Written by Kyle Ripley
I was watching a ‘thought for the day’ video a few days ago. This individual was discussing habits. He was sharing about his own life and talking about some of the habits he has implemented for himself. One of the main topics of the discourse was how to overcome a lack of discipline. I found this to be of particular interest.
As someone who is relatively disciplined in life, I have had more than my fare share of seasons in which I not only lacked discipline, I actively ran from it. I am not proud of these times in my life. They usually resulted in periods of great remorse or depression. What would eventually follow would be a period of time where a rebuilding would begin to take place and I would try once again.
The reason I often scrapped everything stemmed from the simple fact that I could not be perfect. Sometimes I would incorrectly perceive myself as perfect, or doing everything I thought was right in my own eyes. But I could never maintain it; I could not maintain my own perfectionistic demands.
Here I would like to propose my first suggestion: do not strive for perfection or expect it in others. Perfectionism is a cruel master and will inevitably destroy all who serve it and those around them. All is not lost, however. For all of you recovering perfectionists out there, habits are where it’s at.
Don’t make goals, make habits.
I have extremely lofty goals—and many of them. I enjoy exploring ideas and collecting things to do. But there is only so much time in a day. Break it down. Take a goal that you want to accomplish; let’s say the goal is to read one book per month. Here is where you outsmart your perfectionism and satisfy it at the same time. Read for 10 minutes per day, every day.
This extremely small thing that you just started doing will become a habit in roughly 30-40 days. That small habit, is going to become hundreds of books over time. This is a life hack that will allow you to accomplish goals through very small tweaks in your daily routine.
Goals are good and need to exist so that we have something to aim for. However, habits are how you will accomplish your goals. It’s the small changes to your habits today and tomorrow that will lead to accomplishing the big goals in 10 years and 20 years.
Keep this in mind: your thoughts determine your attitude. Your attitude determines your actions. These actions will eventually become habits. Your habits, over time, will determine your lifestyle. Ultimately, your lifestyle, will determine your destiny.