As my alarm goes off, I make the most pathetic groan into my pillow. It kind of resembles the sound of a whimpering newborn puppy. Wasn’t it just 10 minutes ago that I was first embraced by my One True Love – my bed? And now this obnoxiously high-pitched ringtone is trying to tear that away from me.
But whether I liked it or not, it was time to begin the day.
Every morning I wake up at 6:00am. I quickly ride my bike to the nearest bus stop, strap my bike to the bus rack, and take the bus into downtown Dallas. Once I make it through the congested morning traffic and to my stop, I reclaim my bike and continue the rest of my way to work. I weave in and out of downtown commuters like a woman trying to stay alive (seriously though – Dallas is far from being biker friendly). I make it to work by 7:15am with a sigh of relief. Time to freshen up, put on that business attire, and get to work.
Now, if you think that I sound like a “20-something/working girl” hipster, then let me clear it up – I’m not. I don’t have the biker shorts and fingerless gloves, the blinking safety lights, or the Tour de France styled water bottle holder.
And though I feel terrible in admitting it, I do not bike because it’s environmentally friendly.
I bike out of discipline.
Ok, let me explain…
I really really want to travel, and I unfortunately was not blessed with a grand inheritance (bummer). I’m trying to discipline my lifestyle in order to build a savings account. Therefore, I bike because … well, because it’s cheap.
And let me tell you, it’s hard. Like really hard.
Not a single day goes by that I don’t say to myself, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” Not. A. Single. Day. Seven months and counting. And with every hill, rainy day, and sore muscle, I mumble all sorts of whiny complaints under my breath.
Along with my daily biking commute to and from work, I’m also trying to discipline myself in a variety of other daily activities (i.e. writing exercises, productive reading, going to bed at a decent time, making developments on my website, networking in Dallas, and limiting my time on social media).
Again, let me reiterate – discipline is hard. Like really hard.
And on this journey of perpetual (and sometimes exasperating) self-development, I’ve discovered several aspects to discipline that have kept me going. Let me give you the run down.
You must discipline what you feed your mind
My brother has recently challenged me to watch my daily intake. No, not of the shockingly large amounts of guacamole that I eat. Watch my intake of negativity. Like seriously, Meagan – stop listening to the “Down in the Dumps” and “Life Sucks” playlists on Spotify. Get it together.
Discipline yourself to finish things
I mean, it’s just so very important to stick things out and fin…
Don’t fool yourself – discipline isn’t fun
“Oh man! I absolutely love discipline! It’s such a blast!” – said no one ever. But you know what is fun? Seeing results.
Never lose sight of the prize
Because the reasons to continue are far greater than the reasons to quit.
Just. Keep. Swimming.
Insert cliché lines about swimming your own race and pushing forward and blah blah blah.
Take the great advice of Dory – when life gets you down, just keep swimming.
Above all else, remember that you can do it. Not in a rah-rah “you can do it!” kind of way. But in a “seriously, discipline will not kill you. It definitely feels that way, but you can legitimately do this.”
The distance between your dreams and reality is discipline. If success were easy, everyone would have it.
Ok, I’m done with the motivational poster phrases now.
Have personal goals that you’re trying to hit? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
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Feature photo: Alexander Rentsch