Not just any discipline, but self discipline. It’s said that self discipline is the key to utter happiness. Self discipline is not something learned overnight, or downloaded off the internet (believe me, I’ve tried everything!) – it takes lots of practice, repetition and falling down and getting back up.
So let’s put our big kid pants on and give it a try – shall we? I mean seriously – nothing worth going for is easy. And if this is the key to life happiness, then heck yeah!
Set yourself up for success: I’ve been reading that it’s best if you just kick out the distractions. Whatever that is for you, be it television, that trusty old smartphone, or, like me – food – get rid of it. Toss it. Pitch it. Turn it off! By getting out from under those things – it helps to allow a deeper sense of focus on what’s important.
You don’t get anywhere by staying all comfy in your comfort zone: the only way to learn something is to make a change, create a new habit… get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Change is hard, but it’s worth it. One thing I struggle with is my depression crippling me from accepting change, however, with the proper medication, and the smarts to take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time.
Celebrate your success, not matter how big or small: this life stuff is hard work, and let’s face it, cold turkey just doesn’t work (ok, maybe for like 1% of the world’s population). I’ve tried cold turkey and honestly, it feels more like a high five to the face. So, instead of pretending that every day is going to unicorns and glitter, let’s work those ‘fail’ moments in, and remember that though we lose a battle, we’ll win the war. After a long hard month of morning runs or healthy afternoon snacks, celebrate with morning of sleeping in (but, don’t miss a Monday) or a Sunday with a handful of vanilla wafers.
Learn to forgive: remember those unicorns and glitter? Let’s remind ourselves that somedays it’ll be sore muscles, hunger pangs, and giving in, even if just a little. We can’t expect our new habit to become a habit overnight. It’s gonna take a while. Remember that saying “You didn’t put those pounds on in a day. They won’t come off in one either.”? That’s a true statement for the lesson of self discipline too. Expect those rough days and then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, put on some gangster rap, and handle it (aka: forgive yourself).
Scripture (aka: Truth):
• …it is the little foxes that ruin the vineyards / Song of Solomon 2:15 (don’t let those little battles make you lose sight of the war)
• Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days / Proverbs 19:20
• He whose ear listens to the life giving reproof will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding / Proverbs 15:31-32
I want to give a big shout out to my husband, who recently jump started my want for self discipline – and ultimately provoked this blog post.