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| January 13, 2023



Happy New Year!


How have your first 13 days of 2023 gone so far? On our countdown for the year, we only have 352 days remaining with lots of fun things to pursue and accomplish!!


I typically will put myself through a goal setting process every year to remind me of my purpose, my priorities, and to lay out what I feel needs to be pursued toward those priorities. 2022 was different for me in that I didn’t follow the normal process. I did set some goals and considered the things that mattered, but it wasn’t as robust as usual.


And, guess what…it made a difference. While we were extremely blessed to be able to serve and make an impact the way we did during 2022, I felt a bit disconnected at points throughout the year. There was a sense of wandering that I found myself battling. 2023 is already different because I decided to return to the goal setting discipline.


Someone shared a quote with me years ago,


   “There are two types of pain we experience in life: the pain of DISCIPLINE and the pain of REGRET.”


As I’ve considered that over the years, I’ve come to see the wisdom in that quote. As with any athlete or fitness trainee, there is pain (and soreness) in the discipline of exercise. The grumbling tummy when I decide to hold myself accountable to a smaller portion of food intake is another of those discipline pains. Yet another might be the pain experienced when you’re giving up sitting in your comfortable chair relaxing to stay late working on a project that you’re trying to accomplish.


Contrast the Pain of Discipline with the Pain of Regret, which we experience when something happens contrary to our desire or doesn’t happen like we’d hoped. One example might include regretting that we can’t take that vacation or buy that RV. Another might be regretting that we have to take medication to manage our cholesterol or blood pressure. Or, maybe we regret not be able to impact the world around us the way we imagined.


As we consider these regrets and what might be the root cause, we come to the conclusion that discipline in an area could have helped us avoid much of the Pain of Regret. If we had learned to budget and were disciplined to stick to that budget when we were younger, we’d have the financial resources to travel more. If we had decided to exercise consistently and to exchange all the bacon cheeseburgers with fries for some chicken, fish, and veggies, we may not have to use so much medication. If we developed the habit of reading, growing, and stretching ourselves instead of only watching TV and being entertained, we may have been able to add value to others the way we dreamed.


In 2023, do you have some areas that you’re going to choose the Pain of Discipline so you have a better chance of avoiding the Pain of Regret? If you consider this principle across different areas of your life, can you envision for yourself the benefits that are worth submitting yourself to some added discipline?


Whether you’re a student, a new employee, a professional, an executive, a business owner, a retiree, or someone in a mix of these stages of life, value can be found in embracing disciplines that will allow you to pursue your purpose. I’m rolling up my sleeves so that the remaining 352 days of this year will be as fruitful as possible. Yes…it’ll come with some Pain of Discipline, but I’m excited for the results. Will you join me on your version of this journey?


Make it a great week!


Scott Cousino, CFP®, CEPA®