Developing Discipline

I love organization. I really do. Nothing makes my little heart skip a beat faster than a well organized closet or kitchen drawer. Yes, my shoes are all in matching boxes and my clothes are color coordinated and every time I walk into our closet, I smile. You know why? It's the only room in our house that isn't total chaos. {sigh}

Source: google.co.uk via Flo on Pinterest

Something that it has taken me a long time to realize is that it doesn't matter how many books you read about organization or what type of system you try - it only works if you use it. So in the end, organization comes back to discipline. Peter has proclaimed for years that if you develop self-discipline in one area of life, it is fully transferable to other areas of your life. If you are self-disciplined about what you eat (or don't eat) and exercise, you're probably going to be better with your money and your time as well. I scoffed for years at this theory...

...but then...

In 2010, when we finally decided that we were tired of tight pants and every-higher scale numbers, we made the choice to begin the South Beach Diet. Peter lost 50 lbs. and I went down by 23 lbs. We started looking around at other facets of our life and begin taking steps to grow and change. By the end of last year we had started a business, published a book, and purchased a rental property in addition to our weight loss. It was amazing what we were able to accomplish with a little self-discipline.

And then...

...things started to slide. The first thing to go was our eating discipline: Thanksgiving {maybe just a thin slice of pumpkin pie or two}, my birthday {of course I'll have a piece of cake}, and finally there was Christmas {cookies? for us? maybe just one more...}. Next, we watched our financial self-discipline head out the door. Although we had resolved earlier in the year that we didn't need to spend money on Christmas gifts, when the holiday came around, we were both sneaking Amazon boxes under the tree and were amazed to discover that there were more presents this year than the previous years. {ah hem}

We tried to reform, but it got worse...

In January I finally found a job after two years of applying for various positions. We started going out to eat more often (spending $$) and we were slacking on the South Beach rules. The scales went up by 5-10 lbs. for both of us. Oh no, it wasn't much, but it was evidence that we weren't practicing self-discipline. Then we realized that we had lost our financial vision, and although I continued to pay our bills, I stopped filing and the paperwork was piling up.

The house was a disaster.

First the paperwork covered our desk area, then it took over the table in the library before moving to the dining room and finally the kitchen counter. When it headed in the direction of the living room, I knew something had to be done and I was the only person who could do something about it. It required action, not plans or organizational methods or some mystical filing system that would be the end of all my troubles. I already had a filing cabinet, but I had to take action to put the papers in the cabinet. Amazingly, they didn't file themselves. 

It was overwhelming...

...but by putting one foot in front of the other and tackling one pile at a time, I'm beginning to see results. Tabletops are clearing up and I recently saw the top of my desk for the first time in months. There's still a long way to go, but I'm a work in progress. I'm also feeling hopeful that with our renewed desire for financial discipline and taking actual steps towards de-cluttering and dealing with the paperwork, we will also find our lost discipline for eating well and losing weight.

(Re)Developing discipline - not easy, but so worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being so open, Carrie. I love your blog -- so thoughtful and well-written. You really encourage me -- and as I struggle with discipline, this post was especially appreciated. : ) Please keep sharing with us!


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