12 Year Old Me Teaches a Lesson in Self Discipline and Good Habits

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When I was 12 years old I had morning a paper route. It was to be delivered by 7 am, and in the beginning, I was up and out at my pick-up corner at 6 am, every day, but my last 10 or 15 customers were mostly businesses, which weren’t open until much later, which meant it didn’t really matter much if I were a bit later.

My get-up time slipped, and slipped, until I was getting up at 6:30. My alarm would go off, but the bed was comfy and warm, and no one really complained if I were a few minutes late.

I knew I was late, and I hated it. Even as I lay in bed I was berating myself, but I just couldn’t get up on time.

Looking back, this has taught me some valuable life’s lessons.

  • Discipline can only take you so far. Even if you’re your own harshest critic, eventually, momentum and habit take over.
  • The value of habits. Develop a good habit, and it will take you far. Develop a bad habit, and it will hold you back.
  • Habits are hard. Hard to create, and hard to break.

This lesson is hitting home right now, as my get-up time has steadily slipped from 6 am last month, to as late as 6:20 today. Applying the lessons of 112 year old me, that discipline and berating myself won’t cut it, it’s time to try something different.

Instead, I will go to root cause. Much of the slippage is because my bed time has slipped, so I’m not getting enough sleep, so 6 am is not working.

It’s time to continue working on the better sleep┬áhabit, to improve the wake up habit. Instead of worrying about the get up time, it’s time to get to bed on time.


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