Leap Challenge Day 25: Practice Disciplined Flexibility

LeadershipOdds are when you take the leap next week, you’ll have a great couple of days—maybe even a week—before the luster of your new beginning fades. That’s when something will arise—from within or without—to challenge your commitment.

For example: You decide you’re going to run in the morning; you set the alarm; you lay out your shoes and clothes.

However, you wake the next morning to find that it’s 35˚F outside and raining. What do you do? Stick to your plan? Change it?

My advice is to practice disciplined flexibility—meaning only change the plan to keep on purpose, not at the whim of your moods or feelings.

In the example above, if you’re running to improve your health, then going out in conditions that would be harmful to your health would not serve your purpose.  You should adjust your plan in a way that continues to serve your purpose (i.e. run on a treadmill or later in the day).

However, if you have the proper gear to run in the rain and you just “don’t feel like it,” then by all means you stick to the plan. You run in the rain. Look to your purpose to guide you to the right decision.

Leap Task #25: Looking ahead, anticipate where you’ll struggle along the way, schedule regular times to review the effectiveness of your plan, and commit to not significantly changing the plan except during those scheduled reviews.

Do you err on the side of being too disciplined or too flexible?

4 thoughts on “Leap Challenge Day 25: Practice Disciplined Flexibility”

  1. I tend to err on the side of being too disciplined. I did that with reading recently. I discovered I was reading to get through the book and not because I wanted to read it. Also did it with exercising this past summer & fall. I was getting obsessed with it, and ended up injuring myself. My inflexibility is instinctual sometimes, and I usually realize it part way into something and then make adjustments.

  2. I tend to give in to my mood.   Discipline is easy when I am responsible to others, when what I do will have an immediate impact on what someone else needs to accomplish.  But when it is only me relying on it and there are no deadlines, I will often let it slide.  Deadlines are key to me getting this done, even if I’m not “reporting” to someone else.

    1. Insightful distinction between self-imposed deadlines and deadlines agreed with others. Sounds like an accountability partner will be important for you—I know it is for me!

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