Can we all agree that becoming goal-oriented is important? Setting goals is one thing. Achieving them is another. Every year, people make New Year’s resolutions. For the most part, the goals are broken up into the following categories: losing weight, eating better, and saving money. How often do we see people start off strong and as soon as a life event happens, they get taken off course? We can plan all we want. However, for any of us who have lived a good portion of our lives, we know there are going to be hard times that call for transformation and shift. There are going to be times where we don’t have all the answers. We are going to second-guess ourselves. We are not going to be 100% all the time.
Leaders are people. Leaders can easily be taken off course also. They lead their teams in creating goals for the following year, but a worldwide pandemic comes out of nowhere,
and then what? As of August 31, 2021, Yelp shared that 163,735 total U.S. businesses using Yelp closed since the beginning of the pandemic. While this is a low number compared to the number of businesses there are currently (and still rising), it shows the difference between leaders who could shift (discipline) and leaders who couldn’t when times were hard (motivation).
The fact is, we never know what we are going to come in contact with on a daily basis. We are not in control of anything except how we react. Let’s look at three must-haves when times are tough that will allow us to stay the course no matter what.
These three things are Discipline, Determination, and Consistency.
Discipline? Why not motivation? What’s the difference? Allow me to tell you. Discipline is what outworks excuses when motivation goes away. None of us have motivation every moment of every day. Discipline is what has to kick in. Motivation kicks in when we “feel” like doing something. Discipline is doing it whether we “feel” like it or not. Discipline allows us to feel better about ourselves and stay the course even when times get tough. Discipline allows us to establish self-worth. Discipline allows us to shift when needed. Discipline is what keeps us going and distinguishes success from failure. It’s mapping out for our teams how goals will be achieved and ensuring accountability is in place for all of us in order to reach the desired outcome. Discipline is what outweighs all odds and keeps us going when motivation fails us. Notice I said “when” motivation fails us. Most likely, you already know this. You just needed some clarity. Let’s look at the next thing we must obtain to achieve what we desire in life and business: determination.
When we have goals, we must be determined to accomplish them. Otherwise, we won’t. It’s simple really. Determination gives us that extra push when we need it. Determination is the why. It is what we revert back to anytime we begin to get “tired” or “lost.” Determination allows us to do things we normally wouldn’t do in order to achieve a greater outcome. Being determined gives us energy when we have none. It makes us want it more than anything. It is the lack of sleep and the extra hours we are willing to give. Determination is necessary. Otherwise, we will easily shut down when times are hard. Determination, according to Merriam-Webster, can be defined as “firm or fixed intention to achieve the desired end.” In other words, it is the passion and desire to reach the goal. Determination leads to what we must have next: Consistency.
Consistency is the art of practicing and getting better each day. When we practice, we yearn for more. We know what we are working towards and we continue the path in which we began. Consistency is continuing the journey even when it gets difficult. It’s working through different processes until we find the ones that work. It is the ability to pivot and shift as needed, but not quit. It is resiliency. It is learning new things. It is learning how to delegate. It is lifting our teams up high and helping them stay the course also. It is leading by example. It is the ability to know what type of people are in our lives and to dream out loud. It is taking the hits and continuing to punch through. It is the difference between those who succeed and those who fail.
Going after our dreams is tough. We must get out of our comfort zones in order to grow. Here is a GOYA-ism for you: You must do something you’re not used to doing to get something you’re not used to getting. It’s time to wake up. It’s time to soar with the eagles. It’s time to focus more on discipline, determination, and consistency and leave motivation at the door. Motivation may get you started, but it won’t last. This is when the other three MUST surface. If we rely solely on motivation, we will fail every time. If we learn to rely on others, we will learn from our mistakes, use them as lessons, and continue to grow and develop over time.
Today, I encourage you to begin focusing more on discipline, determination, and consistency. Keep people around you who hold you accountable in these areas. Having the right people in our corner is also a key factor in longevity. Take a good look at those you surround yourself with. Do you share similar characteristics with them? Do they think like you? Do they collaborate for the express purpose of helping each other toward a common goal or are they more out for themselves? Take a good look. If they are pulling you back in any way, you may want to let them go. Our circles should challenge us to be better. They should support us along the way. If anyone in our circle is not doing this, we need to consider re-evaluating the relationship.
In my seminars, I spend a lot of time talking about our attitudes and how they impact every area in our lives. We must approach our goals with the right attitude or else we won’t have the ability to develop discipline, determination, or consistency. Today is your day to examine where you are. Don’t worry about what you haven’t accomplished. Only focus on what you will accomplish starting today and going forward.
Merriam-Webster. (2021). Determination. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/determination
Sraders, A. and Lambert, L. (2020). Nearly 100,000 establishments that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic are now out of business. Fortune. Retrieved from https://fortune.com/2020/09/28/covid-buisnesses-shut-down-closed/. (**Note: this is the actual website, which includes a type that is necessary to input. Please copy the hyperlink as is.)
Yelp. (2020). Local economic impact report. Retrieved from https://www.yelpeconomicaverage.com/business-closures-update-sep-2020.html.
Ryan Lowe is a leadership keynote speaker, leadership trainer & leadership coach. He has over 15 years in experience in Leadership. In His career he successfully served as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for two major corporations. Ryan’s passion is to help leaders and their teams find solutions for a variety of challenges. He has created leadership training and one-on-one leadership coaching programs to help individuals and organizations reach peak performance. For more information on his leadership keynote, leadership training or leadership coaching programs CLICK HERE.
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