Discipline was one of those words I truly disliked for a long time. Growing up I associated discipline with negative words like detention or being grounded.

As I became an adult, the word started changing meaning into being rigid, inflexible and most importantly boring. The last thing I wanted to be was boring. I wanted to be care-free and creative. I couldn’t see the connection between discipline and creativity.

The only discipline I had to my life was around my job; I have always taken responsibility seriously. So, disciplines around being to work on time, meeting my project deadlines, etc. no problem with discipline. Get me out of the office environment and my life was a free for all.

Not having discipline in my personal life did cause issues. I wasn’t disciplined around finances, so I lived from paycheck to paycheck. I wasn’t disciplined around my health so I didn’t exercise and my weight just kept creeping up the scale. Once married, not much changed there as well. I just kept gaining more bad habits.

What I never realized was that in my professional life having discipline is why I exceled. My personal life with no discipline stagnated and then started spiraling out of control.

Once I actively started changing my life in sobriety and divorce, it was pointed out to me that I need to incorporate discipline in my life. I will be the first to tell you, I rebelled because I thought it would choke me. Ironic because alcohol had already done a very nice job of that.

But, I slowly started accepting advice on changing my life and incorporating discipline was top of the list. It started with my simple things such as eating breakfast, ensuring I went to bed on a regular scheduled and got 8 hours of sleep a night.

Over time, exercise was incorporated as well as establishing a budget and financial responsibilities. I can tell you it felt awesome when I opened my first investment account. Discipline further expanded, over time, into my spirituality and other aspects of my life.

What I started understanding about discipline is that it teaches me to build the foundation of my life. It settles down my life so that it runs smoothly. For example, every Saturday I sit down to do my bills, plan out the next week’s meals and do my grocery shopping. None of this takes a large amount of time because I have the discipline to keep on top of it.

What was a surprise for me is that once I had discipline in my life it freed up more time for me. With that I have been able to take on new projects in my life or really enjoy the weekend away without dreading the work that is piling up at home.

In short, discipline has given me freedom.

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson has been a single divorced mother for 9 years. She has a teenage daughter. Debbi is also a recovered alcoholic for 9 years who’s marriage didn’t survive her getting sober.

Newly sober and divorced she struggled with reclaiming her life and writes about her experiences in her blogs. Through her own mistakes, she shares her experience, strength and hope for the bright future which today she now enjoys.

She is intimately familiar with the struggles of single parents endure whether it’s answering our children’s questions about divorce, spending holidays alone or finding love again. She also tackles topics such as dealing with ex-spouse, setting boundaries and steps to reclaiming You!

Debbi is widely published including being regularly featured in Huffington Post.