Let me just start out by saying I don’t like discipline. I don’t like it, I’ve failed at it, and sometimes I fight it… but I know I need it and thrive in the middle of it. I used to believe in the saying, “It takes 21 days to form a new habit.” I found that I can stick to doing something for 21 days… only to lose it all on the 22nd day. I would end up feeling like a failure and have — on many occasions — thrown in the towel, convinced that I’m a lazy person who can never become a disciplined person. If you can relate, I have great news for you (and me): YOU’VE BEEN MISINFORMED!
According to a research conducted by Dr. Phillippa Lally, a Health Psychology Researcher at University College London, it takes an average 66 days to form a new habit! A habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Since our tendencies are automatic (we don’t have to consciously make a decision to do or act a certain way), it is safe to say that in order for us to create a new habit, we need to be disciplined in our consistency for an average of 66 days. How many of us can admit that we’ve expected results after just a few days or weeks?
So knowing this fact, I need to commit to being uncomfortable in discipline for at least 66 days. One of the reasons why I blog every week — even though I don’t have thousands of subscribers — is for my own discipline. I’m still waiting for it to become automatic, but maybe I have to write 66 weeks of blogs before it does become more natural. No matter what though, I know that the alternative to being disciplined is far worse than persevering through the tough moments.
“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.”
– Jim Rohn
My greatest desire is to live without regrets. Not that I won’t have things I wish I did different in my life, but I don’t want to choose things in the present moment that will cause regrets. I want to choose things that will create gratitude and a sense of satisfaction knowing that I chose things that were good and honorable. I also want to choose discomfort in the present moment so that I can see my dreams and goals come to life… and by practicing discipline, I know my character and heart will be transformed so that I can handle the blessings and the fruition of my dreams (more on the topic of transformation next week).
Have a great rest of the week, and I hope that by June 17th (66 days from now), you and I can both enjoy the new habits we have created by choosing discipline.