Parenting is like walking on a balance beam while simultaneously navigating an obstacle course. We are trying to maintain balance while we dodge the unexpected stumbling blocks and jump over hurdles. The balance beam represents my desire for a healthy family in mind, body, and spirit, while the obstacles represent excuses such as lack of time and energy. The goal of the obstacle course is to make us stumble and hinder progress.
To make it through the obstacles, we must learn to develop self-discipline. As we do, we begin to overcome the hurdles with ease. But it’s hard to conquer the course when we face a constant battle between desires and excuses.
I desire my family and me to be fit and healthy, but there is limited time to exercise, and my lack of cooking experience makes healthy eating feel like a chore.
I desire a close relationship with God, but every time I try to sit down for quiet time, my kids have a crisis on their hands that distracts me from my prayer.
I desire my kids to have enjoyable learning experiences, but something always happens that ruins planned activities.
Well, I’m tired of excuses. So instead of excuses, I am taking control and have been on a journey to develop self-discipline. My first step was to reach out to family members who I have seen display a considerable amount of self-discipline in all areas of their lives.
Here is the short version:
- Don’t tackle everything at once.
- Choose one goal and dive in head first.
- Give yourself grace when you fail.
- Put accountability into place.
- Realize that what begins as a “discipline” will soon transform into a delight.
My first attempt at discipline is tackling a purposeful evening routine. Between 5:00-8:00 after my husband gets home and we are supposed to be together as a family, I typically give up and crash from working and parenting all day.
Here’s what I want instead:
I want to have family dinners where I am present and not irritable.
I recently found this awesome print from the Life As Mama Etsy Shop that includes three important questions:
- How were you brave today?
- How were you kind today?
- How did you fail today?
I read in a recent Huffington Post article about these three great questions to ask your kids at the dinner table. I hung the print by our table next to the print I included in the bottom of this post. These questions won’t require answers, but I think it will help us all remember to try new things, show kindness, and that it’s okay to fail. It’s our response to failure that’s more important!
I want to do a family activity instead of isolating myself in an attempt to recover from the day’s chaos.
I want my kids to play together while my husband and I catch each other up on our days.
I want to exercise, so my children learn the importance of keeping their body’s healthy.
Note: For us, we love doing these yoga videos on YouTube by Cosmic Kids Yoga.
I want to prepare for the next day so that we wake up in the morning less overwhelmed and more excited for the day ahead!
And through it all, I want to practice maintaining kind and grateful hearts.
Everyone’s evening routines look different, but the “Family Evening Routine” checklist below was created to help you and your family take control over your nights and enjoy each other again!
Let me know in the comments what disciplines you hope to tackle!
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