I don’t want to think about it. Self-discipline is easy for me in regards to deadlines for projects set by teachers or employers, but when it comes to merely setting your own goals on your own time, I’m pretty much screwed.
I know I’ve written before about the power of setting goals as a motivational tool. The hard part is sticking with your goals when you don’t have the pressure of your grades and job on the line. When it comes to regulating yourself as with healthy eating habits or cleaning your room, it’s easier just to leave it for another day (Besides, you have other things to do, like watching your new Netflix DVD that just came in the mail.). For anyone who has ever experienced this lack of discipline, I’m with you. The idea of “I’ll save it for later” has become a regular thing.
I once read a Scottish proverb that went: “What may be done at any time will be done at no time.” I believe that.
I’m going to be honest, my room once went through an entire school quarter trashed with last year’s papers. Books and unneeded crap accumulated on my desk. It became a monster. The pile just grew and grew with each passing day. It became a monster of trash, and every day I thought to myself, "I’ll clean it up tomorrow." Soon (I’m not lying) the mess went viral. It started spreading to the floor, the couch, my bed. It was bad. It wasn’t until my parents visited unexpectedly that I finally cleaned it up out of shame.
It seemed that without some kind of authority or dire punishment (like my parent’s chiding me) that I finally got my lazy ass up. Now, what about the whole idea of exercising and eating right: Who’s going to regulate you about that? Sometimes eating too much junk food can show physically, and sometimes it won’t. For me, it manifested in a much different way. Running out of breath climbing the stairs, waking up groggy, long afternoon naps – the monster was back, except it was taking over my body and making me a zombie. Simply because my thought pattern was: I can just start tomorrow.
Now I can understand how the dining halls can suck the self-discipline out of you with each swipe of your BruinCard, school ID or whatever you Trojans use. Once your card is swiped, you’re basically in the Garden of Eden (at least at UCLA). It’s an all-you-can-eat, fully stocked buffet right at your fingertips, and all up for grabs. Who’s to regulate you now? Skinny biatches? Heck, they’re probably doing the same thing. Imagine all that food and no one to punish you for it. Don’t be fooled, my friends. The age-old adage of the Freshman 15 is associated with gaining weight, but I like to think of it as the idea of losing self-discipline, or self-control. The Freshman 15 means we’ve stuffed our faces, and it felt good. So, we did it some more.
To some, it’s called “letting yourself go.”
One year, I used to live near a Jack in the Box, Chipotle and Starbucks. I always say Starbucks refreshes the soul but feeds the addiction, an addiction that is way too expensive in this economy. Living next to these places was my version of the dining halls, except they weren’t buffets. Again, after continually eating out and not exercising, fatigue started to settle in.
As you can tell from my numerous experiences, this problem of just “letting myself go” is chronic. I wasn’t seriously overweight or crossing the line of Hoarderville, but it affected me in all types of ways. Physically I was tired, emotionally I was mad at myself for my lack of self-discipline and socially I was too embarrassed to have friends or family over. Honestly, it sucked, and life shouldn’t be lived this way.
I don’t care what anyone says, self-discipline is hard. It’s not easy for some people, and the longer you put off tasks, it just feeds the monster even more. Again, I don’t want to think about it.
... And that’s my problem.
Self-Discipline: What’s that?
By Denise Guerra
Article posted on 10/11/2011
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