Lately, I've been reflecting on the importance of discipline in my life. It seems, the more I strive for success, the more I realize my need for greater discipline. I've come to a point where my sporadic workstyle, fueled by bursts of productivity and relentless hustle, no longer align with the ambitions and dreams I long for, or for my stress levels. I am coming to realize, if I truly want to become the writer, leader, and business-boss-babe I aspire to be, I need a healthy dose of discipline in my daily routine.
I confess, discipline isn't something I want to do. I have always enjoyed the 'freedom' of my sporadic workstyle, believing that I operated best in this manner. I have enjoyed the 'freedom' of operating outside the boundaries of a schedule, writing or completing projects when I "feel like it" or when inspiration strikes. What I am coming to realize though, is that I'm not operating in freedom at all. The truth is, those sporadic workstyles are often filled with stress, adrenaline, and feelings of chaos as I rush to complete tasks. I am often left feeling the victory of accomplishment mixed with feelings of exhaustion and "I could have done that better." I have made myself a prisoner of my creativity and workstyle rather than creating a space for my creativity and productivity to flourish.
Our gifts, talents, and creativity need structure.
Our dreams and ambitions need structure. Without structure, there would be nothing to hold these things in place or propel them forward. Discipline is one way to create the structure that you need. There are a lot of negative sounding definitions of discipline that probably cause some people to cringe, myself included. But not all discipline is bad, discipline is the practice of activities and experiences that provide mental or physical training and deliberate practice aimed at adopting a specific code of behavior (Oxford Languages). To become an athlete, one must practice, strength train, run, and apply athletic types of disciplines. To be a writer, one must read, write, edit, and practice the craft of writing regularly. To excel in your gifts and talents, you need to practice regularly. We can only grow as far as our daily disciplines and structure can hold us.
Sometimes, we resist discipline because we think it limits our freedom. But the truth is, true freedom comes from having structure and following routines. Freedom comes when we give our gifts the space and time it needs to grow. Creating daily disciplines builds a strong foundation for your gifts to stand on and allows you to make steady progress towards your goals. Daily disciplines could look like: daily prayer time, exercise, writing, studying, or eating one healthy meal each day. Picking a small and manageable task to start will help you build your daily discipline and structure.
If you are like me and have been shying away from daily disciplines, I encourage you to pick one small thing to implement everyday. It could be drinking an extra glass of water, walking for 30 minutes, or writing a post a day (like me!) Whatever you decide to do, do it daily and give yourself the freedom that comes with discipline.