice belongings, but when it comes to achieving your goals and making your dreams come true, your self-discipline is a gift you give yourself.