What areas do you need to be more disciplined in? Exercise, eating right, your thoughts, finances, or perhaps reading the Bible and praying …
Discipline requires practice and repetition. It is not wise to believe that you can get disciplined in an area of your life in a few short weeks. New habits can be formed and old patterns of behavior can be broken with discipline. Is it hard? Is it work? Yes, but you can do it!
I started training to be a runner nine months ago. I will never forget the first several weeks and even months. I had to train myself to get up early in the morning, as well as prepare myself before each run with stretching. I first started with a goal. I was going to run the three mile bridge close to where I live. Now this was a bit of a challenge being that I never ran before. However, I had made my mind up. I was going to learn how to run.
The bridge that I wanted to run is also a drawbridge with a steep incline in the middle where the bridge opens to allow boats to pass through safely. I tried for three months to run over that drawbridge, but between the aches and pains in my legs and all the huffing and puffing that I was doing, I just could not complete the bridge. I decided to be realistic with my goal and to set a more practical time frame for being able to finish the bridge. I made my goals smaller and more manageable.
I eventually accomplished the large goal of completely running over the entire bridge. After several months I finally made it over! Then I was set for my next goal: to make running a weekly discipline, and to even enjoy it!
Just recently I hurt my foot and I was not able to run for two weeks. I got very discouraged, but I remembered that I already set my mind: I would exercise. I had to revamp my schedule of doing things because I could no longer run on my painful foot.
When things do not work out the way you planned, do not give up! I brainstormed some other ways I could still exercise without reinjuring my foot. I began to incorporate other forms of training such as biking, swimming, and walking. When you begin to be more disciplined in whatever areas of your life, you will have some challenges and setbacks along the way. The key is to persevere.
10 Ways to become more disciplined in a specific area:
- Set a goal for yourself. What do you want to improve? Ask the Lord for His help.
- Set your mind ahead of time that you will follow through–even with setbacks and challenges.
- Have a support system for encouragement for those times that you get discouraged.
- Set small, realistic goals after setting your large overall goal.
- Remove temptations. If you are trying to eat healthier, replace chips and cookies with healthier snacks.
- Do not wait until you “feel” like improving in an area. It will feel uncomfortable and awkward, but move past the feelings.
- Make sure to reward yourself as you complete your short goals.
- You will have ups and downs, failures and success when changing, but keep going and become determined that you will succeed. You will have “off days,” but do not let that stop you.
- Try to have a consistent routine, this is particularly important if you beginning an exercise program.
- Have a free day. You should have one day where you are not focused on your goal. This is the time to sit back and enjoy your progress.
The best quality to have when disciplining yourself to change is determination. Determination is a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult.
“Do you know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things…But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection … ” (1 Corinthians 9: 24-23 & 27).
As the Apostle Paul discussed that we have to train like an athlete for our spiritual disciplines such as prayer, and reading the Bible. The most important discipline we can have is spiritual discipline, making the time for Jesus first. Before I run, I “run” to the Father. He comes first.
What ways have worked for you to become more disciplined? Thank you for sharing!