We all want results and if we’re honest, we would really rather have them without the work. Discipline isn’t pleasant. Building self-discipline is just plain hard work. It doesn’t happen over night. It’s a slow process of putting the work in a little bit each day. I have struggled with this often in my life. Whether it was healthy eating, exercise, cleaning my home or writing consistently. I want the results; the cleaner house, the thriving blog, the finished book; but when it’s the end of a long day I’d rather just grab a brownie and flip on Netflix.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t give myself room for relaxation. In fact I’ve found that the discipline of relaxation can be almost as important. I have set, defined times in my day and week when I am allowed to do nothing. I give myself permission to do this. Why? Because if I don’t, all attempts I have at personal discipline will fail. No one can work all the time. In every failed diet and lifestyle change I ever tried to make my biggest problem was that I didn’t leave wiggle room. But sometimes it’s OK to give yourself a break. So plan for it without letting it derail all of your hard work.
Remember that building discipline is a little by little process, even in the area of self-care. Start by getting dressed in anything but sweats or yoga pants. (I’m not saying there is anything wrong with yoga pants, but you know yourself and what your lazy clothes are. Try to get out of those.) Then work up to putting on a little makeup. Practice trying to get dressed by a certain time. Start slowly reworking your wardrobe so that you have clothes you love and feel good in rather than avoiding getting dressed because you hate everything you own.
A quick word to moms of newborns. If your budget will allow, buy yourself a few pieces that fit you now. Don’t feel the need to create a whole new wardrobe. But see if you can buy a few things to help in that period between maternity clothes and returning to your old wardrobe. Keep in mind that bodies change. If after a year or more your old clothes still don’t fit, then that’s OK. Buy a few new things that make you feel great now. I used to hate getting dressed because I had a closet full of clothes that technically fit but didn’t look good on me anymore. So I slowly began replacing them with new pieces that I could use as staples of my new mom wardrobe. I try to be practical, but also focus on feeling attractive and feminine. I did jeans and baggy T-shirts for too long. I didn’t look good and I didn’t feel good. Now I strive for just a little bit more; a scarf, earrings, a cardigan, shoes that aren’t sneakers. Your items will be different. But take the time to love your body as it is now and try to find some clothes that help you feel good about yourself.
Continue to get dressed. Are you still getting dressed by a certain time each day? If you’ve stopped, why?
Read Proverbs 29:17. How will you feel rest and delight if you train and discipline yourself? For me, being self-disciplined makes me feel like things are under control. Please, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not talking about being in control of your life. Control is an illusion. I’m talking about things being under control. When I am self-disciplined enough to get dressed and do the other things I need to do, I feel a sense of peace. I know that when I do what I can, God will do what I cannot.
10 weeks in and still getting dressed, hope you are all starting the feel the positive effects of investing in yourself.