On more than one occasion, I've told my fellow mom friends that I'd love for my kids to have the same level of discipline (at 9 and 12-years-old) that I have at 38. Never mind that I honestly feel like I haven't developed this level of self-discipline until the last 4 or 5 years. I have poked at self-discipline for a long time, but to honestly say I am self-disciplined...well, that is something else entirely.
For me, it has been a gradual development of self-discipline on my journey to become a champion, and it starts with grace. Now you might think that sounds like an oxymoron to say that self-discipline starts with letting yourself mess up, but hear me out on this. For example, you start a new exercise program, and you want to do it 5 days a week. Monday is day 1. You work out on Monday, and Tuesday you work out, but Wednesday rolls around and, well, you're pretty sore from Monday and Tuesday, and you did work out 2 days in a row...so you skip Wednesday, because you can still work out on Saturday and that will be 5 days this week. Then Thursday morning hits and you're really sore now because you didn't move as much on Wednesday to loosen up those muscles, but you can still work out on Sunday. I know, I know, you're supposed to rest on Sunday, but you have to get 5 workouts in because that's what you want to do. Friday is here now and since you really only worked out 2 days so far, there's no point in putting yourself through the pain and hassle of working out. You give up. This workout program sucks and nobody could ever really stick with it. It doesn't work.
OR Let's try scenario B. You see a new workout plan that looks fantastic. Great! Let's do it 5 days a week. I decide to workout 5 days each week. Monday morning comes. You work out. Tuesday morning comes. You work out. Hey, we're on a roll now! Wednesday morning rolls around, and oh my goodness, we're sore. No Wednesday workout. Thursday morning is coming whether I want it to or not, but I didn't work out on Wednesday. It's ok. Wednesday is gone. Thursday is a new day and today I will choose to not get stuck in the past and move forward regardless of what happened yesterday. I workout Thursday. I feel great! I might just decide that I actually like this workout program, and I do the Friday workout, too. Saturday I said I would work out and I do, because I already decided that I was going to. The point of all this is that we need to allow ourselves grace. We are going to mess up. That's just the way this world works.
Grace is just one eensy little part of developing self-discipline. This is the first episode in a series about self-discipline. I am not an expert in this area, but I do feel that I do better than most, so I want to explore this a bit with you. I'd love your feedback. Comment below if you think grace is a part of having self-discipline or not.
P.S. Thank you to my sweet friend, Lynnette, over at TenaciousLace.com for inspiring this series from one little comment you made to me. You are an amazing mom, artist, wife, and entrepreneur. Rock on, beautiful lady!