Monday, January 28, 2013

Painful, Glorious Discipline

Discipline. Oh, how I have always hated that word. From it meaning some form of punishment when I was little to it meaning exercising and managing money and getting homework done without procrastination and cleaning up after myself when I got older, it's always held a negative connotation.  But I love the results of the pain of discipline: from the discipline of practicing the piano diligently, I can now easily play for my own and others' pleasure.  From the discipline of learning to control my anger, I now get angry very rarely.

But discipline is still hard to come by in my life, and I have decided this week to change that. I'm tired of being messy, not being even close to fit, not spending quality time with my Lord every day.  I'm tired of being unorganized and not following through right away on things.  Here is how I'm going to change that:

The first discipline that I am going to foster is getting up early at 5 AM every morning.  I have joined a challenge, called HelloMornings, that will help me with that.  The challenge is to get up early EVERY morning (weekends included) and do devos, exercise (even if it's just a few crunches and pushups), and plan your day out, generally before everyone else wakes up.  I used to be good at waking up early, whether to have time to do devos and write or do P90X, but I lost that over the past few months, and this will help me get into that habit again (which is also a habit very successful people have - you can read more on this discipline with the excellent e-Book "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast" by Laura Vanderkam).

The second discipline is about self-control. I do not hate my body, but I am at the heaviest I have ever been and my level of fitness is very low. I am going to do some exercise each day, but I am also going to tackle my two biggest weaknesses: my hatred of water and my love of ice cream.  My family's bowls of ice cream are huge, and we eat it almost every night. I am giving up ice cream as of today.  I also am going to drink 8 glasses of water a day plus a glass of skim milk, and nothing else but green tea when I need a caffeine boost.  No juice, no pop, no hot chocolate, no coffee. (yeah, this will be tough)

The third discipline is organization. As part of the HelloMornings challenge, I will be planning out my day, so that will help me get organized and follow through on what I need to do.  Picking things up and cleaning will also be part of each day, and I'm hoping to get into a cleaning habit.  Today I'm challenging myself to completely pick up the first floor of our house.

I got up today at 5, even though I forgot until about midnight last night that the HelloMornings challenge started today.  I really don't know how I got up with only 4.5 hours of sleep, but I did it! I spent about an hour and a half on Bible study and prayer, then planned my day out for about 5 minutes, then did 25 crunches, 10 push-ups, and a few other exercises, and now have even written this blog post!  And I feel great!

Join me in setting a new discipline for your life - it can be one of the things I just mentioned, or something completely different.  Let me know in the comments what you have chosen to do!


  1. Those are some great goals! If you know you'll have a really hard time giving up ALL those things at once (coffee, hot chocolate, ice cream, soda, etc), you may find it's easier to taper off - otherwise you may experience some serious withdrawals if you're very used to having a daily dose of caffeine! Or try replacing with something else - if you're really going to miss hot chocolate after coming in from the cold, try a nice tea instead, etc.

    I think you'll really feel better overall with just drinking tea and water, though! That's mostly all I drink, though I could do better with drinking more water :P

    Thanks for the reminder/motivations here - I should work on many of them, too. And good luck! :D When you're consistently getting up at 5, what time do you find yourself getting tired and going to bed?

    1. I don't actually have caffeine every day, so I don't have to worry about withdrawals thankfully! The only withdrawals I have to worry about are hot chocolate and ice cream! I'm the kind of person, though, that if I try to do something lightly at first, I won't reach my goal. I'm kind of all-or-nothing. But I totally resisted yesterday!

      When I get up at 5, I usually end up in bed around 9, though last night was 10. Sometimes even 8 PM ends up being bedtime, but it depends on if I have taken a nap or not and how hectic my day was.


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