Self-discipline is more diverse than you might think.
Yesterday I shared about the infectious nature of self-discipline. Many people have experienced an exponential effect from creating self-discipline in one area of life. It starts as a new exercise routine and within a matter of months, if not weeks, they’re more cognitive and efficient in their workplace, less grumpy in communication, and more attentive in their dietary needs.
The nine areas of self-discipline
When it comes to your personal life, there are nine distinct areas that require self-discipline. None of these are exclusive areas; they all have some sort of connection to each other in some context.
- Fitness – This needs to include both weight-resistance and cardio. You need both your engine (your heart) and your system (arms, torso, and legs) to operate well for an optimal fitness levels.
- Food – This is more than just eating regularly; this is eating intentionally. How much value do your meals communicate to your body?
- Finances – Live within your means. Save money, Invest for retirement. Don’t spend money you don’t have to impress people who only care about your financial status; spoiler alert: you don’t want those people as “friends”.
- Time – You, Barack Obama, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Downey, Jr. all have the exact same amount of time each day. How we spend it says more about the value we place on it. Time isn’t money; time is more precious than money will ever be.
- Career – Are you disciplined in your work responsibilities, or is it obvious you could improve? Don’t wait for your next review to develop new skills, increase your productivity, and lead your team in tackling your work opportunities.
- Relationships – Self-discipline in relationships means you don’t date losers and energy vampires. It means you do what you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. Self-discipline means you’re loyal, honest, reliable, and practical in maintaining good relationships.
- Faith – We all believe in something. My faith is very important to me, so self-discipline means that I spend time every morning reading the Bible, praying, meditating, and living out my faith in practical ways.
- Mental – This is probably the trickiest self-discipline to identify because we often don’t realize how many negative mental narratives we entertain. Creating self-discipline in our minds means we pay attention to the voices we allow ourselves to hear. It means we also protect our minds from “Debbie Downers,” energy vampires, destructive critics, jealous doubters, and especially against abusive influencers.
- Hobbies – How many times have you seen someone take up a hobby, like swimming or playing the piano, and it’s created a more disciplined approach in how they treat other areas of their life? The mental and kinetic focus it requires to learn scales on a piano can improve your attention span and cognitive skills.
Creating self-discipline in these nine areas will enhance your life and how you impact the world around you. Life is too short, God is too good, and the life Jesus calls us to follow means too much not to make the most of the life He’s given to us.