Without a doubt, my most significant lesson for 2017 was discipline. I never thought I would have said it but discipline has been good to me. No longer do I believe that discipline is merely akin to punishment, strict adherence to rules or the giving up of everything good. No, no, no. Discipline is foundational to success and the antidote for laziness.
By late 2016 I acknowledged that I had become lazy. Just writing that feels uncomfortable. But, people, news flash! Laziness, if left unchecked becomes a bad habit that will move into our lives and take residence unless you and I take steps to bar it or evict it. Laziness, when left unchecked, will even give us a ‘helping hand’ to justify our lack of actions and progress.
I reasoned that after my husband and I had raised our children, I could kick back and relax, right? I mean, we had brought them up, in spite of the challenges, I had a good job and had achieved successes over the years. Pat, pat, pat, on the back. My conclusion? I needed a break after being ‘on the job’ all these years.
Well, I was wrong, very wrong it turns out. Instead of converting the valuable routine and discipline of raising a family to a new season in life, I let it go. (My bad.) As I allowed laziness to spring up, I went from regularly experiencing success to experiencing occasional success.
Something had to change. So, earlier this year, I became focused on setting goals for myself, and the tide began to turn. I started to learn about what the Bible says about success. I began to listen to faith-filled messages, and I experienced some change.
However, I was yet to appreciate that success is rooted in our minds and therein lay my other problem. I had allowed my mind to become unfit, overweight and dare I say it? Flabby. It was time to get into shape. You know when you go from being unfit to fit, it’s inevitable that some pain and discomfort is involved right? Well, my discipline fitness journey included that and all of this:
- Prayer and spending time with God
- Renewing my mind (Romans 12:1-2), identifying ‘failure thinking,’ and replacing it with scriptures and positive declarations
- Identifying and discarding weights of doubt and discouragement
- Building up muscles of determination and diligence to do daily actions in spite of how I felt
- Constructively boxing and release frustration (laughter helps)
- Strengthening and conditioning my thinking by taking the time to think about what I need to think about (a challenging task but eminently doable!)
- Encouraging myself with 2 Chronicles 15:7, ‘I will be strong and not give up for my work will be rewarded…’
- Implementing a goal oriented routine
- Decluttering my house
As a result, my four-pack (figuratively speaking) includes:
- Establishing a daily routine to anchor me especially in challenging times
- An ever-increasing ordered mind
- Creative thinking
- Achievements of goals
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
I know that I am at the beginning of my journey with so much more to learn, but these two things, I know for sure, discipline has changed the trajectory of my life and discipline has been good to me.
Dawn H Jones is an HR Consultant, coach, and blogger.
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