Sometimes I just get plain worn out. The balancing act of keeping up with life leaves not much energy to try to advance and shoot for something greater. I get tired doing tasks for the day and don’t do what will give me freedom in the future. At my restaurants I don’t train and instead do the job myself. I don’t write another guest post that week and zone out on TV. I press snooze instead of getting out of bed and running. I don’t do my zero based budget at the beginning of the month just trying to be good with my money instead. The problem is that to get our lives to the next level we need to get our actions to the next level.
I know it is not the most pleasing thing to hear, but the truth is DISCIPLINE is what we need more of. If we did what we know we should do, we would see our lives move in ways that we never thought possible. If you are struggling with discipline, these 5 things will help you to increase it.
1. God. I come from the world view that if God is not in it you are wasting your time. God is the change agent in my life, but often I skip Him in things that feel non-spiritual. Although it feels non-spiritual, it doesn’t get much more spiritual than living a disciplined life. Self-control is even counted as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Don’t leave God out of any area of your life. Pray that He would help to make you more disciplined. God is always faithful to answer our prayers even when it takes longer then we would want. In time, God will guide you to more discipline.
2. Remove temptation. Stop setting yourself up for failure. If you struggle with being on your phone instead of being present, set your phone somewhere else. If you are trying to eat healthier, remove unhealthy food from your home. Proactively set up your life to where you don’t have to practice self-control for long. The more you remove temptation from your life the less you have to use discipline. Set up your life so that a little discipline goes a long way.
3. Exercise. The better physical shape we are in the more discipline we have. I have worked myself up to running marathons and my discipline has increased the whole time. My energy is at an all-time high because of this and I can work long days and have enough energy to be disciplined at the end of the day. We are the most vulnerable when we are worn down and tired. As you get fit you will have higher energy to make wise choices. Also the mere act of exercise makes momentum in the discipline department.
4. Accountability. Build into your life accountability. The bigger the struggle the more you and I need to be accountable to someone we trust. We need open and honest relationships to be able to share when we fail. Share small and big wins and just have someone to do life with. The more you build accountable relationships into your life the more you will feel like you’re not alone. Walk through life with others and stop being the lone wolf.
5. Forgive. We are going to fail and that’s okay. It is not the failure that stops us on our pursuit, but when we fail we often get fixated on that failure and stop moving and pushing toward higher levels of discipline. Keep getting back up and you will keep moving forward. Every failure, sin and set-back was already atoned for on the cross and if we fixate and beat ourselves up for our mistakes we are multiplying the sin. If you failed, confess to God and a close friend and move forward looking back no longer.
Discipline is a muscle that is built. The more you use it, the stronger you will get. Don’t give up. Press into God, take care of your physical body, build relationships and forgive yourself when you fail. Overtime you can and will see your dreams if you stay disciplined on the journey.
How do you increase your discipline?
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