I’m not referring to flogging kids in schools (although that might be a great attention-getter), rather I refer to bringing back discipline to my own life. While I was under pressure, studying a Masters degree, dealing with a baby and a precocious five year old, I was up early, meditating then doing uni work, catching up on reading and getting ready for work. Then after work I was organised for night time lectures, assiduously spent time with the children and the beloved wife and then into bed.
But once I finished my degree it all kinda went out the window. Up whenever, usually rushing through the morning, and then puttering around at night with a very low achievement precedent being set. Not great as a long term strategy. I have felt very much like I needed the break as it was very demanding. After awhile now though I miss that focus and the outcomes of being so focused. So it begins again – building that discipline to get back on track.
One thing I’ve learned from this activity concerns the time frames – one doesn’t simply apply changes immediately. The effort to build the get up early habit, and then to apply that extra morning time in a constructive manner is considerable and I find myself easing into it. So much so, that I am simply focused on two things – get up early (say 6am) and then meditate. Everything is still as normal. These little changes are far more achievable than applying a complete life transformation and I really want it to stick. There is no difference between this and building good habits – start small and build it all up.
I have a tonne of reading to do and no time to do it in – so once I get in the flow of early mornings, I’ll add reading for 45 minutes to the list – not reading Facebook or fiction – solid non-fiction work of a practical nature that adds to my overall knowledge or skills. This will give me a full morning, and then it’s off to work. Good habits are great, but building the discipline to create and keep those habits is critical and like a muscle, discipline atrophies after time if you don’t do something with it. Here we go!