Thursday, January 6, 2011

Resolutions: Discipline

There have been two things I’ve had to remind myself of as I made my new years resolutions this year.

1. I don’t (and can’t!) resolve to do everything in one year

2. I don’t have to completely accomplish everything on January 1st.

I think this is the first year I have really seriously made some New Years resolutions. For sure, I have written some down other years. But I didn’t really intend (or didn’t understand how) to make them a priority a whole year through...I just kind of hoped that at the end of the year I could look back and say, “Yeah, I improved in that area.”

So because I wanted to make “serious” resolutions this year, and there were so many things that I wanted to change, I had to keep reminding myself of those two things.

One of the resolutions I did make, however, was in the area of discipline. I think everyone who makes resolutions makes some in the area of discipline. For most women, it goes something like this: DIET!! Exercise more, eat less (except for chocolate).

I chose not to try to lose weight this year, but I did choose to discipline myself in getting up earlier.

And here’s why:

I have wanted to make rising early a habit for some time now, but I have never had the discipline to do it. I had all sorts of things I blamed it on...recovering from college, health issues, lack of sleep, my bed is warm, etc. Not very good excuses, I know. I did try it for a couple of weeks, and loved it, but due to some legitimate health issues, it was hard to keep going. I shouldn’t have let that stop me, because Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” So I have no excuse!

I have been reading Beautiful in God’s Eyes by Elizabeth George recently, a book about the Proverbs 31 woman. I love studying Proverbs 31, and while the whole book is excellent, the chapter on verse 15 is worth the price of the book! (In case you are wondering, verse 15 says, “She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.”) If you want some motivation for your early mornings, I encourage you to get this book.

In that chapter, Mrs. George talks about one time-management expert’s view on rising early. This is the basic gist of it. Lets say you are getting 8 hours of sleep each night, when really you could function well on 6. So you get up two hours earlier each weekday. By the end of the work week (not counting weekends, mind you) you would have added 10 hours of time to your week...equal to a normal work shift and then some! By the end of a month, you will have gained 40 hours of time...a whole work-week of more time. Think about what you could accomplish in 40 more hours each week!

So if you are one of those people that “never has enough time in a day” or wishes for some peace and quiet and “me time” (I’m so sorry I just said that :) Consider getting up even just one hour earlier each day. The rewards will be instant! Even though it has been hard for me, it is so rewarding and worth it in the end.

To help me out, I think I might need one of these. What do you think?? :)

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