What does discipline symbolise to you?
School, the military, fetishes, monks? It can be associated with self-punishment, repression, denial of pleasure.
One of my least favourite images of a PT is that 70’s PE teacher barking ‘50 burpees!’, pushing the client until they collapse into a shaking puddle of sweat.
Maybe discipline needs a PR agency… or maybe there’s a more palatable word, for a balanced sense of practising choices that you know support the life you want, until they become default.
Contrary to what you might assume, in the end discipline can make things easier
For example, the discipline of knowing that if you’re exhausted, the best thing to do is just drop that voluntary commitment that was in your diary. (Like I did yesterday with this writing challenge.)
Or the discipline of every time, when considering what to do, asking yourself what advice you’d give to a friend. (Like I did yesterday with this writing challenge.)
It takes practice, and patience. And a willingness to immediately let it go when you think you might have made a wrong choice. Never mind, note that, and try again next time. Keep moving and keep attempts at discipline light and gentle. We can reflect on what would make it easier for us to make a different choice in future. A great habit to start being disciplined about is congratulating yourself – for the good choices, but equally for your insights those other times too. In this process we learn, adapt and improve.