There are very few times in my life where I can honestly boast upon excelling in something. It’s easy for me to accuse myself of doing things poorly, but when the opportunity arises to where I can pick out a positive feature, I tend to run with it. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew one thing about myself that I excelled with and I have kept that same mindset about the same feature up to this date.
I first noticed this feature when I was in fourth grade. Mind you I have been home-schooled my entire life so I was able to have the unique privilege to master this so called skill, if you will. Obviously I only had one teacher, my mom, who’s motto was always, “The faster you get your school work done the more time you will have in your day to whatever you want.”
She never made us start school at any time which definitely helped seeing as how when I’m told to do something, I automatically don’t want to do it. I know, stubborn right? As I got older I noticed that if I got my work done earlier, I could have the rest of the afternoon to myself and that my mom’s motto was indeed a good one.
That motto sort of snowballed into an obsession in beating my record of getting my work done earlier in the day. It got to the point to where I was setting an alarm at 6:00 AM every morning. I’d walked downstairs in my pj’s to the school room and sleepily start on my work. Before I knew it, I’d be done by lunch time!
I noticed the envious look on my friend’s (Yes, people, home-schooled kids have friends too) faces when I’d tell them I was done with my “homework” by noon. It felt good and it was the first time in my life that I felt proud of myself. Eventually my school work lead me to wanting to accomplish more and more. I added jogging to my normal routine, eating right, taking care of my pets, cleaning my room and even within my free time and/or activities I noticed the act of being self-disciplined.
The first part of understanding the act of being self-disciplined is coming to grips with the fact that it’s not easy and you have to REALLY want it. Think of it like losing weight. You can tell yourself that you need to lose weight but unless you really want it, you cannot achieve it.
Once you realized that it won’t be easy, and have accepted that it can be an overwhelming task, it’s time to place your skills into action! I gained this skill without even thinking about being self-disciplined. I started it because I liked the feeling of accomplishment. I even got my husband into liking the feeling of accomplishment! He agrees that it’s most definitely not easy and we both have our fallout’s with staying on tack, but man oh man when you reach your goal it’s one of the best feelings out there.
- Start Slow. Give yourself time to gain this “skill” or life changing mindset so to speak. Pick out one goal you want to accomplish. For instance, my husband and I have a goal of going to Prague by the end of this year. With this goal comes determination, money saving techniques and an overwhelming desire to make this goal possible. Maybe your goal will be getting up earlier in the morning so you can accomplish something before going to work, maybe you want to start a garden but don’t know how, or perhaps you just want to become more organized. Whatever it may be, it’s important to start slow so you don’t get overwhelmed and only pick one task to complete.
- Don’t Give In To Temptation. Whatever you do, don’t give up! My husband and I have this current goal to head to Prague but in order to take this dream vacation, we have to sacrifice a LOT. In order to save for such an extravagant trip we have to stop spending money altogether. Okay, not altogether, but we have had to sacrifice a lot. As of right now we can only purchase the necessities and haven’t had a vacation since our honeymoon. With the amount of stress in our lives, waiting a whole year to take a vacation is a long time for us. We have almost caved a few times and just purchased a cruise for the following week but then we wouldn’t be able to go to Prague and it’s something we REALLY want. Like I said before, if it’s something you really want, you’ll make it happen. Just remember with perseverance comes reward and I promise you the reward will be nothing short of extraordinary.
- Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself. I’m serious, it takes time to develop a skill especially if you don’t really want to do it. We really don’t want to wait until December to take our next vacation but we really do want the reward. We realized we have to give ourselves a little “treat” now and then in order to be able to keep up with the difficulty of this task. We take ourselves down the beach every once in awhile just to keep our sanity or we’ll go to one of our favorite restaurants to take the load off of having to cook every night. It’s okay if you’re on a diet to treat yourself to a movie or perhaps a pedicure. Little things like that help ease the “pain” of sacrificing favorite things.
The act of being self-disciplined isn’t an easy skill to gain but with the right mindset you can make it be effortless. For some it might come easier than others and that’s okay. What’s important is that you stick with the goals and don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t and that includes yourself. 🙂