Hi, my name is Mia, and I’ve always been kind of bad at discipline.
Discipline (verb) – dis·ci·pline – ˈdisəplən/Train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.
It’s not that I can’t do things consistently. I’ve accomplished plenty of things in my life that require a sustained, long-term effort — blogging, earning my MBA, finding a job I love, therapy for mental health issues, to name a few. But when it comes to habit formation, I’ve always felt like I’m just not good at it.
Of course, logically, it doesn’t make sense that I should be good at forming habits when I’ve never really put in the effort to be good at habits, right? Habit formation comes naturally to some and not others, and as obsessed as I am with self-help and self-improvement, I’ve never actually made a sustained effort to improve my discipline.
It’s like budgeting — just writing down that you’ll only spend $50 on food this month doesn’t mean that’s what will happen. You have to be realistic with where you are now, roll with the punches, set incremental goals, and check on your progress regularly.
When thinking of a word for my year, I always try to think, “What one thing would be most beneficial to me right now?” In other words, if the only thing I accomplished this year was embodying that one word to the best of my ability, what would I be super happy I accomplished?
This year, I kept coming back to discipline. Not being disciplined is holding me back from creating all the bigger changes I want in my life. And maybe I won’t be able to make them immediately, but being disciplined is a longer-term game. It’s about doing things you don’t necessarily want to in the moment so that you reach your long-term goals.
(Maybe this is something all you naturally disciplined people know, but I’m still learning!)
A few other goals on my list this year, in no particular order:
- Make at least one dream cosplay
- Bring back Fake Goth Girls
- Maintain blogging regularly
- Finish up Secret Project and launch (!)
- Have fun with Instagram
- Continue budgeting (bless YNAB)
- Aggressively pay off student loan #1
- Build emergency fund to a certain amount
- Explore side hustles and making more money on the internet
- Work my ass off
- Expand my skill set
- Handle transitions with grace
- Become core to my team
- Get thigh tattoo to match my other tattoo
- Stretch ears to 0g
- Cultivate my personal style
- Take my anti-depressant and vitamins regularly
- Do witchy stuff at least twice a month
- Get engaged
- Meet up with friends at least once a month (and I have a spreadsheet of “When’s the last time I saw so-and-so?” to keep me honest)
- Continue efforts to improve communication with and listening to others
- Start exercising regularly
- Reach my personal happy size again
- Meditate regularly