As many of you know who have been reading my blog lately, I have been on a health challenge for 8 weeks now. I decided to join Suzanne Lieurance and the Working Writer’s Club to become much more healthy and active. And you know what folks, it IS working!!! But it did take a lot of discipline at first.
It took me a while to really decide on what changes I had to make in order to become healthier and more active. I had to make certain sacrifices such as making the time to exercise, change my mindset about food, replace whole wheat bread with gluten-free (there was a real taste difference at first…the consistency of gluten-free bread was very different at first), cutting portions, and eating more veggies and fruit. But once I put all of these habits into place over the past few weeks, I feel so much better and I have a lot less arthritis pain in my joints as a result.
But there were even more benefits to my new health challenge: I actually found that becoming disciplined about my health actually helped me to develop even more discipline with my writing. I found that I didn’t have all day to work on a writing project. So, I had to become much more efficient and stop wasting time. I had to make sure that I had a real point-by-point plan in place to make sure that I got all of my writing done for the day. And looking back on the last month, I had completed more writing every day and I have completed projects quicker.
After reflecting on why this might be the case, I recognized that there were some close parallels between the discipline I had to develop for my health challenge and to get some writing done every day. Here are some parallels that I noticed over time:
• I had to organize the different facets of my life as I organize my writing projects to be most successful;
• I had to take the time to plan my meals and activities for the week, much like I plan my writing projects and what I will accomplish each week;
• I needed to stick to my plan—regardless of whether or not I saw immediate results–both in writing and with my health challenges—it can take a long time to see big improvements;
• I had to plan to accomplish both my eating/activity plan and my writing plan—even if I didn’t feel like it in a particular day; and
• I had to make a firm decision to make my health and writing goals.
So, as you can see, discipline really does beget discipline. If you are disciplined in one part of your life, you will probably be more disciplined in another part of your life too. But you will only be successful if you can overcome small, daily obstacles to fulfill your overall goals.
To your good health and success as a writer!
~ Irene S. Roth