I hope this post is finding you snuggled up somewhere with people that you love.
This time of year is probably the most challenging to practice discipline; there’s more food and treats than usual, the weather is colder and less cooperative, it gets dark earlier, etc.
But the thing is, discipline this time of year is so important. Discipline can help to keep you out of that weird funk that is easy to get into during the winter months. It also sets the tone for the beginning of the new year.
You may hear the word “discipline” and think of disciplining your child or when you were disciplined as a child. Yes, it is very important for children to have discipline but what about adults? With so much going on in our busy lives and so many options, opportunities and opinions we actually need a lot of discipline.
Discipline is doing something even when you don’t want to. It’s habit creation and having control over those habits. Discipline is having control over your life, because let’s face it… if you don’t take control of your life, someone else will.
It’s also important to note that everything stems from discipline. If you want to lose weight, you must first gain discipline and losing weight will follow. If you want to move up in your career or become better at something, it all begins with discipline.
So how do you get more discipline in your life?
You decide what you want and how you want to live your life and do everything you can to stick to that. The only way to take control of your life is to not let anyone, anything, and/or yourself stop you.
When I decided to stop eating meat, my family went into a spasm. My mom still asks me “will you eat turkey?” No, mom. That would be meat. My dad makes fun of me and thinks that it’s silly, but I don’t care. If it weren’t for my discipline, I would have probably let their opinions lead me to eating meat again.
Remember how good you felt the last time you worked out or how good it felt to come home to a nicely made bed? Remember how great you felt after you ate a really healthy meal or woke up on time? Use that feeling to motivate you to add more discipline to your life. After all, life is all about finding what brings you joy and recreating that over and over again.
Some practical ways to add more discipline to your life;
Wake up early – Waking up early gives you more time to get ready for your day without rushing.
Make your bed – This sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Workout – Make a commitment to workout for at least 40 minutes a day. Despite how tired or unmotivated you feel, just do it.
Eat a healthy breakfast – This also sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start off your meals healthy, then you will be more likely to eat healthy throughout the day.
Stop negative thoughts – This takes a lot of practice, but it is totally possible. Negative thoughts can run rapid in your brain if you let them. Make a conscious effort to acknowledge a negative thought but then let it go. It really does not serve you.
Hygiene routines – This may or may not go without saying, but I don’t think that people realize the power of routine and habit. Washing your face every night before bed regardless of how sleepy you are is a great habit to form. Brushing your teeth, shaving your legs (yes, everyday… even in the winter months), taking vitamins, etc.
Pick out your clothes the night before – This will help you to be more prepared consciously for the day ahead and save you time. This also helps you avoid rushing.
Schedule everything – Schedule time with your significant other, your family, your friends. Time for yourself. Time to workout. Time to run errands. If you aren’t in charge of your schedule, then your schedule is in charge of you. Like money, you are totally in charge of how you spend your time. But it takes discipline to stick to a schedule, especially when things come up unexpectedly.
Meal plan/prep – Getting into the habit of meal planning can save you time during the week and money. It prevents you from going to the store and just buying a bunch of random stuff. Meal prepping also saves you time during the week and prevents you from eating out or eating junk when you don’t feel like cooking during the week.
Mindfulness – Being mindful takes a ton of practice and discipline but once you get into the routine of doing it, it is so worth it. Taking the time to take a breath, to be present, to meditate, to take notice of yourself and your surroundings.
Stop giving up – This applies to every area of your life, but for some reason I immediately think of yoga or the gym. When you’re in the middle of a difficult pose of in the middle of a set of reps, all you want to do is stop… Do you? Or do you push through despite how much you hate it or how much it hurts? You will never see true change when you give up early. You owe it to yourself to stop giving up.
Discipline is a practice. You won’t be good at it right away. You’re going to fail a lot. But discipline is mastered best when you continue to press on even when it doesn’t feel or seem like it’s working. Creating more discipline will change your life… And only you have the power to create it.
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” – Abraham Lincoln
“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest; We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” – Warren Buffet
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
“Discipline is being able to force yourself to do something, in spite of how you feel, over and over until it becomes a habit.” – Kim Brenneman
“Each day you must choose the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”