Bettering my relationship with discipline has been at the top of my New Year’s resolution list every year since 2018. I’m not sure what it is but mastering discipline has always been a struggle for me. Whether it’s having a strict schedule for doing schoolwork or exercise, I always find a way around sticking to the plan. Becoming disciplined is something I have dreamed of for years but I’m even more determined to make that dream a reality this year.
I know that discipline isn’t something that happens overnight; it’s a conscious decision you make every moment of every day. It’s easy to say no and hold a task off for another day but when you find yourself doing that every day, it becomes an issue. I’ve found myself notorious for doing that, especially when it comes to tasks that could possibly define my future. It’s prevented opportunities and ruined other good things because I find myself scared of failing or just plain lazy. And honestly, I’m sick of my shit. I’ve always viewed myself as an organized and put-together individual that will go on to utilize those qualities into becoming successful and possibly even powerful. Unfortunately, my grief and subsequent depression came in between those two points of my life and as time went on, I continued to let it have a hold on me. While it was beneficial for me to take some time for myself and take a break from always feeling like I needed to have something going on, it eventually became an unhealthy crutch to not do something in the name of self-care. While I know and absolutely agree that my self-worth should not be tied to my productivity, even though that’s something I struggle with daily, I also know that I can’t expect my goals to be achieved if I’m not putting in the work. I have come to realize that discipline is a very high form of self-care and is required for me to reach my goals and feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose in this life (shoutout to my Virgo North Node).
As I move more into 2021, I want to want up with a better plan for each day, whether that includes completing tasks I’d rather avoid or taking a deserved day of rest. Like I mentioned earlier, this road to discipline won’t be an easy one but I’m determined to make the most of the journey this time around. I have learned that promising myself that I’d achieve this without an actual plan in place was my first step towards failure.
This time around I’ve made a plan by starting with something small, achievable, and realistic so that I know that I am capable of being disciplined. As time goes on, I’ll add on goals here and there to present more of a challenge. I plan to track my progress in a few ways as well so that I can see that I truly am progressing even when I don’t feel like it. The first way I’m tracking my progress is with the Routines app by Care/of. One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2021 is to establish and maintain a solid morning routine and this app is so helpful because I can keep up with each morning and evening routine task at the tap of a button. This app also includes morning and evening reflection questions so that you can see how completing (or not completing) certain tasks can affect your day. Another way I’m tracking my progress (and also the tool that helped me create a plan for my reaching my goals) is the Feel Your Best Wellness Workbook from Ban.do, one of my all-time favorite online stores. This workbook is great because it’s separated into color-coordinated sections that help you set goals, take action to achieve those goals, relax, and more. The purpose of this workbook is to track your progress as you work towards specific goals and personal growth. It includes affirmation cards that you can tear out and place wherever you please, pages full of questions designed for you to look deeper into yourself as you work on yourself, and tips on things such as learning from your mistakes and personal balance. It also has daily and weekly check-ins for how you’re feeling in the different areas of personal growth that it covers.
Other ways to stay on top of building discipline is to set up a personal rewards system like treating yourself with something nice after a month of completing a daily task that you usually dread and designating someone you love as an accountability partner to check in on you to make sure you’re doing what you said that you would. It is also smart to limit distractions so when I plan to start running again, I will not be using my phone for anything other than news, music, and essentials until after my morning run is completed.
I’ve learned that developing discipline isn’t a smooth and straightforward process, but many things that are worth learning tend to have a higher level of difficulty. I plan to stay motivated enough to keep the ball rolling this time around and form healthy habits that I will be proud of at the end of 2021 and moving forward.