Smell test coming up. It’s so easy to find someone to pat you on the back, tell you how good you are, and how you’re going to change the world with what you’re doing (especially on social media). Everyone wants to be a star, or at least look like one. We post only our best photos, our success stories, our beautiful families, and our great training pictures (workout, armed or unarmed personal defense, biking, running, etc.).
But when was the last time you sat down and really analyzed how you were doing? What’s your actual progress from this time last year (or even January 1)? Did you want to be at a certain goal by now? Did you make it? Are you still working on it? Well I’m checking myself, and thought there might be a painless way others might want to do the same, if you’re brave enough. And I’m serious about that. It takes real humility to check your progress and test your discipline when it comes to your goals. This might just kick start you back to working on what matters to you.
1: Identify Your Goal (s) – What are you working on for personal development? Shed some pounds? Read more? Train more? Be a better role model? Curse less? Become an instructor? Whatever is is, write it down and make three hash marks below your goal.
2. Identify Your Tasks on Obtaining Your Goal (s) – When you started out trying to be the better ‘you’, how were you going to get there? Eat less? Watch less television? Do more physical activity? Write more? Take more training for personal development? Teach more classes? For each goal written above, write down 3 action items (one after each hash mark) on how you are going to achieve your goal. You should already know what these action items are since you’ve been working on your goal for a while now. If you don’t, then you really haven’t had a plan, and therefore no accountability or discipline. Write down your three action items now and get to work! Check your discipline in three weeks from now.
3. Assign a number between 1 (being the worst job you could have done) and 10 (being the best job you could have done) for each task you are doing to achieve your goal. Be honest! Social media isn’t watching what you write down on your paper, and you don’t have to “selfie” your test. So the only one you will be cheating is you, and I suppose you could just stop altogether with this test in discipline at that point. Yes, discipline and honesty go hand-in-hand.
4. Tally Your Results – Be honest! I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume there will be very few perfect scores. However, if you get that ’30’ and you goal was to learn how to become an Olympic swimmer in three weeks or less, well then please say hello to the Cheshire Cat for me while you’re wandering around Wonderland. I doubt that will be the case. Remember, no one is watching. It’s only you and the discipline test, Moon-doggy. So do yourself a solid and score it correctly.
A. If you have between 0 and 12, your discipline needs work, to put it mildly. At this rate, you will never achieve your goals unless they are to finish the cheesecake while binge watching your favorite TV show.
B. If you have between 13 and 21, your discipline leaves room for improvement but isn’t the worst. There’s still hope for you and you can turn this around in a couple of weeks. Set some good attainable habits over the next couple of weeks and do them consistently. No one can help you push through this better than you and your own self-discipline.
C. If you scored between 24 and 30, you are very disciplined and are probably achieving your goals. You should be feeling pretty good about it, too.
Silly exercise? Maybe, but so much of what we build our world around has no accountability. We may even begin to believe the lies we put out in the social media world. But if you’re really aiming to improve yourself in some way, make sure you check your discipline level in obtaining those goals. You can apply this simple test to anything you want to measure in your life. And you should. Doing better and being better takes more than reading an affirmation while sipping your coffee in the morning. It takes real work. And it’s not always pretty.
My score? 17. But I’ve improved from three weeks ago. And when I check my discipline in the next few weeks, I know I will see a higher number because I recognized the ‘ugly’ now and am willing to change in order to be better. Are you?