What I Know About Discipline

I’ll share a couple of things I’ve learned about discipline in the past few months.

Firstly, let me clarify that I’m not among the folks who religiously follow a routine, stick to their plans for years, and end up making those habits a lifelong part of life.

Still, I’ve done my share of experimentation to see how far I can go in order to discipline myself in certain aspects of life.

Most of my actions were about being consistent and resisting certain habits that seemed to “control me.”

I won’t go around in circles.

So, here’s a quick summary of everything I’ve done till now

In the December of the last year (actually from the end of November itself) I decided to create a list of habits for myself and to stick to each one of them for 31 days.

Here’s what the list looked like:

  1. No eating or snacking after 9.00 p.m.
  2. Not using phone till one hour after waking up
  3. No eating breakfast before bathing, meditating, and doing 10 pushups
  4. Taking only cold baths
  5. Not using social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram)
  6. Reading a few pages right after waking up
  7. No PMO
  8. Not checking out people’s profile pictures or WhatsApp statuses
  9. Creating a bullet journal entry every evening
  10. Writing a blog post each day

Did I succeed?

Yes, I stayed true to those things for a month.

The intention was to live one “perfect month” and see how it affected me. And to be honest, it was damn wonderful.

But I realized that it required a ton of commitment, mental strength, and control over all impulses. It started suddenly but I had committed to it, so I had to do it.

Also, since each of these habits supported each other – the whole system could’ve collapsed had I neglected certain parts.

They’re all interdependent.

Apart from that

I’ve tried some personal challenges in the past, but I hadn’t completed all of them simultaneously.

Rather, I committed to certain habits at different times of the year. Some of them were as follows:

  • Completing the 30-day fitness challenge
  • Writing a journal every day for 6 months
  • Talking only cold baths for 4 months
  • Staying vegan for a month

The good thing among all these ‘discipline-challenges’ has been the specificity that I had created in order to complete them. I knew what I needed to do when, and for how long.

Also, I had planned to have a good lifestyle earlier and had failed early – and that was mostly because my goals were super vague.

For instance, aspirations like “read more,” or “grow physically fit,” may be well-intentioned, but they don’t lead to anything actionable until they’re tucked between our daily habits.

So, coming to the more important point.

What did I learn from this?

Two simple truths:

  1. Discipline is tough
  2. Discipline is fulfilling

I can’t lie by saying that whatever I was doing was easy, or even something I felt cheerful while doing. I had urges to simply let this go and chill.

And yet, I could feel a change occur in terms of how life seemed to sort of fix itself.

The lack of social media brought mental peace and saved time, while changing my eating routine made me feel healthier. Everything I did had its pros.

That’s the essence of it

With a bit discomfort, comes a flood of rewards.

I have genuine respect in my heart for anybody who shows up consistently and does their work with dedication. It could mean running every morning or reading a chapter of a book every day.

All the best to everyone out there who is on a roll.

You inspire me.