A wake-up call to all my girls who always say they will, but don’t.
It’s Friday night and your friend group is tearing up the iMessage group chat, as usual. Your phone enthusiastically chimes every .5 seconds, as your girls exchange suggestions for tonight’s itinerary. You groan. You are still broke from last Friday–and frankly, still hungover. You pull yourself up to peek inside the hell-hole you call a closet.
I don’t have anything to wear.
I shouldn’t spend money.
Your eyes land on a crumpled inside-out romper that could MAYBE pass as clean. You let out a sigh of defeat, and promise yourself for the 5th weekend in a row, that NEXT weekend you’ll stay in. Your own self-dialogue suppresses any lingering feelings of irresponsibility, as you tell your friends to ‘count you in’.
Now WAIT–before you freak out on me, please know that I’m not trying to condemn girls-who-club or call anyone irresponsible for ‘letting it all hang out’ on a Friday night. I’m only providing a singular example of a cycle of which most of us are familiar with, especially me.
I moved to downtown Sacramento, on a whim when i turned 22. I spent $900 in rent and then what was left of my check every weekend. I went to work, just to go out. I didn’t get out of the cycle by choice–I went broke, my car was towed, my credit–RUINED. I had earned no life-skills. I wasted my money. I moved back home; tail between my legs. The embarrassing part is that i would vow every Monday to my co-workers that I was swearing off my bad habit. Every fucking Monday.
After a couple years of struggling through repairing my finances, mental health, and self-worth, I have started to examine where I went wrong. And here’s the kicker, I can still see the same pattern flickering throughout the shadows of my routine, even today.
Heres another cringe-worthy example.
How many GODDAMN times have we valiantly joined a gym, cheered ourselves on as we pulled into the parking lot, only to come up with an excuse like “I forgot my earphones” and drive home without burning a single calorie. Annoying, isn’t it? Unfortunately, this behavior will never change until you change it. How? Well, i’m gonna tell you, hold on a second–jesus.
It all circles back to our Self-Discipline.
It’s your drive to follow through when you don’t feel like it. Can’t deal? Feeling hopeless yet? DONT. As much as you feel trapped in by your own lack of willpower, you are 100% free. All you have to do is retrain your mind to expect delayed-gratification, instead of contributing to the dopamine-soaked-instant-gratification that has your willpower in a vice. It might sound like a lot of work, however, just one action of self-discipline, no matter how insignificant, is a transferable point towards your discipline as a whole.
Can you commit to a small action a day? Mine for example, is working on this blog every day, no matter what. This small action works out your willpower, similar to working out a muscle. With each seemingly small workout, your will power grows stronger and then lends itself to other areas of your life where the sudden appearance of discipline would otherwise seem unlikely.
Therefore, every time we delay gratification by acting against our mind’s addiction to quit, we take a step toward becoming self-disciplined as a whole.
Can you imagine a life where you didn’t have to talk yourself into the gym, only to become discouraged before you leave the house? Where would you be if you always followed-through what you committed to? 20 pounds lighter? Graduating with your Master’s Degree? Buying your first home?
I challenge you to start today. Make your bed. Keep a diary. Make any small commitment and keep it, no matter how inconvenient it will become. Your mind is the only thing working against you and it has thus far fooled you into believing that the feeling of quitting now feels better than the results of a long-term effort in self-discipline.
What could you accomplish if you weren’t in your own way?
Get this money, girl.