Thursday, December 29, 2011

Discipline is not punishment

Discipline is remembering what you want. ~ David Campbell, founder, Saks Fifth Avenue

Another year, another go at the blog. I am grateful for reverb, which gives us an annual opportunity to reflect on the year behind us and set intentions for the year ahead. It is very unfortunate that the original blogger who started reverb10 decided to not host it this year, and only let the reverb community know as such at the very end of November. This has led to lots of people hosting their own reverb month, but it definitely breaks up the community that was there before.

Elephant Journal hosted a month of prompts and I am excited to participate. And true to Colleen's form, she's starting at the end of December!

The prompt from December 1 was:
Encapsulate your 2011 in one word. Why that word? What would you like your word to be for 2012? Why?
2011 was a year of change, and I think I will use that word. I just looked back when I did this prompt in 2010 and whaddayaknow, that was the word I chose for 2010 as well. So let me first reflect on the word I wanted for 2011 - balance. I wrote:
Professionally, I hope for a balance of striving for advancement and being content with where I'm at in the moment.
I think I'm getting a handle on this. I appreciate being in a job in which the goal can just be doing good work, and that results are directly proportionate to the amount of work you put in. So, check. Next I wrote:
In terms of my marriage, I hope for balancing quality and quantity of time spent with each other.
Now that H is done with his MBA (starting this past summer, for the first time in 4 years neither of us in grad school!), I think we've settled into a better rhythm. Both of us work long hours, but at least the weekends are filled with more quality time, which I appreciate. So, check! Finally, I wrote:
In terms of my mental health, I hope to balance instant gratification (mindless tv-watching, ice cream) with deeper care (yoga practice, sleep).
Yup. Here is where I faltered. So maybe my word for 2011 should be progress, since I've clearly been able to stabilize some areas of my life. I think I will make my 2012 word discipline, because I think that is what is missing in executing that last part. As an adult, we don't necessarily need someone to tell us that if we sleep more we'll feel better, that if we eat more fruits and veggies we'll feel better, and if we take care of ourselves spiritually and emotionally we'll feel better as well. Because we know all that. But I realize how easy it was when we were children and someone set a bedtime for us. Not fun, and I wouldn't go back to being a child if you paid me, but easier.

My intention for 2012, then, is to cultivate discipline in my life: to go to bed by a certain time; to get up to practice at a certain time; to eat well; to drink less. Discipline. Why? Because it works. Because it will make me a better person. Because it's important.


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