Last week I said I was going to focus on discipline (one of the Nine Noble Virtues (NNV) of Heathenry) for the month of April, and as I’ve got a lot of changes coming up on the horizon, I think it’s going to be a really good one to start with. Discipline is a challenging virtue for me. I’m good about working hard in bursts–once I get engaged in a project, I can go full bore for hours. But I’ve always been terrible about little things that occur with regularity. Making my bed every day. Loading the dishwasher every night. Writing 1000 words every day, instead of 5000 when the feeling strikes and then not writing for another two weeks.
The virtue of discipline reminds us that life doesn’t work best in bursts but in consistency. To give credit where credit is due, my mother used to tell me that all the time. I can still remember her exhorting that chores are easier if I don’t let them pile up. My mother is very good about discipline.
I’ve read several books on time management and household management–both discipline heavy issues–and one of the most important things they all have stressed is establishing routines, one by one. Trying to tackle it all at once usually overwhelms people and doesn’t work. Once I relaxed my standards enough to do this, I’ve made improvements in my housekeeping and now I basically keep up with the kitchen and the laundry–although it’s taken a couple years to get here.
I get overwhelmed easily when it comes to getting things done, and it’s typically my reason for not starting a task I know I need to do. For me, I think being better about discipline is going to be about breaking down tasks into smaller, more attainable goals. It’s not “clean the house” it’s, “put away the dishes” then “wipe down the counters” then “vacuum the kitchen” then…etc. So instead of thinking about all the things that need more discipline in my life, I’m going to focus on a couple of things and give myself time to get better at those..
My primary goal is to be more disciplined about writing. I used to try to do a certain number of words a day, and when I was on deadline that worked really well for me. But I seem to fall off the wagon when I’m not on deadline–and right now I’m definitely not on deadline. I’m wondering if I’d be better off allotting a certain amount of time a day to write instead of writing toward a word count goal. Then I can spend the time working on my outline, editing, or writing new words. So my chunked down goal, instead of “Finish the book!” is going to be to spend at least 1 hour a day working on it. More is good, but at least 1 hour. I can find that. I’ll let you know if that seems to work!
My second goal will be to finish the taxes. 🙂 I’m actually almost done! I have to put in all our fostering stuff and then I can send them off. So my broken down goals are (1) input fostering data (2) put in mail. The second half of the month I’ll need a new goal, but I’ll worry about that later. I’m not worrying about it all at once! One step at a time. 😉
Since I’m on this whole NNV kick to help re-engage in religion, I’ve been thinking about gods that might be related to discipline. Sunna/Sol, Tyr, Forseti and Frig come to mind immediately. Anybody else have any Norse gods they associate with discipline? I’m going to pick one of them to write about this month! Also, does anybody have any tips or tricks for being more disciplined?
+ Featured Image: Nine Virtues of Asatru by Kevi-Sama. My understanding from the page is this image is free for use; if I misunderstood, please let me know and I’ll take it down immediately!