Twenty Fourteen, the Year of Discipline

About halfway through 2012, I dubbed the year my year of “healing.” I was able to escape my soul-sucking job with a company that didn’t care about me and moved over to a place with much better pay and a better environment. I thought that would be the turning point…the magical moment when I started to care about myself and everything that was wrong with me would get better. It didn’t quite work that way.

Last year I dubbed my year of “peace.” While it wasn’t entirely peaceful, I did learn a lot about setting personal boundaries and standing up for myself. I didn’t make the health strides that I wanted to, but I did finally get myself to the place where I was ready to take the steps. The end of the year wasn’t peaceful at all, because of things both within and beyond my control, so I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve noticed that I suck at long lists of resolutions. I fail at one and give the rest up (and then go eat some General Tso’s Chicken). But this one-word-focus thing seems to be at least partially successful.

I noticed a recurring theme in several of my Bible studies at the beginning of the year…The idea that our spiritual (and physical) health lean heavily on personal responsibility and self-discipline. We can’t always do what we want, eat what we want, say what we want….sometimes we have to do things because they are good for us, and we cannot expect to be at our best if we ignore what we should do because it’s not what we want.

You can’t expect to lose weight while eating takeout every night and refusing to exercise. You can’t expect to have a neat, organized home if you’re not willing to clean regularly. You can’t expect to have meaningful relationships if you don’t invest time with people you care about. You can’t expect to be respected if you don’t stand up for yourself. And you can’t expect to have a successful spiritual life if you don’t talk to God and crack open the Good Book.

These are all things I struggle with, and these are all things that I want to improve this year. This is the year of Discipline.