Upfront I must confess Discipline and routine are the two things I have tried to avoid for the better part of my life. But as age have overtaken me I am starting to realize some of the benefits of routine and discipline that previously in my life has eluded me.
The first part of this realization came about seeing a thin woman saying no to some food. In that moment I recognized how much self control and discipline it must take to look like that. How much saying NO has gone into that body and look of hers. As time has progressed I have come to see that same application in a variety of other lifestyles that people choose. The latest muscle craze, the bicycle craze, one can choose almost any lifestyle and look at it and see to what extent what it is that that person has become good at at saying No to.
Then I started asking myself so what is it that I am so good at at saying NO to. What is the self imposed discipline I have unconsciously brought into my life. We look at discipline and routine as something external and never realize that we do it in a variety of ways in our own lives.
My discipline has been to consciously say No to anything that asks me to make any kind of commitment to anything, but , in itself that has become a discipline,a commitment, a commitment to not committing.
We look at diets and exercise as taking and asking discipline from us. I would like to endevour to say that that what keeps you where you are is an huge amount of discipline. Not listening to advise on health and foods etc to keep you where you are maybe fat and lazy takes a huge amount of discipline. Our view on what discipline is and where and how we apply it in our lives are wrong. We see it as giving something up. Not gaining anything.
The secret lies, for me anyway, in recognizing how hard I fight to keep my current routine and habits just as they are.
So what I have started to do is to see how making small changes in my routine and habits can improve my life and health and state of mind.
I have actually started a morning routine. The insistence not to have a routine every morning is a habit I have clung to for a very long time, and now slowly I can start to feel the changes coming 6 months down the line.
Discipline and routine is such a integral way that we as humans like to live. We like certainty and regularity. The only way that we create that is by doing similar things on a consistent and regular basis. There is a psychologist forget his name now thinks its Rogers that says that all our behavior are born out of the need to minimize uncertainty. Routine creates that sense of certainty.
So in my older age I have come to realize we all have discipline in our lives, even not having is in itself some kind of discipline. Its like people that want to be different, at some stage they all start being the same again.
The question that I have been asking myself is the following, Does my little discipline’s and routines give me the results that I want or not, and if not how can I change them to get me those results?
So for the coming new year and coming new years resolutions I think its easier sometimes to forget the big plans and big decisions and focus on the small routines in one’s everyday life that can make small incremental changes to bring about the changes you would like to see in one’s life.
Sometimes we fight so hard for what we have that we forgot why we got into the fight.