Maybe you’re like me and feel like 2021 is unfinished. I can list things that never were accomplished from work tasks, to crafts, to books, to ways I could have used my time better.
I don’t want to leave this year full of regrets, but I am. In facing that truth, it forces me to accept a new goal – self-discipline.
Discipline means doing something even if you don’t feel like it. You may not feel like exercising, dieting, writing that paper, talking to that boss, but getting the task done will boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.
2021 was a selfish year. I didn’t do things I did not feel like doing. What was the point? I was stuck inside most of the beginning of this year. My students were released to me slowly through A/B schedules and remote days. By school’s end, I was ready to put stress behind me. I traveled when it was safe this summer to travel to get out, finally, and get some fresh perspective. We returned to almost “normal” conditions and tried to remember what it was like to no longer have time to plan lessons. The students have been far from normal, taking advantage of “restorative justice” practices to get away with outlandish behaviors in schools. The stress skyrocketed as promises of ‘mental health breaks’ and ‘fun jeans days’ and maybe a ‘pep rally’ gathering were attempted to take stress levels down and encourage school community while simultaneously removing COVID days as paid sick days, and sending truancy letters to parents for students missing 5-8 days in a row for being sick. All those devices for remote learning went back to being underused and we all are waiting for the calls to go to remote learning or varied schedules again in the Spring as Omicron rises. Continued stress makes you feel like exercise, diet, mental health breaks are not helping and not worth it. So in 2022 I’m going to make lists, even of small tasks, just to check them off. As I closed up my classroom for the winter break, I checked off the holiday party tasks, throwing away the post-it note they were on, and it felt good.
Self-Discipline leads to task completion.
When you are spending time, whether you want to or not, on a topic or an area of your life you are one step closer to achieving the goal you set.
One things I lacked while being selfish was the satisfaction of completing tasks. Selfishness is procrastination. It’s making a task list, prioritizing it, then not finishing the small tasks at the end. I have unfinished paperwork. I have unfinished manuscripts. I have effectively sabotaged my friendships, my writing career, my platform, and my waistline, all by being selfish and letting myself go.
Task completion builds Self-Confidence.
Being selfish and focused on yourself allows you to find all your weaknesses, all the things you hate about yourself, and wallow in them, focus on them and use them as excuses to continue to sabotage yourself.
If I didn’t have the distraction that work provides, a place for me to shine, a place for me to control my outcomes, I’d have languished. Sure, I’m unhappy with the way things are so expensive and income doesn’t stretch as far. Sure, I’ve looked at ways to improve myself and my lot, but what I didn’t do was fallow through on any of those ideas. I don’t have enough confidence to try.
Self-confidence builds self-esteem.
You wouldn’t go into a new career, a job interview, or embark upon a new venture without self-esteem. You would crumble.
I used to have SO much self-esteem. I used to love being a capable, center-brained, jane-of-all-trades, creative, empathetic, project-driven woman. This last year I have felt nothing like that. I didn’t paint. I tried to write but felt unsupported. I tried to find ways to give to others and was blind to any. I have many unfinished projects from the garden outside to falling in love with myself inside.