Discipline… Woof

The word discipline doesn’t carry the most pleasant of images for me.  When I think about the word discipline, I see images in my head of military training and punishment.  Fun, huh?  What images does the word conjure up in your head? There are only a few souls in the world who self-proclaim loving discipline (and just in case you’re one of those folks, I want to let you know that the rest of the world rolls our eyes at you).

But the truth is, as much as I fight discipline, I want it, too.  Discipline sounds really nice when I’m being particularly undisciplined.  It sounds safe, structured, and uncomplicated.

Lately, life has been incredibly busy.  Work has been busy, and most weeks, I have something on the calendar every night of the week.  Sadly, the weekends haven’t been bountiful with rest time either.  There’s just a lot to do and a lot of people to see.  And life is good.  I love my job and I love the people in my life, it’s just busy good.

And when life is busy for me, I don’t have consistency.  And when I don’t have consistency, discipline goes out the window.

When life is busy, I don’t have time to exercise.  When I’m not exercising, I feel as though there isn’t a point to eating terribly healthy (I know that’s incredibly backwards), so I indulge.  And when I indulge, I really indulge.  And the cycle spirals.  When life is busy, I am tired, and when I’m tired, I opt for tv rather than books.  And soon enough, I find myself a late-night couch potato consuming Ben and Jerry’s.

And I don’t feel very good about my body, mind, or soul.  And I start to long for consistency and discipline.

Which is where I found myself the last few weeks.  I was over feeling sorry for myself about my out of control schedule.  The truth is, there are ways to finagle even a busy schedule if I’m willing to be disciplined about it.  So, this week, the finagling began.

This was my alarm set for the week:


The truth is, there is nothing but sleep competing for my time at that hour of the day.  If I’m disciplined, I can get up.  And I did.  21 days to a habit, right? I’m 6 days in and feeling pretty good.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that I have a discipline accountability partner who is rolling out of bed in the wee hours with me.  It’s much easier to get out of bed when the sun isn’t up when your spouse isn’t snuggled up under the covers.

Last week we battled the alarm.  This week, we’re adding new eating habits to the battle.  Sadly, I’m not disciplined enough as a person to eat super healthy consistently without a plan.  Chocolate and cheese win every time…  unless I’m consistently saying no, and then it becomes a habit.

I know that I’m happier, stronger, and calmer when I exercise regularly.  I like exercise a lot, I just need to get back in the habit.

I know that I’m healthier and more energetic when I eat healthy consistently.  I know that my stomach loves me more when I’m putting clean things in it.  I like eating healthy, I just need to get back in the habit.

I know that I’m smarter, more challenged, and enlightened when I read more.  I like reading, I just need to get back in the habit.

And I am.  Yay for second and fifth and 100th chances at living healthy and whole.

What about you, what disciplines do you struggle with?  What disciplines have you conquered?  Share your struggles and successes.

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