Around Thanksgiving people take the time to reflect on the things they’re grateful for, and a few months later at New Year’s people take a look back on how the past year went and try to plan to make the coming year even better. The thing is, why should these periods of reflection and gratitude only come on a few holidays and maybe on their birthday? There’s something to be grateful for every day, and the end of every day is a great time to reflect on how the past day went and how the next day can be better!
It could be that our culture today encourages people to always be thinking of another time, another place, the what-ifs and maybes, rather than focusing on our immediate circumstances and the things we have control of. We celebrate the milestones but not the incremental steps it takes to reach them, which makes motivation difficult to sustain. And that’s the trick: motivation is a great way to maintain momentum once you’re going, but it’s discipline that makes you start. Especially when you don’t feel like it, discipline is how you achieve consistency, and consistency is how you achieve results. It’s not glamorous, and the gratification is far from being instant, but consistent effort is the key.
Discipline is much easier said than done! And on a day-to-day basis, and for every person, discipline looks different. 110% effort doesn’t always look the same. On our worst days, 110% effort might be about summoning the will to take care of the bare necessities. But on better days, a moment to reflect on our gratitude for the things and opportunities we have is a powerful way to make self-discipline feel less like a punishment and more like a source of strength. There are many things we can’t control, sometimes not even ourselves. But with a little work we can try to cultivate an attitude that keeps us putting one foot in front of the other toward the goals we’re striving for in all aspects of our lives.