Why discipline and habit formation are the keys to your success this year
We hear it all the time, right? To achieve your goals, you need to be disciplined. There's no other way around it, there's no way to tiptoe quietly through to your goals - you need to smash through them, armed with the ammo of discipline.
We can't lie to you sis. That's the tea. It's a simple concept, and yet, the most difficult things in life are often, paradoxically, the most simple to understand.
Let's break down how we can better understand and utilise the tools offered by discipline, in our quests to becoming the 'It Girl'.
Many of us have overwhelmingly negative conceptualisations of discipline. We view discipline as punishment, and rightly so, as one of the dictionary definitions of discipline marries punishment with it. However, the lesser-internalised dictionary definition of discipline explains the term as a form of 'training', often in accordance to a set of principles, or an ethos.
Stop perceiving discipline as punishment.
Being a disciplined person does not mean you punish yourself. Being disciplined is exhibiting self-respect. It means you are subjugating yourself to the terms and conditions you have associated with your moral, spiritual and physical vision.
Rather than seeing working out 3x per day as a punishment, think of exercise as a means to celebrate your body, and work towards becoming a healthier version of yourself. You are training your body, not only to enhance it's aesthetics and functionality, but to adhere to the fitness code of conduct you have drawn for yourself.
Rather than seeing limiting your alcohol intake and the times you party with friends, see this as an opportunity to demonstrate to yourself that you respect life's most finite resource - time, specifically, yours.
Rather than seeing journalling as a cumbersome chore you're forced to do, anticipate it as an opportunity to enjoy the process of self quality time. It's an opportunity to unpack all the emotions, trauma and visceral reactions you pack internally.
Discipline is training. Discipline is self-respect. Discipline is opportunity.
The Keys to Habit Formation
Habit formation lies at the heart of manifesting discipline. The most practical way to prove you are disciplined, or to assess your current levels of discipline, is to assess your habits. What are the conscious and unconscious things you do, on a daily basis, that bring you closer to the type of person you want to be...or push you further away from it?
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle
Now, this is not to encourage you to become excessively pedantic in your daily routines. Lord knows we don't need another demo of a 20-step morning and evening routine which begins at an ungodly hour of the morning. It does, however, mean that you need to ensure you have a few habits, which you repeatedly do, that compound towards your goal. Some can include:
Journalling every evening
Working out at least 3x per week
Reading 10 pages every night
Catching up with friends on Saturday afternoon over a phone call
It doesn't have to be too elaborate or fancy. In fact, the simpler and more specific, the better. Crucial to determining habit formation is the elimination of friction. Friction is expressed in environmental, as well as intangible things around you, preventing you from carrying out these habits. This can include having those unhealthy snacks so easy to reach, having far too many journals, or even having that toxic ex on our list of favourites - oop!
Decrease friction for habits that you want to cultivate, and increase friction for the habits you are trying to be rid of. That may mean putting the chocolate on a higher shelf, or simply not buying it. That may mean doing a de-clutter of your possessions. That may mean doing a de-clutter of your phone list.
Being not Becoming: the It Girl
Many of us create these long routines, and enforce discipline as punishment, in order to become 'that' girl. You know, the boss babe, the main character, the romanticised version of ourselves. We're quite radical in our approach. You do not need to do these things in order to become the 'It Girl' - you do these things from a place of awareness that you already are the 'It Girl'.
We must begin to do things from a place of awareness, and not in the journeying towards. Once we frame it like the latter, we risk allowing ourselves to be defined by our actions, rather than letting our actions be defined by who we believe we are.
You do not become the It Girl.
You are the It Girl.
Remember sis, the discipline you choose to enact is a reflection of who you already are. You got this.
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