10.24.2013

Discipline (18/31)

In just two days, I will be running my second marathon. Just one year and a couple weeks after I ran my first one in Minneapolis.

I’ve been training all summer- getting up early Saturday mornings to pound out double digit miles with other people just as crazy as me. Running hills each week and making sure to get in some easy miles as well as some rest time.

I would consider myself a pretty disciplined person. I mean, you can’t just get up one morning and run 26 miles. You have to plan and train. You have to start 16 weeks in advance of your race date. You have to eat well, sleep well and take care of your body. When I say it all out loud, it sounds like a lot of work.

But you know what I’m not that disciplined about? 

Being on time.

It’s this thing I’m pretty terrible at and I’m not exactly sure how it happened. I’ll admit- I love morning time and I can get pretty distracted sipping coffee and just watching the sky change from black to purple to pink to orange to blue. I can spend time walking around picking things up and tidying and being content in a new day. I can get up early and decide to tackle ten things before I get in the shower- workout, writing, bible reading, watching last night’s Parenthood, etc.
All of this to mean I can get up at 4:45 and still not make it to work by 9:30 AM.

Even as I type this it’s 7:57 AM and I’m sitting in sweats and sipping my 2nd cup of coffee.

Sigh.

I know people that HAVE to be at work at the same time every day. They have a specific start time and their job requires they be there on time- for example, teachers. I work in finance.  Unless I have a meeting first thing in the morning, no one really needs me there. It’s funny that if I have a deadline or something happening first thing in the morning, I somehow figure out a way to get all the things done and get to work on time.

I admire people who seem to show up at the same time every day and leave at the same time every day. I know on the days that I stick to a schedule I feel more at peace- less frazzled, less like a to-do list a mile long and less feeling like a chicken with its head cut off.

So what makes those days different? 
I’ve been observing these people and here are some things I’ve concluded:
  1. They get up at the same time every day. This is not some kind of mind-blowing information. It seems simple. However, this is not always easy for me. I snooze and snooze and snooze. You know why? Because I don’t go to bed at the same time every day. Final conclusion: Get a bed time and a wake time that works and stick to it.
  2. They stick to a schedule. They take their lunches and breaks at the same time. They come to work at the same time and leave at the same time. Again- seems simple. But I find myself adjusting my schedule all over the place to accommodate different things instead of sticking to MY schedule and working additional things in when time allows. Final conclusion: Learn to say ‘No, I’m sorry that time doesn’t work for me. Here are the times I have available.’
  3. They are flexible. This may seem like a direct contradiction to number 2- but it’s not. Life is not scheduled. Things happen all the time and you have to be able to roll with the punches. I find when ‘life happens’ I still try to fit all the things I originally planned for into my day. Disciplined people don’t do that. Final Conclusion: Be okay with not crossing all the things off your list. When issues arise, adjust your day and stick to your schedule as much as you can. Whatever doesn’t get done can wait till tomorrow.

Again, none of this is life-changing. But for me, I need to figure it out.
 I have a lot of new things happening and I want to be consistent and disciplined. I want to be a person people can rely on and not always think I’m flaking out.


How disciplined are you? Do you have trouble sticking to a schedule? If you don’t, do you have any other tips you would add to this list?