Today, we’re talking about discipline as a process. As much as I wish I could just wake up tomorrow with all the discipline I could ever need, I’m pretty sure that isn’t going to happen! It’s better to focus on small changes over time.
Here’s a personal side note about something that really struck me in today’s reading (and I have a whole post about this topic drafted). I don’t have a great solution to this, but I thought some of you might be feeling the same way, so I wanted to share. One paragraph in today’s reading says:
When was the last time that you made a 180-degree change in your life? Did you manage to stick it with it long term?
Obviously, my answer is no. I’ve never a complete 180-degree change and been able to sustain it for longer than a few weeks. However, I asked myself another question: When was the last time that I made small, gradual changes in my life that I managed to stick with long term?
I’m being really honest here. My gut reaction to that question is never! Not only have I not managed to make a radical change that I stuck with long term, I haven’t even managed to make gradual changes that I stuck with long term. Do you feel that way?
I don’t have all the answers, but here’s a couple thoughts I did have:
Number one, just because I haven’t done it already, doesn’t mean I’m giving up. One thing I have done well is to keep dusting myself and trying again. You’re not a failure unless you give up.
Number two, I really don’t give myself enough credit, and maybe you don’t, either? I have made some changes in my life that are just so gradual I hardly notice, and maybe they weren’t even all out intentional. The overcoming fear thing that I keep writing about? That’s sticking. Keeping up with the budget? That’s been sticking for over 5 years. I tend focus on the things I struggle the most with (like my affinity for unhealthy sweets) and wonder why I haven’t made real, long term progress, be it gradual and drastic. However, like I said here, there’s so much more to me than the my biggest struggles.
Today’s reading asks us to pick one small task that we can focus on doing every day for the next week. I had a hard time coming up with something. I wanted it to be both achievable (even on my busiest weeknights) and impactful! Here it is:
For the next 20 days (and beyond), I’m going to focus on keeping my shoes put away at all times! I will strive to do so all the time, but at a minimum, I’m setting an actual reminder in my phone for right before I go to bed. There are some tasks (like washing all the dishes) that I genuinely don’t have the time or energy to accomplish on busy weeknights. However, 99.9% of the time, not putting away my shoes is sheer force of habit (not even thinking about it) and pure laziness! That’s right, I just plain don’t feel like bending down, picking up my shoes, and carrying them down a half a flight of stairs to put them away. How ridiculous is that?
Tell us, what simple thing are you going to work on for the next week (and beyond)?