Google defines self-discipline as the ability to control one's feelings and overcome one's weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. We all want to live like that, right? That sounds like a productive individual who is getting the job done! However, how many times do we struggle to control our feelings and then get beat down by our weaknesses? How adamantly do we pursue the goal when we feel like giving up? Well, I'm convinced that we can do it. We can certainly be self-disciplined people.
Often, it appears easier to give up and quit or just do the bare minimum when a lifestyle of self-discipline seems overwhelming. The Bible gives us some firm directions, to get us going, in Proverbs 6:6-11:
Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones.
Learn from their ways and become wise!
Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work,
they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep?
When will you wake up?
A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—
then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
What a great plan for productivity. Here are some steps to propel you into the self-disciplined person you want to be:
Step 1- Know the season that you are in. It could be time for to gather what you need, time to actually 'build', or simply time to create a very thorough plan. [The ants knew when it was time to gather in the summer for the winter.]
Step 2- Establish a clear goal. If you are going to be self-disciplined, then you must have a goal. Otherwise, you will have no direction. [The ants had a clear goal of gathering up enough food for winter.]
Step 3- Prepare well in advance. It is very difficult to plan and build at the same time. The process will be much more manageable if preparation has been done. [The ants did not wait until winter to try and gather food for winter.]
Step 4- Keep moving at an appropriate pace. Sleep and rest are very important, but sleeping too much will cause us to miss out.
Step 5- Avoid distractions. Self-disciplined individuals will not be distracted from their goal or task. Distractions could be people, electronics, no goal, too much attention to detail etc.
Step 6- Build in accountability. If self-discipline is your goal, then you will have to find ways to hold yourself accountable, and pull in a small group of accountability partners.
Step 7- Monitor your goals and progress. Push yourself, but don't be too hard on yourself. Celebrate your progress along the way and keep your eye on your goal.
Put these steps into action and before you know it, you will be one self-disciplined, goal achieving, unstoppable individual! Let Him heal your soul!
Your Sister in Christ,
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Teach me to be self-disciplined. I want to accomplish everything you desire for me to do, but I realize that some action is required on my part. Help me to be self-disciplined and do my part. In Jesus' Name, Amen.