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Habits vs. Discipline

Habits vs. Discipline

Hopefully, last week’s journaling session helped you to clearly identify the goal you want to accomplish this competition season. If you need to get caught up, check out the blog hereAs you think about how you are going accomplish your goal, I want to provide you a different approach. Let’s look at discipline through a new lens.


If you recall, my goal was to dance weekly. Reflect on your goal and I want to shift it just a bit. I want you to personify it. Let’s use my goal as an example. With the goal of dance weekly, personifying it translates to, “I am a dancing queen.” If your goal was to execute a particular trick, yours could be, “I am a (insert trick) slayer.” If your goal was to work on pointing your toes, yours could be, “I am a ballerina, through and through.” James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, writes that when associate your goals to your identity, you are more likely to achieve them. So have fun with it!


With your personified goal, design a plan or process to go from visualizing it to nailed it. Now, let me introduce you to my friend, habits. Habits are simply a plan that you execute, mostly without thinking, as they become ingrained in your day to day activities. For example, putting your keys in the same place every time. You aren’t actively thinking about it; it happens automatically. And by doing so, you never waste time looking for them. My habits designed to achieve my dance weekly goal look like this.


At the end of every month, I take a look at my calendar and designate the day of the week that I will take a class. I mark it down with a sticker to commit to the day. Come every Sunday morning, after I have rolled from underneath my cozy gravity blanket, I scan the web for the dance class that I am going to accomplish for the week. I then write that down on my calendar. And after I attend the class, I add a satisfying checkmark to next to it, in my calendar. For me, my calendar is my jam. When I write it down, I am committed. That’s my process, what will yours be?


Now I won’t say that you won’t find times that you lose sight of your goal. Find yourself wanting to deter from the process and plan that you have put in place. I challenge you to remember your goal, your personified goal. When I find myself wanting to ditch dance class, I ask myself, “Is that what a dancing queen would do?” The answer would be no, dancing queens, stick to the plan, and dance. 


In short, goals are what you want to achieve. Habits guide you on your journey. And when you find yourself wanting to give up, make a choice to stay true to yourself…your personified goal :)