Years ago, a close friend of mine said to me, ‘the worst thing about going for a run is putting on your running gear, once you’re in your kit you’re halfway there’. This statement is one that has continued to resonate with me.
Where we are and where we want to be depends on the choices we have made and continue to make. Self-discipline can help us stay on track, guiding us to healthier habits.
As I mentioned on day four, this is an opportunity to ditch our non-supportive habits and create new ones; but nobody said that was going to be easy!
‘Somewhere we forget that we had to learn to walk…we forgot how many times we fell. We forget that things take practice.’
Self-discipline is the conscious choice to do something for yourself now, in order to improve your experience later. It takes effort to be self-disciplined, and it means choosing a temporary discomfort over a more pleasurable or easier option.
In the last few years, I have developed a morning routine, where I get up, feed the cat and sit and meditate for 20 minutes. This practice has kept my mental health in good shape, it’s become a lifeline, a steady unwavering constant which has helped me both personally and professionally.
However, some days I just don’t want to, some days I want to stay in bed or skip to breakfast. My self-discipline at times has been questionable. I can make a million excuses not to meditate. It can feel like a burden, an annoying pointless thing, a waste of time. Yet it is usually these days when I get the most out of sitting. The days when I am feeling resistant, uncomfortable or irritated. It is these days where I can find solace in my practice, where I can harness what I have learnt and sit with my discomfort.
“Can you show courage and stay in the fire until you find the blessing?” – C.L
Self-discipline can teach us to not run from our discomfort, but to foster our inner strength and natural resilience.
Over the last 20 days I have listed many ideas and practices that you can use to improve your wellbeing. However, self-care is ultimately up to you. It is up to you to choose the practices that work for you and stay motivated enough to keep going. Self-discipline teaches us to keep choosing those good things even when life feels hard.
- Don’t take on too much – It takes roughly 66 days of practicing something new for it to become a habit. Try not to overload yourself with new things, implement one practice at a time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Start your day as often as you need too. If you’ve had a bad morning, restart your day at 1pm. If you feel like writing the day off, instead choose to restart it at 3pm, 7pm, or even 10pm. The time is now.
- Give yourself a deadline – Me and my friend have decided to give each other a list of things we’d like to do at the beginning of each week. Having each other to answer to is a way of staying focused and motivated. If I’m being flakey, she’ll be the one keeping me on track!
- Set your intention the night before – If you want to establish a new morning practice, set your intention the night before that way you can’t keep changing the goal posts