Self-Discipline vs. Willpower


 I was looking at my blogging posts for the month of May and two things struck me. First , they are not seemingly very uplifting or positive, which was the intention of this blog. Second, I have slacked off on posting.  That’s not with intent either. It’s just kind of been a busy month and I have been overwhelmed with the divorce, the job search, the move, the hunt for a preschool and training. Not to mention my credit card was stolen and now I have over $3000 in fraudulent charges to deal with, which is not fun. 

But overall, I don’t think those are necessarily good reasons for not posting. They are more like my excuses for not running at times, just quick reasonings I can pull together off the top of my head that sound really burdensome, thus legitimate.  Have I been busy.. Yes.  Have these things actually happened.. Yes.  But they haven’t stopped me from going shopping or attending some Mom’s Night Out events.  I’ve had plenty of idle time staring at these walls.  So my issue is not about time. Then I remembered an article I read about self-discipline.  Here goes a summary…

While “discipline” implies teaching and enforcing a set of rules that others should follow, “self-discipline” involves self-imposed rules, requirements, and expectations. No one can impose self-discipline on another. It can be inspired or modeled but not enforced by others.

Self-discipline is the ability to get your self to take action even if you don’t feel like it.  It partners with goal-setting, planning and drive. It is not the same as willpower. Willpower is internal drive alone. It’s the spark that makes you want to achieve. You either have it or you don’t. You can’t change your willpower or improve upon it.  However, self-discipline is like a muscle. It can be trained and therefore, improved upon. By setting small goals and working your way up to bigger ones, we can all make strides toward achieving our goals.

This is one of my weaknesses. I’ve never had any willpower or self-discipline. Well, none that has suited me. This is what I have struggled with a bit in my training for the runs, reading my bible and in posting for the blog.  I do think that realizing it is have the battle, just as with any problem. 

So, here’s my plan…  Over this holiday weekend, I’m going to refocus my energies. I have to get some things in order around my new house and move some stuff from the old house still.  I need to do something to improve the speed of this computer and set up a system. 

Well, I would say wish me luck, but luck has nothing to do with it, if you are setting goals and enacting self-discipline.

 So you you all have trouble with self-discipline? What do you do to help manage it?

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6 thoughts on “Self-Discipline vs. Willpower

  1. I think we all go through phases or periods where it’s harder to discipline ourselves. Kudos to you for recognizing it and taking a step to combat it. I admire that. I hope your attempt at re-focusing works!

  2. I have to agree with Kate. I think we all have some of those moments of staring at the wall when we’re a bit overwhelmed with life.

    I hope your weekend goes well. :o) And here’s to a new start on Tuesday!

  3. Good post, and Good luck,

    I always find it interesting to see what I’ve posted about when I look back over the last month. Sometimes it makes me feel a little shallow.

  4. I will just let you know how it works with me. I usually have a mental to-do list running in my head. If I am really serious about something I will write the list down. I make all my wonderful plans for the next day or weekend or week and think “Yes! Now I am getting organized, and all these things will happen!” Then the actual day, weekend, or week comes and it never goes as planned. Somehow I do get all the important things done, but many of the little things I want to get accomplished get put on the next to-do list. But I never judge myself too harshly, I take credit for what I get done and mentally sigh as I write all the things down on the next list. And I tell myself “Yes! Now I am getting organized, and all these things will happen!” I have noticed over time that as I repeatedly do this more things from my list get done and less items are transfered to the next list, so that is in the direction of success and it works for me! Also, I have noticed that I do get more fun things done along with all the items on the to-do list. So over-all my life is more balanced. So my advice is… make the lists, intend to honor them, and over time they will get accomplished! And always, ALWAYS give yourself credit (huge credit) for what you do accomplish! I have noticed that doing that is very hard, and no one else will do this for us. Hope that helps!

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