Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's the little things...

Pick one thing. Just. one. thing. And do it. Do it every day. Do it whether you want to or not. That begins the cycle of self-control and discipline. It is a matter of doing something over and over again whether we "feel" like it or not.

My friend Nellie was sharing part of her story with me, sharing the time in her life when she began A.A. She needed to learn self-control and discipline. A wise person told her to pick something that she didn't want to do and do it every day. And she did, despite the fact that she had no desire.

It just so happens (that's code for God keeps nudging me to learn this) that my PrayFit email devotion that came today shared the same theme. Jimmy Pena said: "You know, we’ve received a number of heartfelt e-mails and messages lately from many of you in dire need of encouragement to exercise. You’ve expressed that, for whatever reason, you just don’t feel motivated. Well friends, we’re praying for you. But at the same time, truthfully, not feeling motivated to honor the body is like saying you’re not motivated to be honest. Remember, just because something doesn’t come naturally to you doesn’t mean you’re not called to do it."

Normally, I would say something like "Americans tend to be lazy and find easier and faster ways to accomplish everything." But I really don't KNOW that to be true. It does seem true, but let's get personal about it. Daily I do certain things which are lazy...I take the easy way instead of the best way. Yes, there are things I do which save time, but if what I do increases the amount of time I have to use later, then it's just lazy. Here are some of those things for me:

Throw my socks into the sock drawers instead of putting them in the dividers (thus I have to search longer when I'm looking for something)

Take off my running shoes without untying them (I've learned the hard way that this is not the best way to take care of $100+ shoes plus I have to untie them every day that I need to wear them)

Put off answering emails until later (then they pile up until I feel overwhelmed) Put things in a convenient place that I think I'll remember later (and as it turns out, I don't.)

I tend to prefer and select the lazy way instead of the best way the first time. Many of us do the same. We seek drive-through lanes, fast food restaurants, home delivery, online shopping...whatever makes life easier and more convenient for us. Is there a place for efficiency? Yes! But, I know me, and my motive is not for is out of pure laziness!

So, I fight laziness with self-control and discipline. I must do things every day that I do not want to do in a way that is best the first time. The following list are personal items FOR ME that I do every day to help instill that self-discipline: (these happen to be in chronological order of my day)

Exercise within 30 minutes of waking up.

Morning quiet time before taking a shower.

Shower and get ready for the day.

Make my bed (if not already made)

Eat meals slowly and mindfully.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

Drink hot green tea twice a day.

Respond slowly and out of love with my husband and children.

Immediately obey the Holy Spirit's reminders to call or write someone.

Spend intentional time with each child doing something they enjoy or just listen to him/her.

Intentional discipleship of my children (right now we are working through the book of John).

Encourage my husband in the Lord.

There are so many other things that enable me to learn self-discipline and self-control EVERY day. They are all little choices that train my mind and heart to be INTENTIONAL about EVERYthing I do. Just like exercise trains my body to run...making those decisions daily to take a few more seconds to do the best thing will increase self-control in my life.

What is one little thing you can do to begin the process of self-control and self-discipline in your life?

1 comment:

Sammie said...

I love this post. I'm at a very similer place in my life. Its always that feeling of "I don't have time to do that now". Especially when its about my own self care or focusing on quiet time for my own reflection. So I will start now even though "I don't have time", I will keep those things that are really important up front in my mind and make sure that "I have time".