I know we’ve all waited on it, looked for it, heard it, acted on it and relished in it, but does it really serve us well?
I’m talking about motivation, my friends.
Personally, I’ve shelled out tons of money to buy myself some motivation. I’ve bought books, went to conferences, listened to countless self-help gurus and even went out to buy some new clothes to help me feel more motivated. But motivation is just that…a feeling. It ebs and flows and vanishes and appears almost at a moments notice. God gave us feelings for a purpose to be able to engage with the world around us, as well as grow in our relationship with him, but feelings can be so tricky sometimes. Do I have any fellow friends out there that when your watching a movie or show and the movie makers just now how to manipulate your feelings so well that you’re just sitting there bawling? Then just 2 minutes later your kid will do or say something hilarious and you’re laughing! Our feelings can be so crazy! (Note: My husband doesn’t understand why I like to do this to myself by watching those shows!)
Discipline is something different.
An entirely different beast that is living inside of you. It needs to be fed, but it doesn’t need your feelings to satisfy it…it needs your will. It needs you to not think too hard, to not negotiate and to not make excuses. It needs you to be 'Big Picture” minded and it also needs you to get tough on yourself.
One of my favorite podcasts is Jocko Podcast, no I’m not a dude, but I seriously love this guy and his view on getting work done and changing your lifestyle to live life to the fullest. He’s a retired Navy Seal and is a black belt in Jiu Jitsu. He walks what he talks, but also admits when he fails and falls short, which I totally love and can relate to.
Here’s what he has to say about motivation and discipline from his book, “Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual:
“Don’t worry about motivation. Motivation is fickle. It comes and goes. It is unreliable and when you are counting on motivation to get your goals accomplished—you will likely fall short. So. Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on discipline. You know what you have to do. So: MAKE YOURSELF DO IT. You do that with Discipline. Everyone wants some magic pill- some life hack-that eliminates the need to do the work. But that does not exist. No. You have to do the work. You’ve got to hold the line. You’ve got to MAKE IT HAPPEN. So. Dig in. Find the discipline. Be the discipline. Accomplish. That’s it.”
In other words, discipline takes the dependence on an outside source and puts it on me. I like to have that control and I know that there’s no one else to blame for not holding the line except for myself.
John C. Maxwell says it like this, “Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.” Who doesn’t want to keep growing? I know I do!
Here’s 3 areas of my life that I’ve had to dig into a disciplined mindset to actually see the lasting change that I wanted to see. Also note, that you don’t need to make a complete overhaul in every area of your life to be disciplined, choose one area and master that, then move onto the next.
My Health- I’ve got knowledge, I’ve got convenience and I’ve got tools that make it very easy for me to live a healthy lifestyle. I’ve got a full gym that’s literally 20 feet out my front door. It’s packed full of workout equipment, I’ve got years of experience of writing up workout programs and I know how to get myself the results I want….but what I have to tap into every single time I decide to head out that door towards my gym…is discipline. It’s extremely easy for me to come up with something I should get done in my house instead of going out there.
“We should do more homeschool.”
“I should clean my house more.”
“I should organize this or read this book.”
What it all comes down to is that I have to keep a disciplined mindset when it comes to my fitness. Sure, my house may be cleaner, my kid smarter and my home more organized, but I’m going to miss out on all the benefits that exercise brings me. Reduced body fat, increased endorphins, and a clearer mind. All of that only enhances my ability to be a better mama to my kids. A better wife to my husband and a better person overall. I’m more productive during the day and I crave healthy foods that will help fuel me the rest of the day. When that sugary doughnut makes an appearance at church Sunday morning, It’s so much easier to walk right past it because I know that it doesn’t add anything of value to my life. It may make me temporarily happy with it’s sweetness, but when I’m working out later that day I’ll pay with the sluggish after effect.
My advice for those of you who are wanting to get your health on track….don’t think, just do. If you have to count to 5 then do, that’s great. Also, I’m a total huge fan of getting up super early to get my workout done, you can read more about that here.
Complaining- I’m still a work in progress with this one, but it’s definitely something that I feel is very important in my life. Complaining is a declaration my heart makes when things aren’t meeting my expectations. It could be the weather outside, pain in my body or the behavior of my kids, all the things all the time! I get to choose how I will respond. My attitude will affect that current atmosphere. So I can choose to change what I have control over with a positive outlook or realize the things that I can’t control are not that big of a deal.
I can choose to stop complaining and THEN I can choose gratitude. I can find the blessings in the mess and give God praise for what He’s working in my life. Plus, I’ve got two tiny humans that mimic everything I do, so the complaining has to stop!
Time on Social Media- The dark, black hole that is social media….it sucks my time, energy and a lot of times, my happiness. Again, I’m a total work in progress with this one, because I still believe I spend way too much time on it, but I’m finding ways that I can get on, engage with my friends, family and audience and still go on with my life off my phone!
One way that I can do that, is with that little timer on my phone. I’ll set it for 15-20 minutes when I’ve got a free minute to scroll Instagram and since I really try to limit myself, it allows me to know how much time I’ve been at it. I’m also starting to utilize the app, Plann, for all of the accounts I manage. This limits the time I have to be on Instagram to get a post up. I’m able to schedule them out days in advance instead of feeling the dread each day that I have to get something up.
Something that I just want to bring up again is with social media, it should not be something we feel like we need. If we feel like we need the likes, followers and comments, we are indeed, addicted to it. I’m really preaching to the choir here! Our lives on social media should not be the “end all” for our happiness. We have to choose to get our priorities lined out in the correct order so that little app is not our focus. For me, this begins with starting my day off with God, not Instagram. I get to study His Word, pray and get set up for a day that is not dependant on the engagement I get on social media. Plus, I get to live from a place that I’m loved and accepted for just being me, “Dirty hair, gym clothes, no perfect-filter Me!”
I’m all for rewarding myself when it comes to accomplishing a goal, but here’s the thing with discipline, there’s not a destination that we reach that’s the pinnacle of our discipline. Discipline is a focus that changes on the inside of us that manifests in the physical with our desired results. And one thing that I’ve found out with discipline: when we become disciplined in one area of our lives, it starts to trickle over to all the other areas. It’s because you’re truly being changed not just putting on a show with discipline. Motivation makes the outside look shiny and clean, but discipline completely takes an overhaul over our lives. So continue to ask yourself, “Does the discipline I practice today, line up with my goals for tomorrow?” Everything you do in a disciplined way today will make you better for tomorrow, so go after it!
One more thing before I end this extremely long blog post….pray! Pray and ask God to help you with what you’re trying to overcome. He’s given us so much that many times we don’t tap into. He’s given us power to overcome anything that he’s put his finger on to change in our lives. When we seek Him and aim to know His heart, our lives start to line up with Jesus and it really is a beautiful thing!
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