Monkey sticking up middle fingerIs it possible to start a craze or a fad?  I want to start one for 2022 that is related to self-discipline. The monkey – if you know anything about monkeys they are the ones that stay on your back.  Monkeys are the self-development world’s symbol for a bad habit or something you want to shake free from.  I don’t like monkeys.  I was in Bali one year when a giant monkey climbed up on my back and stole my hair clip.  I was scared to death and there my husband was taking photos and laughing his head off at the site of me with a monkey on my back.  Lots of bad memories around monkeys.

So, if you want to keep the monkey off your back (and I know I do) then self-discipline is your fad for the year.  I have 7 fun ways to master self-discipline.  I’ll share one with you each week in this series.  If you practice each technique each week they come out, then in 7 weeks, you will be a self-discipline guru.  And I have good reason to believe that while others will drop out of their exercise classes and start drinking again, you will be well on your way of achieving all of the goals you have for 2016 and beyond.

Here’s to building a better you!

Self-Discipline Tip #1 – Sleep

You’ve heard a lot of stuff about how much sleep you need.  But have you heard about what happens when you don’t get enough sleep?  As you can see below, the effects of sleep deprivation are numerous.  And let’s take a look at specifically on how lack of sleep undermines you self-discipline.

  1. Impairs cognitive function – the prefrontal cortex is the area of your brain in charge of executive decision making.  When you don’t have enough sleep, you impair the prefrontal cortex and therefor start making dumb decisions.  The dumb decision to eat a whole tub of ice cream, the dumb decision to remind your spouse of everything they’ve ever done wrong, the dumb decision to give that presentation without any preparation.  Do yourself a favor – get some sleep!
  2. Memory lapses – try holding on to your goals with a bunch of memory issues.  With a little sleep deprivation, you’re 2016 goals are all but a fuzzy dream.
  3. Symptoms of Attention Disorder – As if memory loss wasn’t enough, how about attention problems as well.  You don’t even have to worry about remembering anything when you can’t focus on what you’re doing.  How are you meant to keep track of your tasks, projects & habits that are related to your goals, when you can’t even focus on what’s in front of you?

Effects of Sleep Deprivation

It’s recommended that you get at least 7 hours a sleep per night.  And no, you cannot “catch up” on sleep.  Every night when you go to sleep, your brain sorts and stores information from your day.  If you don’t get enough sleep, you miss this storing process.  You can’t “catch up” on storing the information on the weekends.  It doesn’t work that way.  The more days without 7 hours of sleep, the more likely you are to succumb to the issues listed above as well as depression.

Take care of this first self-discipline tip – tonight!

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