2020 & Discipline

As we tear-off the last calendar page of 2019, the final page of the decade, we look forward with anticipation of a new year.  

Discipline Stairs

While a new year provides opportunities for new-starts and resolutions, our success will ultimately be determined by our actions.  It’s easy to set lofty goals and aspirational resolutions.  It takes discipline to follow-through and to act with purpose.


Discipline is the bridge between our goals and accomplishments; discipline is the bridge between our resolutions and success in 2020.  It begins with an inner fire.  Your fire on the inside must be greater than past habits and negative self-talk. 

My primary goal for 2020 is to be more disciplined.  2020 will provide many Defining Moments – situations that reveal my character and training.  I live our culture; I practice R-Factors Skills.  My repeated actions over time prepare me with a pattern of thinking and acting.

What is your primary goal?  Do you have the discipline and skill to be successful in 2020?

With technology and over-scheduling, we are forgetting to invest time in simple connective moments with others. – Michelle Gielan

We are all social creatures. We need connections; we build relationships.

The technology in our lives – the alerts, tones, and vibrations from the myriad of devices – interrupts real connections. The ability to schedule meetings and work at any time blurs the lines between work and play, between professional and family.

We must be intentional in our behavior; take time to disconnect from the digital and connect to the personal.

Stop asking people to change; show them how. – Tim Kight

There is little argument against the need for change in public education. As an educational leader, I am guilty of asking for change, but not showing what is needed. It’s easy to say “we need to change,” but the real work is walking together on the change journey.

The fear, the discomfort of change is real. When we don’t know what’s required of us, when we haven’t developed the skills needed to move forward, resistance is natural. Leadership is modeling what’s needed; it’s creating opportunities for growth and improvement.

Our daily decisions and habits have a huge impact on both our levels of happiness and success. – Shawn Achor

We can’t control the events in our lives. We can’t control the behavior and actions of others.

We can control how we respond; we can control our behavior. Through our response, we decide to be happy or to be negative.

When we make happiness a habit, when we make lifting up those around our practice, it directly impacts our success. Cultivate healthy habits for yourself; make daily decisions that spark happiness in you. Happiness is a choice – make it every day.

Prepare students for the world we want it to be.

I often say and hear other people say, “prepare today’s students for the future.” In the Hilliard Schools, we live our mission to “prepare every student to be Ready for Tomorrow.” I was recently at a conference where one of my colleagues introduced the idea to “prepare students for the world we want it to be.”

Yes . . . Amen . . . That’s it! We live in a vitriolic, narcissistic, and broken world. Let’s prepare today’s students to be and do better. Let’s commit to teach, and model, empathy and honesty. As adults, let’s live as servant leaders committed to thinking about others first.

As educators, we have the opportunity, the responsibility, to shape the future. Let’s cultivate a better world for our children.

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers

We live in a fast-paced, act now, culture. Everything from our iPhone to our television seems to update to the next version overnight automatically. Our car audio systems update in our garages; the way we share information changes all the time.

From education to medicine, you better embrace the mindset of continuous improvement. If you aren’t getting better, others are passing you by daily.

Take time to celebrate victories, learn from failures, and reflect on events. We learn through our experiences. While you discover, keep moving. Even on the right track, you need to embrace the commitment to growth.

Simply creating a vision is not enough: you must communicate it with passion and conviction.

Simply creating a vision is not enough: you must communicate it with passion and conviction. – Disney Institute

Decades ago, a motivations speaker made the statement, “your best thoughts go down the shower drain each morning.” His premise was that when we have time alone to think, we have breakthrough ideas. Too often, we don’t do anything with great ideas; the thoughts go down the drain.

Having a great idea isn’t enough. The great idea must spark action – an action that requires cultivation and development. The best ideas have teams working with refinement and development.

Don’t let your great potential ideas go down the drain. Communicate them – share your passion with the team. Not every thought leads to a vision that leads to action. Some ideas are only ideas, and that’s OK. Unrealized ideas often lead to future iterations. Keep dreaming!