Discipline or drudgery?

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Roalsen (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Roalsen (Creative Commons)

I was tempted to just hit the snooze button one more time – after all it felt so good under the covers.

But I knew that it would mean I spent the day making excuses for why I didn’t get the things done I had planned, so I got up.

We do the same thing with food. How often have you said, “I shouldn’t be eating this” or “I’ll start my diet tomorrow”? Another one is, “I’m going to be bad and skip my workout today.” Then the excuses start for why your clothes don’t fit, or you don’t like the way you look – or even worse, why you are experiencing health issues.

It is so easy to get up later and later and get less done, or to gain weight because you are indulging in more treats than healthy meals and talking yourself out of exercising altogether. Or you get caught up watching some silly show on TV or reading crazy comments on Facebook and suddenly the evening has passed and you’ve got nothing to show for it.

No goals met. No dream followed. Cue negative self talk.

People often talk about discipline as if it were a bad thing – like it’s punishment or drudgery. What I have found is that a certain amount of discipline can lead to a much more positive and healthy life, and helps me reach goals and accomplish greater things than if I am not disciplined. It helps me get the things done that I want to and be able to spend time following my dream.

Plus, if I am disciplined most of the time, then the few times I do indulge won’t be detrimental.

For instance, I get up early each morning and spend time with my devotions, writing and running. And yes, some days it is difficult to drag myself out of bed, but what I find is that it helps my state of mind later in the day to know that I started my day right by accomplishing these things that are important to me. And on some days off or weekends, then I can make a conscious decision to sleep in and know it’s ok every once in a while.

As I focus on spending more time on my mission, discipline plays a key role in shaping my decisions. If I am careful in limiting the non-productive uses of my time, then I end up happier because I have more time to devote to the things I am passionate about.

Less mental energy spent on berating myself for not doing the things I intended to means more mental capacity to focus on doing the things that bring the most satisfaction. Following my dream and working toward my mission takes some self-control but the end result will be so worth it.

What areas of your life would benefit from more discipline?