I stopped making resolutions years ago. I just got weary of starting every year with undeniable failure hanging over my head. At first, I started shedding resolutions by making them BEFORE the new year….thinking I would trick myself into longevity by changing the start date. When that didn’t work, I gave it up entirely, and I must say it was liberating. I dug it! Then in 2016, I made a big life change mid-year with no declaration and no expectation of success. And it's sticking.
So, this year I decided to pick a word to inspire me throughout my year, and there is one word that keeps coming up for me. In fact, no matter how much I try to ignore it…it keeps coming up again and again.
The word I’m embracing for 2017 is DISCIPLINE. Now I want to be clear, I am a really hard worker. Some would say I’m a workaholic even. I tend, though, to be really hot or cold. So, I’m either working 16 hour days or I’m flat on my back binge watching something (sometimes anything), trying to get over the exhaustion of working the 16 hour days. I’m either exercising 5 days a week and eating perfectly….or flat on my back binge watching with snacks gently resting on my belly….well, I think you get my pattern. Anyway, it’s not working anymore. It’s taking longer and longer to recover from my “hot” phases and the cold phases aren't healthy.
So, I’m simply seeking a more consistent balance in life. The definition of discipline that I’m reaching for is “activity, exercise, or regimen that develops or improves a skill; training”. As in, winter break found me working on my daily discipline of binge watching….well, there's that pattern again. I’m just now learning the beauty of discipline in my life and I want it to grow even more. I can see how it can bear fruit in many parts of my life….work, parenting, faith life, finances, health, etc.
A simple reality has fascinated me recently. No matter how little you use of something (lotion, make-up or an ingredient), you will still eventually run out. Similarly, no matter how slowly I may walk towards a goal….with consistent steps….no matter how small….I will eventually get there. Meaningful progress does not happen in a whirlwind. It happens in the everyday….in the moments of steady discipline. Amazing forward motion can come from the little steps. I used to live by “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Now I truly believe that it is in the discipline or practice of the small stuff that we create the awesomeness of the big stuff.
This still feels very much like a grand experiment and I know that I will still find myself binge watching plenty this year. And that is where I won’t sweat the small stuff (besides, I’m lucky that binge watching is actual research in my line of work). Still, I’ll let you know how it goes.
May you embrace your goals and your path everyday this year…especially in the small, daily ways.