Yes, there IS too much to do. And it’s usually boring, annoying things that have to be done over and over and over again. It’s all the things you suddenly find yourself doing when you’re an adult and responsible for yourself. Then you become a parent and the Things That Have To Be Done explode exponentially!
Adulting and Parenting, even if you’re a free spirit, require a basic level of Things That Have To Be Done. What YOU choose to be those basic things might be different from someone else.
Or you might choose NOT to do some (or all) of them. You know how it goes, you start out determined to wash your new car every week. Or every fortnight. Then it turns into every 3 months, then every 6 months…
We all have good intentions. Losing weight, less screen time, keeping the house tidy forever.
These things require a decision. A Yes – I will do this, so I can get that. Or a No – I will not do this, so that will happen.
Sometimes we know we need to say NO instead of YES when we really really want to say YES. (Yes I’m talking about cake.) You want to lose weight, so you say no to the cake. (Boooo.)
Or not doing something you want to do, to focus on something that you need to do. Like putting your phone down when you REALLY want to scroll Facebook because you need to fold the pile of washing taking up too much room on the couch.
It’s called…. wait for it… Self Discipline.
Ugh. Yuk and bleurgh. It’s such an unfashionable word. It reeks of hard core training, cold showers and stiff upper lips. But it is actually completely awesome. It’s the thing that helps us Get Stuff Done.
It doesn’t require you to be feeling on top of the world.
It doesn’t require you to be in the mood.
It doesn’t require perfection.
You’re doing Self Discipline when you just start: Like running water to start the dishes or actually stepping out the door for a morning walk when it’s cold. When you stop: after one dumpling sample at the supermarket…Liz! When you clean your teeth even though you’re so tired you’ve put your pj’s on inside out.
I’m doing it by writing blogs, come rain, hail and hot sunny days.
You’re already Getting Stuff Done.
You’re already primed to Get Stuff Done. You are secretly a Self Discipline Ninja. You did the dishes. Maybe you wiped the benches. Put the rubbish out. All before collapsing on the couch to watch Master Chef.
So why did you do those Ninja Moves?
Because you knew that your future self would HATE YOUR GUTS for being lazy and leaving it for them to deal with. Your future self would have to wake up to it in the morning when the kids won’t put their pants on, you realise that the milk container that someone put back in the fridge is actually empty and the cat has been sick right in the middle of the living room carpet.
Mindset Shift! You ARE a Self Discipline Ninja. An expert in knowing how to get yourself to Get Stuff Done.
You are doing it for YOU. For the satisfaction of having a family that looks (mostly) put together. To avoid a crappy morning of bad tempers, shouting and sticky stuff transferring from the kitchen bench to the library books.
That’s why you go to the trouble of training your kids to pick up after themselves. Why you say a very grateful and gracious NO to people unloading their crap… umm… decluttering on to you. Because you know the consequences.
It’s why you study, exercise, journal, see counsellors and practice new dance steps, even though it’s hard. Because your future self will be happier and you will be proud of yourself.
It’s why you say NO to free plastic water bottles, samples, free gifts and branded doohickeys that get handed to you willy nilly. Because you want a tidy house and you know you’ll struggle to get rid of it because It Was FREE or It’s Still Good and Might Come In Handy One Day.
This is really useful knowledge. It puts things in a different perspective. It’s like you are seeing into the future (in a non woo woo way) when you make it a habit to put things away, to put things back where they belong. It’s one of the best anti-stress hacks EVER, because you won’t have to deal with it, or worse, piles of it all in the future.
So say thanks to your past self for putting a repeating reminder in your calendar to get extra milk every Saturday morning so you can have a sleep-in on Sunday. Say thanks to them for teaching your kids about self-discipline and to take responsibility for their stuff. Thank them for doing a 15 minute tidy last night, so you don’t have to do it this morning.
Self Discipline is just you, looking after your future you.
Bye for now,
P.S. I’m committed to sharing my decluttering, organising skills and tools with the world, in the hope that it can help others. If this blog resonates with you, please consider forwarding it to anyone who may benefit from it. If this was forwarded to you, subscribe below.
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