Saturday, February 1, 2014

one word.

this week at church, pastor jason anderson challenged us to choose one word to focus on this year. he said the word might represent a change we want to make or a quality we want to develop. instantly the word "discipline" popped into my mind. as much as i would've preferred a word like "rest" or "shopping," discipline immediately resonated. in so many areas of my life i struggle with self-discipline. diet and exercise top the list, but it extends far beyond that to things like finances, housework, and just general follow through on things i set out to do.

in the name of full disclosure, i think i have become too comfortable with complacency. i talk about wanting to make changes but rarely fully commit to the hard work it takes to do so. it's easy to box myself in and say things just "aren't me," when really it's that i doubt my ability or willingness to succeed. i say things like "i'm just not a saver." while spending comes naturally to me and saving does not, making the claim that it's just not me only keeps me stuck in the same place. it's also an excuse so i can justify unnecessary spending as anything but irresponsibility.

in the same way, i joke about hating running and loving doughnuts, or even some combo of the two like, "i'll only run if it's toward doughnuts." it's true: i do hate running and i do love doughnuts. but the jokes are a facade. i don't want to admit things i believe about myself like "i'm not disciplined enough to be a runner," and "i am not disciplined enough to commit to healthy eating." the running example is maybe too far because in all honesty i have no desire to be a runner. but you get the point. i doubt my ability to exercise (see what i did there?) self-discipline, so i make jokes and excuses so i don't feel as bad about it. but i feel bad about it anyway.

i want "discipline" to be my word for 2014. i want to prove to myself that i can follow through with whatever I put my mind to doing and be successful. i have to remind myself that this is a process, though. today i set out with discipline in mind. i had a healthy breakfast and ben and i went to the Y where I worked out for 45 minutes, big baby belly and all. by the time we went to leave the Y it was lunchtime and we were both hungry, so i stopped at arby's and grabbed luch for us to take home. turns out a market fresh turkey bacon ranch sandwich from arby's has a whopping 800 calories (i looked it up after i ate it, naturally). instead of chalking it up as a lesson and moving on, i started feeling like i failed and decided to have two of the cookies i'd made for our super bowl party yesterday. real disciplined, right?

i could continue to use each poor choice as a reason to make another or i can choose to not let it set me back. discipline doesn't mean never making a mistake. it involves persistence despite setbacks. the definition of self-discipline is "correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement." you can't need correction if you don't make mistakes, so they're part of the deal. perfection isn't realistic, and i need to accept that if i am going to experience success in anything i set out to do.

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