In a charity match played in 1986 to promote the fight against drugs and corruption, Diego Maradona wore a jersey that had on it, “No to drugs” while Michel Platini wore a jersey with the words, “say no to corruption” written boldly on it. In August 1994, Diego Maradona was banned from football for 15 months for drug abuse while Platini was banned from football for life in December 2015 on corruption charges.
In the thought of it, what could have made these football stars effortlessly jeopardize their life-long personality and what could have been an unsullied legacy? -The lack of discipline and consistency!
There is no mention of discipline without consistency. Of all the goals you set for yourself, none will ever be successful without discipline and consistency. It is not discipline, but the consistency of it that determines success.
Discipline is consistency in action. Consistency is the ability to do or act in the same way over time for as long as it takes to attain your goals. This means to succeed; you need to be disciplined as much as you need to be consistent with it. Discipline is important as it builds self-control and helps to maintain focus on your goals whilst consistency -above other things- helps you gain momentum and mastery.
Failure on the path to success is mostly not due to the lack of strategic or effective planning, but the lack of self-discipline and consistency. People are often eager to take up a position, begin a new venture, or start a task with enthusiasm. They make a plan and decide on old habits to drop or new habits to pick to achieve a goal, but somewhere along the line they become inconsistent. They are disciplined enough to start but will subsequently struggle to keep up with that habit they need to succeed. Just like an overweight woman who sternly decides to hit the gym and cut down on high-calorie food. After the first few days she begins to skip her workout routine and resume consuming those high-calorie foods she wants to abstain from. At the end of the day, guess whose weight loss goal will not achieved due to lack of discipline and consistency?
We’ve all been in situations where we know what we need to do, have the resources needed to start but become inconsistent. The consequence is that those goals will not be accomplished or will take longer time than estimated to be achieved.
In your life and work, understand that to achieve your goals, you need to master the art of discipline and consistency. And, never confuse movement with progress because you can run in place and not get anywhere.
To stay disciplined and consistent with goals, you must;
- Write down your short- term and long-term goals that are measurable. Doing this will enable you track your progress and know whether you are consistent or not. It will also help in maximizing how you channel your efforts towards specific tasks.
- Create a daily routine and place reminders around your home or workplace.
- Find an intrinsic motivation i.e. something to look forward to at the end of your daily task.
- Minimize/ detox distractions that take you away from your goals. Starve your distractions; feed your focus.
- Leverage motivational tools to keep you going even when you don’t feel like it. These tools can be in form of books, podcast and advices. Motivation is like food. it is needed time after time to revitalize.
- Don’t be discouraged by the mistakes you make along the way. It is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.
- Hold yourself accountable. Accept responsibility for your actions, be accountable for your results, and take ownership of your mistakes. Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.