Relationship between Self Discipline and Goal Setting – Do they Matter?

Have you ever wondered why some people accomplish their goals and some don’t? The answer may lie in this statement that  “it seems that only 3% of adults has written goals and plans and they earn more than the other 97% put together.”

What is the reason? The answer is that if you have a clear goal and a plan to achieve it, you’ll focus on a fixed path of actions. It is less likely that you’ll become distracted by diversions. Your time is focused on a straight line from start to finish. This is the reason why people with goals accomplish so much more than people without them.

It is unfortunate that everyone thinks they already have goals. But what they really have is everything short of goals, perhaps hopes and wishes. The definition of a wish is a “goal with no energy behind it.” Hope is not a strategy. Goals that are not written down and developed into plans are like a brainstorming list without any meaningful order.

People with unwritten goals go through life meandering aimlessly. They think they have goals but they never engage in the hard, disciplined effort of goal setting, the master skill of success.

Some years ago, USA Today reported a study where researchers selected a group of people who made New Year’s resolutions. They divided the people into two groups. Those who made New Year’s Resolutions and wrote them down, and those who made New Year’s resolutions, but neglected to write them down.

Twelve months later, what do you think the results were when they followed up with the respondents? It was amazing! “Of the people who neglected to write down their goals only 4% actually followed through on their resolutions.

Among the group that took the time to record the New Year’s resolution 44% followed through on them. This difference of more than 1100% manifests that writing down your resolution or goals on paper increases the likelihood of success.”

On a personal level, I can attest that I’m always successful when I discipline myself to writing down my goals and make plans to accomplish them. I know I have to work on them daily to increase the possibility of achieving the goals by ten times, or 100%.

Goal setting does not mean guaranteed success. What it means is that it increases the probability of success ten times. These are very good odds to have in our favor.

What lies behind the successful mechanism and the failure mechanism is –The Brain? Our brain has both mechanisms. The failure mechanism is the temptation to follow undisciplined path of least resistance, to do what is fun and easy rather than what is hard and necessary. Our failure mechanism triggers automatically throughout our life, which is the major reason why most people fail to fulfill their individual potential.

Our success mechanism is triggered by a goal. “When you decide upon a goal, you override your failure mechanism and change the direction of your life.” This means that you have to write down your goals and make plans to work on them daily. This quote says it best. “You go from being a ship without a rudder, drifting with the tide to becoming a ship with a rudder, a compass and a clear destination, sailing straight toward your destination.”

Don’t be hesitant to set goals. The good news is that you don’t need to know how to get there. You just need to be clear about where you want to end up and your brain goal striving mechanism will guide you to your destination successfully.

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