When I was a kid, if my brother and I got in trouble, we got spanked and/or sent to stand in the corner, where we stood facing the corner until we were told we were free to go. I remember my brother got spanked so hard one time, for endlessly running around naked, my dad left a nice red handprint on his cute little tush, but that’s beside the point. As kids we were put through all kinds of different discipline regimes whenever we did something bad—whether it was being put in time out, going to detention, or pulling a card. As a result of being disciplined for bad behavior, we were expected to learn proper behavior and refrain from repeating our mistakes.
The older we get, the more we have to exercise self-discipline. School gets harder, we have to discipline ourselves to sit down and study. When our metabolism starts slowing down, we have to exercise self-discipline to workout regularly and eat healthy. When we go out into the world on our own, we have to exercise self-discipline not to splurge on the unnecessary things and save our earnings. These days, I find myself having to exercise more self-discipline than ever.
Sometimes I wish I could just spend one whole day sleeping in, and watching a silly rom-com in bed with biscuits and tea, and no other care in the world, but to laugh, and cry, and feel sappy. Or better yet, escape to Disneyland for the day and then come home and get in bed with a rom-com, and biscuits and tea. Alas, I’ll have to save that for a day after I take the Bar.
The key to self-discipline is really quite simple. It comes down to two things: organization, and how badly you want what you want. The latter is easy. Just ask yourself, how badly do you want what you want? What’s it to you? How much and what are you willing to sacrifice?
The former takes a little more. I always tell people, I didn’t really learn what it meant and what it took to be organized until I became a Beachbody coach. It started with making a routine out of working out and eat healthy—scheduling my workouts every day, knowing what workout I was going to do every morning, and planning and preparing my meals and snacks for the day, or the week. When I realized I had organized that small segment of my life, I realized I could do much better with the rest of my life. It’s a simple matter of organized chaos that makes sense and works for me.
Some people’s planners are so neat, it’s like they used a ruler to write out each task, and each letter so legibly you can see the pencil dust from a mile away. Mine, not so much. First, I don’t “pencil” things in, because if something gets cancelled or moved, I like to see that. I have so much going on all the time, that I’m afraid if I let myself erase things, I might confuse myself and not remember whether something was erased or never written down. So, if an outsider opened up my planner, they might be overwhelmed, because it may look chaotic to them; but it’s my own organized chaos. I can read it, and I can understand it. Basically what I’m getting at is that, find what works for you; but don’t think you can rely on remembering everything. Whatever little preparation you do will go a long way though--whether it's laying out or at least deciding on your next day's outfit, preparing your meals for the week on a given day of the week, or writing down each task you need to complete to take over the world.
Getting organized also means forcing yourself to get to know yourself. Like when it comes to school, I know that I have to read ahead, or get some kind of head start before each semester if I want to do well. Studying takes a little extra effort from me, than other students may require of themselves; but since I know that, I can plan ahead for that. It's not like I want to spend my summers, or winter and spring breaks, with my nose in a million books in whatever free time I may have. However, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!
Once you have the basics of organizing down, commit to executing. It feels good to cross things off your to do list. Keep doing. Keep moving. Get into a rhythm. When things change, don’t be afraid to make changes. I’ve found that the more organized you are, the better you are at adjusting to changes without freaking out. In fact, one of the reasons why I rely on my planner so heavily, is because when I’ve written things down, I can see where I’m flexible and where I’m not.
Once you get the hang of this, you feel in control, and being in control feels great. After all, there’s only so much we can control in our lives, and if we stay on top we can stay one step ahead.
Oh, and don’t forget to schedule in some “you” time. “You” time is the most important if you want to be absolutely functional, because YOU MATTER. It’s time for you to maintain or regain sanity. It’s time for you to clear your head, and recollect your senses. It’s time for you to revitalize yourself. It’s time for you to step outside your crazy train for a little breather.
Don’t forget to be magnificent!
BIG LOVE & BIG HUGS