Truth about Self Discipline

There can be such a fine line between being disciplined and burning out.

I feel like I’ve been walking that line quite a bit lately.

Self discipline is required for us to reach any goal we set. If you have a goal of a healthier body, you must be disciplined in your exercise and nutrition. If you want to significantly grow your savings account or pay off all your debt, you must be disciplined in your budget and spending habits.

Behaviors have to change to accomplish new things. That means WE have to change. That shift is done through determination and discipline.

For some people, discipline has a negative conotation. It’s not exactly a friendly word.  Still, it’s a beneficial trait to have in order to grow and improve.

I’ve become much more disciplined in two areas of my life in particular: finances and fitness. The interesting thing is that self discipline works like a muscle — it becomes stronger the more you use it. And like a muscle, if you work it too hard without proper rest, it can also become fatigued or strained. That’s what burnout looks like.

The last few weeks I’ve had to exert a lot of self discipline in my exercise. I committed to a 14 day challenge led by Lori Harder and it was amazing! The workouts were only 20 minutes long and at the end of each workout she walked you through a guided meditation. Wonderful! But it was tough to stick with it, especially since I’ve been off a real routine for a while… I had to dig deep and not allow any excuses to take over.

I’m proud to say that I did complete the 14 days on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday are “rest days” so I can give my body and mind a break. I want to continue to be self disciplined, so that means a proper rest instead of continuing to push through and burnout.

If you’ve been reading along with our financial journey, you know Eric and I are working towards financial goals. I am a spender at heart. As much as I wish that wasn’t true, I am good at justifying purchases and convincing myself I need more things. The spirit of contentment and how I’m working on overcoming that natural tendency is a whole post on its own, but just know for me it takes a ton of self discipline to make financial progress. But we’re doing it, so that means it isn’t impossible!

We have been mindfully trimming our budget and cutting out any unnecessary spending. Extra funds are going towards our savings account instead of fun purchases {although it is fun to see that savings grow!} Talk about discipline for a spender! If we were just cutting expenses without any vision or goal, it would get old and discipline would fade fast. BUT a clear vision aka an end goal in sight keeps the financial burnout at bay. We won’t be living like this forever. But in the wise words of Dave Ramsey, we will live like no one else now so later we can live and give like no one else!

Vision matters.

Rest matters.

Goals matter.

Purpose matters.

The self discipline is worth it. Be careful not to let the goals and drive take over so much that your wellness slips. I saw a quote recently that struck me…

Doing things that have no importance on your day are your brain’s way of saying you’re stressed out.

If you’re trying to be disciplined, but instead find yourself scrolling your social media feeds, vegging out on Netflix, or way oversleeping, maybe there’s something more to it than just a lack of motivation. Maybe you need to give yourself a rest so you can get back at it stronger and more focused.

Even awesome habits and activites can become too much! You have to know yourself and listen to what “too much” looks like. How much is already on your plate? What does your life look like coming up? When can you schedule a rest? Why do you want to become more disciplined in this area? I find it’s a lot easier to be disciplined without burnout if we can do a bit of consideration and planning. 

Get after your goals, darling! Be disciplined enough to make your vision a reality, but be gentle with yourself while getting there. Listen to what you need. Sometimes we need to take one step back in order to move two steps forward. That’s okay.

Where in your life are you striving to be more disciplined? 

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