3 In Sports Psychology and Motivation

Goals: How to Use Discipline to Your Advantage

Goals - How to use discipline to your advantage

Welcome to the last post in this series.  Let’s recap!  In the first week, we talked about a strategy to create a well thought out goal.  This goal would be well defined, meaningful, achievable, and time bound.  In the second post of the series, we talked about different strategies to keep our motivation up while we work through the process to achieve our goals.  Finally, we are going to talk about the importance of discipline today.  Aaaand, there is a giveaway!

What You Do Every Day

One of my favorite quotes is, “You are what you do every day not just occasionally.”  While this means there will be work, I think this should actually give us hope.  If we have a SMART goal, there is some objective we want to achieve.  We have already thought about incremental steps and a plan that will move us closer to that goal.  The next step is to break that down even further into a small daily goal.

In the beginning, we may need to really focus and prioritize to check our task off the list.  Overtime, we will create a habit and it will feel natural to do our small goal every day.  Here is where we benefit.  When do that task repeatedly, we will improve overtime.  In our example, we are talking about running.  Each time we lace up we are getting better.  We are building a better aerobic base, creating strength, building power, and pushing speed.  What once felt hard will feel easy after a few consistent weeks of training.

Another bonus?  I see this as an 80/20 opportunity.  Life is going to get in the way.  We may not hit our goals every single day.  But, if we are consistent over time we will trend in the right direction.  If we are putting our best effort out there most of the time, we are still going to arrive at our goal.

goal sara runs this town

The Secret of Easy Things

Today, I am bringing you a book suggestion.  The name of the book is, “The Slight Edge,” by Jeff Olson.  I absolutely love this book!  In one of the early chapters, the author says this is the book that you need to read before you start that diet, read your next self-development book, or start that workout regime and I could not agree more.  This is the book that will tell you how to effectively do all of those things.

In the second chapter, Jeff Olson talks about the secret of easy things:

The difference between success and failure is not dramatic.  In fact, the difference between success and failure is so subtle, most people miss it.  They hold the philosophy that what they do doesn’t really matter.  It’s not hard to see how people come to this understanding of life.  I don’t blame them.  It’s completely understandable.  It’s just not the truth.

The truth is what you do matters.  What you do today matters.  What you do every day matters.

Those little things that will make you successful in life, that that will secure your health, your happiness, your fulfillment, your dreams are simple, subtle, tiny things that nobody will see, nobody will applaud, nobody will even notice.  They are those things that, at the time you do them, often feel like they make absolutely no difference…like they don’t matter.

They do (pg.34)

The secret of easy things is that they are easy to do.  They are also easy to not do.  Herein lies the secret power.  Most people procrastinate.  Waiting until tomorrow.  When you don’t do the easy thing today, there is no immediate consequence.  But, if you consistently skip the easy things you will never reach that goal. 

You might be thinking to yourself…Is that it?  The secret of easy things is that they are easy to do.  Why doesn’t every one do the easy things?  I think that a small factor in this is delayed gratification.  You aren’t going to achieve that big goal tomorrow.  Can you stay consistent for 1 week, 1 month, 3 months?

What Do You Want Most

Finally, I am leaving you with this one question.  What do you want most?  That is the question that you need to start asking yourself every time that you come to one of these cross roads. 

What do I want most versus what I want right now?

If I want to run my sub-2 hour half marathon, I am going to need to prioritize my training runs during the week.  This means no slacking on the pace for my quality days.  It also means eating well and resting so that I am feeling my best for every workout.  Maybe I want to skip a workout to sleep or maybe I want to eat a cheeseburger and fries.  I will have to weigh that against my ultimate goal and decided it if will hinder me from meeting that goal.  If it is not going to move me closer to my ultimate goal, I have the opportunity to choose an activity that will.

I do want to caution you that there are some times when we will choose the opposite path and it is appropriate.  If you need an extra rest day or you need to juggle your workouts to accommodate a work trip, do it.  Ensuring enough rest is a better option than pushing too hard and burning out.  If you go out with friends and want to have a cocktail, go for it (moderation is key).  Keeping up with friends and family is important too!  That mental break will keep you happy and healthy.


Thanks for hanging out with me for this series.  Now for the fun part, I am giving away 1 prize: a cute planner and a copy of the book The Slight Edge.

Visit my Instagram page @sara_runs_this_town.  And complete three tasks:

1.       Follow my account @sara_runs_this_town

2.       Like the giveaway photo

3.       Tag a friend that would like this giveaway prize in the comments of the giveaway photo

Each tag is one entry.  Winner will be selected at random.

This giveaway is not affiliated with Instagram in anyway.  Instagram is not sponsoring, endorsing, administering or associated with this giveaway in any manner.


Terms and Conditions:

One winner will be selected

The winner will win 1 planner (of their choice) and 1 copy of The Slight Edge

You must be a resident of the United States or Canada to win. 

Giveaway is open from Thursday July 27 th through Tuesday August 1st 2017 at 7:00 pm Eastern Time.

You must complete all three tasks to be eligible to win.

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  • Reply
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home
    July 29, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Since my diagnosis with RA, I’ve had to readjust my goals and expectations. Yes, the goal is to keep running, to have fun, and to finish. I need to be realistic with time goals, tho. That’s been the toughest for me. It’s hard to let go of my dream to qualify for Boston. I’m not ready to do that yet.

    • Reply
      July 30, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Hello Wendy! That is really hard when you have to readjust your goals for something that is out of your control. That is also a facet of goal setting that I didn’t consider in this post. It sounds like you have done a really good job of creating balance since your diagnosis! Hold on to that dream until you are ready to let go.

  • Reply
    July 30, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Ah, What do you want the most? is a great question to ask when facing what I call a “moment of truth.”

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