The Art and Importance of Discipline

Contributed by Alyssa J Freitas, photos by Ally Marcino.

It’s the little things, right? That’s what people say, yet so often we don’t truly recognize the value of the seemingly small things we do everyday. When you have ambitious goals and lofty aims it can be easy to get discouraged or to feel overwhelmed. However, when it comes right down to it, the disciplines we establish in our routines are what will lead us to success.

Let me explain what I mean. I struggle with accounting; like sit in front of my homework for hours on end in complete confusion, sort of struggle. Clearly, something needed to change in how I prepped for class and exams or else I was doomed to fail (well, perhaps not fail, but certainly not perform to a high standard). I decided that since there was no chance I was going to wake up one morning and suddenly be able to understand debits, and credits, and journal entries, I was going to have to work towards it little by little each day.

So, I studied accounting for at least half an hour daily. Not a terribly difficult task but one that would obviously have positive results. As you would imagine it became much easier for me to do my homework and perform well in class because I was continually working on my understanding and mastery of the subject.

This is all well and good of course, but why don’t we take advantage of the power of everyday disciplines? If it is easy to engage in activities which will improve ourselves, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or reading a little bit each night, then why do make excuses and convince ourselves that we don’t REALLY need to do it today?

There is no truly good answer! What separates those who are moving closer to achieving their goals and making a positive impact on their lives, and those who find themselves perpetually stuck and not meeting their own expectations, is discipline. If that is the case and we acknowledge that to make strides towards our goals we require everyday discipline, how do we go about working it into our routines?

Make the choice.

The first, and most important, thing to do is commit. Sure, sometimes it won’t be fun (I certainly don’t like studying accounting), but by making the promise to yourself that you are going to do it and acknowledging the benefits, you can ensure that you’ll be in it for the long haul. It can also be incredibly helpful to tell others about your plan for a degree of accountability. If it’s really tough for you to have internal motivation, then figuring out a way to partner with someone is the way to go which leads us to the next step…

Fit it in.

Humans thrive on routines. We make sure to establish routines for children and create work processes that maximize our productivity, and we need to do the same for our disciplines. If you want to engage in a healthier lifestyle and made the choice to go to the gym three times a week, you have to make it an essential part of your schedule. Just like you go to work each morning, going to the gym must have that same level of priority in your routine if you want to see results.

Like I mentioned before, partnering can be incredibly helpful. For example, if you and your friend commit to working out together and sharing a ride to the gym you will feel a sense of obligation. Now it’s not just about you but also about inconveniencing your friend if you don’t go. That extra level of responsibility may be the push you need to maintain discipline!

Be consistent and patient.

By virtue of the word, discipline requires consistency. It’s the culmination of daily studying which leads to academic success or the effort to drink more water over time that yields more luminous skin; nothing is overnight. Yes, being disciplined will give you great results, but it’s your patience and faith that what you are doing will ultimately benefit you that is going to get you where you want to be.

We all have the capability and capacity to do great things, but it’s those who commit, make time, and stay patient who will be met with success. Let us be the ones who take small steps everyday towards our bigger goals, without discouragement; secure in knowing that when you consistently engage in positive activity, beneficial results are the outcome.

I am a studious, decorous, college student who wishes she were a better speller. My blog provides readers with resources and ideas to enhance their lifestyle and relationships. From exploring simplicity and etiquette, to sharing a plethora of musings, you can always expect thoughtful and fun posts! Blog | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram