Pain of Discipline vs. Pain of Regret

Discipline vs RegretYou’ve made your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, and this time you’re determined to stick with it! Comes Monday and you go out to lunch with coworkers. Your plan tells you to get a salad with chicken or salmon on top. Your colleagues are getting burgers with fries, mac and cheese flatbread, and your very favorite – fettucine alfredo (Ok, full disclosure, that’s one of my favorites!). Your plan tells you to drink water, but your friends are all getting sodas. What do you do? Do you stick with the discipline of your plan, or do you throw it to the winds?

Your other New Year’s resolution is to get rid of that debt that’s been sucking your wallet dry forever. Tonight you plan to eat a home-cooked dinner, then watch a Redbox rental movie for $1.27 and microwave a $0.40 packet of popcorn. Then Jenny calls and suggests a girls’ night out with dinner and a movie. Let’s see… that’s at least $20 for dinner, $12 for a movie ticket, and $8 for popcorn and a drink. Discipline says you should invite Jenny to your place for that rental video instead, but you’re concerned she may think you’re being cheap. Do you stay disciplined, or do you let your emotions rule you and splurge $40 you don’t really have?

“The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn

We live in a society that caters to our every whim, for a price. We see the consequences of it all around us. Two thirds of Americans are very overweight or even obese, with more than one in 11 of Americans suffering from diabetes. The average American in his or her 60s has $172,000 in retirement savings. This may sound like a lot, but even adding the average Social Security income, would provide only $1750 a month. Would you like to spend your “golden years” living on this income?

Yes, eating clean while friends and colleagues scarf down burgers, fries, donuts, and milkshakes like there’s no tomorrow isn’t easy. Neither is making and sticking with a budget, avoiding impulse shopping. Getting up an hour early and working out when it’s still dark out also takes lots of motivation and commitment.

The point is that life gives you a choice – would you rather avoid the pain of discipline now and suffer the pain of regret later? This year, make a better choice. Stick with your New Year’s resolutions. You’ve already decided to do it. Now make the plan, set up the structure to stay committed and motivated so you can succeed! Accept the ounces-weight of discipline now and you’ll avoid being crushed by tons of regret when it’s too late. If you don’t have a plan, or structure or motivation, that’s what I’m here to help you with.

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