Monday, February 6, 2017

A New You....Discipline...

 
As I've grown older, I've come to understand that much of what we want in life, be it a more slender, healthier body, lovelier skin, a nicer home, a more reliable or more comfortable car, a bank account with more incomings than outgoings...basically comes down to one single solitary skill.
 
Discipline.
 
Now don't run away.
 
Yes it's a difficult skill to master. I am nearly 57 years old, and only now, in the last very little while, am I learning this skill. It's similar to one I've been slowly mastering in the last few years, called Restraint.
 
In part, it's the skill of having very few possessions, but ensuring that those possessions are of the very best quality you can afford. And that doesn't mean that you go into debt to have 'the best quality you can afford', because if you have to go into debt AKA use the credit card, then you can't AFFORD it. Just take a moment to digest that. If you have to use credit to make a purchase of quality, then you cannot afford it.
 
And that's okay too.
 
There is a reason and a season for all things. As a young single Mum, I could not afford the 'best quality'. I settled for what was within my budget that would suit the purpose. That went for cars, toasters, handbags, and clothing. I did my very best within the financial constraints of a single income, and the raising of three sons.
 
When I remarried at the age of 37, to my current lovely husband, we were both of a mind to establish a comfortable home, and to plan for our children and our future retirement. 22 years later this month, our children are all but grown, and we are gearing ourselves to liquidate the investment portfolio we've built up over 20 years together, to afford ourselves a comfortable retirement. Now that required enormous discipline. We drove older cars, we lived on a strict budget, we shopped at thrift stores (and continue to do so I might add), and we didn't listen when others laughed, either to our faces, or behind our backs. We had a grander plan, than winning the approval of others. And this year, our plan will come to fruition, and it will be us laughing, while everyone else scratches their heads and wonders how we did it.
 
Because the silly thing is, that discipline, which the dictionary tells us also means self-mastery, self-restraint, self-control, self-command (see how many 'selfs' there are?), is about doing what is right for SELF. Not what impresses others, or makes you look good or wins friends and influences people. It's about what is right for you, not just now, but in the longer term.
 
Discipline is a skill that can not only increase our net worth, but can help us have the life, the health, the figure, the marriage, the relationships, the friendships, even the wardrobe (I had to throw that one in!), that we deserve.
 
Discipline can help prevent us from saying the wrong thing, or perhaps assist us in saying what really needs saying in a diplomatic fashion.
 
Discipline can help us make wise financial choices, food choices, exercise choices, relationship and friendship choices.
 
Discipline can show us how to avail ourselves of the vast ocean of knowledge in todays world, without relying on Social media to do it for us. And, discipline can help us remove ourselves from Social Media and the online community in general, in order to focus on the things we need to, to have the life we desire.
 
Discipline can help us keep our homes tidy and comfortable, save us from living in clutter, and see us taking pride in our appearance not just for 'best days' but every day.
 
You can listen to every financial guru, relationship guru, health and wellbeing expert, fashion advisor, and diet wunderkind in the world. You can buy their books, listen to their podcasts, like their Facebook page, and follow their Instagram, but without discipline, in one year, you'll still be exactly where you are now. If that's okay with you, then fine. If not, then start exercising that Discipline muscle. Because like every muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
 
Discipline sees my husband and I retiring at a relatively early age.
 
But on a smaller scale, it sees me whittling my wardrobe down to one third of what it was in December just gone, a few short weeks ago. It's helping me declutter on a major scale to prepare for a simpler life. In the last decade, discipline has helped me halve our food budget, yet sees us eating more healthfully than ever before. Discipline helps me shop, unpack and prepare our meals for the whole week, in one 2-3 hour marathon. I've done this for years, and that alone has saved us many tens of thousands of dollars.
 
Exercising my self-discipline helps me make healthier food choices, opting for a little fruit and cheese platter for my lunch, as seen above, over a burger or some pasta.
 
Discipline sees me now purchasing one single pair of shoes to suit any occasion, rather than ten different pairs, just in case.

 
It helps me spend the extra half hour, to make and proof and bake the dough for some gluten free treats, when I am dead beat, because I know how crucial to our health and our budget it is, to have home made goodies on hand.

 
Forget the diets, the gurus, the podcasts, and the TV wannabes.
 
All you need is Discipline.
 
Try it and let me know if exercising some Self-Mastery, some Self-Discipline, some Self-Government, Self-Restraint, Self-Control, doesn't change your life.
 
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10 comments:

  1. In all areas bare diet and exercise I have discipline without any issues at all. Bluey and I did the development of a share portfolio and worked at getting our mortgage paid off. I was 42 when we did this. I can now choose to work or not. At 53 this is something many of my friends, with their best of everything as well as all the latest gadgets, are most envious of and cant dream of doing for many years.
    I need to develop the diet and exercise discipline. I keep claiming too hot. I need to do something about this now.

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    1. Jane, you and Bluey sound like The Musician and me. Work hard earlier in life, make the sacrifices, then sit back and enjoy. Not that we haven't enjoyed the journey! That's important too! We just decided early what our priorities were and stuck to them. For six years we lived in a home that was a 'work in progress'. Now everyone envies us our beautiful home and garden and wonders why their home doesn't look like ours. But to this day, we work hard on maintaining our house and garden acknowledging that it's an never ending task. Every Saturday, we are up at 6am in Summer and 7:30am in Winter, trimming, mulching, pruning and planting, when everyone else is out having cafe breakfasts. Same thing...discipline. as for your diet and exercise, you could be a whole new person in a short time. Now is the moment. Seize the Day! Love, Mimi xxx

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  2. Love this post Mimi!

    Discipline is something I struggle with. I have put on a bit of weight lately and let my exercise regime fall by the wayside. I seem to have lost my motivation over the last couple of years. I am 54 so I blame menopause lol!

    I really need to find some discipline to get me back on track, so thank you for spelling it out in words I understand :)

    Tania xx

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  3. Thank you Mimi for this post ,like you we have worked towards our future , staying in the house we have , buying a nice car but also not new and one that we can keep long term.
    We do need more discipline with what we eat and keeping up with inside and outside our home.Im fairly good with exercise but there is still a group of exercises I ought to be doing daily and I come and go with them.
    I have said to DH it's a new year and we are working on some things to do with looking after our health and selves.
    Thanks for the reminder, love Maria xxx

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  4. no discipline here when it comes to diet and exercise. I am 7 lilos overweight, and could probably lose it easily if I didn't love cheese and wine, though I have cut back on both. Now I need to start walking again, which is the only exercise I can do, but I know every excuse for not doing it.
    Over the last couple of weeks I have been disciplined in using moisturizer twice a day, instead of twice a month. I am taking more care in putting my outfits together when going out, and all stained clothing has been put away for when I start painting furniture.
    Margarer

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  5. Discipline. There's a word I understand but self discipline is the one thing I lack. I'm going try harder this year but already I am struggling. I start off with good intentions but flounder very quickly. I guess I just need to keep on trying. Ronnie

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  6. Oh my Mimi, your words ring so true with me in every post! You should become a motivational speaker- you are already an inspirational, motivational writer. I also am trying to be more disciplined, particularly in trying to use my stash of fabric and craft products and not purchase more. I'm avidly following your posts on fashion to suit our body shape and absolutely love your new "heels" with the sassy peeptoe!! I'm going to follow your example and have a small cheese plate for lunch - yummy and healthy. Congratulations to you and your husband on being able to reap the benefits of years of "discipline" with early retirement. Please don't stop blogging Mimi, I'd be bereft. Best wishes, Lorraine 🌷🌷🌷

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  7. Excellent remarks. Very inspiring. Thanks, Mrs. Mimi. <3

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  8. It seems that, at least for me, discipline is easier in some areas than others. I've also noticed that when I really focus on one problem area to develop better discipline, other areas slip a bit. Despite the round & round of it, I still think I'm better off trying with limited results than giving up altogether.
    Blessings, Leigh

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx