The Power of Discipline
Author: Tyana M.
Recently, I’ve been making major changes in my life. As I continue to transition from college student to full-time adult I’ve began to implement healthy lifestyle changes. These adjustments have played a pivotal role in my most recent (positive) mental and emotional shifts so, I’d like to share them with you because I believe that these tools are crucial in creating the life you deserve and desire.
There is one principle that should govern your life and that is discipline. Once you master the art of discipline, life will flow much more fluidly. Think about it like this, a fair amount of events that do not result in your favor are a direct product of a lack of discipline. This applies to a variety of life’s occurrences, significant and (what you may deem to be) not so significant. For example, you get fired from your job because you’re never on time. Well, that’s probably because you’re not waking early enough which causes you to get caught in traffic or miss an earlier train, bus or flight that would get you to work on time. You’re likely not waking up early enough because you’re tired...why are you tired you ask? Well that’s because you spend all night scrolling through Instagram and Twitter but, if instead you’d just establish boundaries and decide that every night at 10PM that you’re going to disconnect from social media, read a chapter in a good book and eventually fall asleep, you’d be much more likely to wake up on time.
Oh, you don’t use social media? OK so let’s go for a more general scenario. You go to the dentist for your bi-annual check up. At your last check up your doctor filled a cavity for you and advised you to avoid sugar for the next three months. Well, because you disregarded that advice and continued to eat the Tootsie Rolls at Planet Fitness. Guess what? Now you need a $2,000 root canal (not an exaggeration these are the real numbers) and your United Health Care plan only covers 50% of that so now you’ll have to pay the other $1000 which you will probably do because you’re in a considerable amount of pain. That’s money completely gone to waste simply because of an absence of self-control. Now you may fall behind on your student loans, a car payment, credit card debt or even a nice vacation. It’s all a domino effect and once you realize that the decisions that you make today affect what happens tomorrow, you will begin to take full control of your journey.
Of course, you may think it will be difficult to initiate such a form of structure but it will only make your life easier and you will be able to reach your goals effortlessly. So, I’m going to talk about a few foundational rules that I’ve established and how they’ve been of aid to me.
1. Before every biweekly paycheck that I receive, I allocate my funds, in this order, towards necessities (bills, groceries, toiletries, gas, parking, train fare, credit card etc.), money that’ll carry me to my next paycheck (eating out occasionally or morning coffee), desires (nails, hair, waxes, vacations), savings (10 to 20% of net income), investments (roth IRA, Robinhood app, small businesses), shopping (of course I threw that in) and the rest for whatever unexpected expenses may come my way.
This has helped me so much, because I know where EVERY DOLLAR goes. I have a category for all of the money that I spend and therefore none of it is being wasted or spent on anything that I am unaware of. Now, I know this may be easier said than done and thankfully my expenses do not exceed my income but if they did, I would need to implement that excellent principle I spoke about earlier called discipline and scale my life down to what’s really necessary.
2. On weekdays and Sunday, I am off of social media by 11:00 PM and I do not engage with social media before 11:00 AM.
The reason for that is this, think about the first thing you do when you wake up. You grab your phone, check your messages, check Instagram and Twitter and Snapchat may get a glance if you’re feeling up to it. I just personally do not think that is healthy. There are so many other ways I can invest my time upon waking up such as, saying my positive affirmations (definitely writing a piece about that soon), praying, reading or just listening to a good song. I’ve started to deconstruct some of my long time habits in order to build a better me.
3. Lastly, I hold myself accountable for making it to the gym/working out at least twice per week.
Now, I know many of you are thinking that is NOT a lot and it might not be. But, for someone who works and commutes long hours this is where I am starting. Discipline does not have to be extreme modification, it can be gradual and I honestly think it’s more effective that way. If you begin with maximal commitments, chances are you will not honor them. So, work at your own pace but just make sure you’re working.
In sum, if you don’t take any other lesson from this piece, make sure you leave with discipline because it can guide you to aspirations you may have never thought you’d reach.