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Three simple ways to make this year different

We all want to win at life, to do better for our families, to be better at our jobs and to have better lives. But if we want to perform at our best, we have to make changes to get better.

Discipline is giving up what’s good now for what can be great later on.

We’ll never get the most out of life if we’re slowed down by the things we don’t need. Discipline helps us get rid of what doesn’t matter so we can focus on what matters most.

Want to prepare for future success? Discipline is giving up what’s good now for what can be great later on. Discipline forgoes pleasure and comfort now for benefit later.

Three Ways to Practice Discipline

1. Take care of your body.

Sleeping a few more minutes will always be easier than waking up early to hit the gym. The more we say “yes” to second helpings and dessert, the more difficult it will be to say “no” when we need to.

God cares how we treat our bodies because we belong to Him (1 Corinthians 6:19). Physical discipline is good for our lives now, and it points us to the eternal reality that a whole life of discipline under God benefits us both now and later (1 Timothy 4:6-10).

Exercising restraint with our bodies is good and self-control with our whole selves is even better. Our lives—heart, soul, mind, and strength—submitted to Jesus means our connection to Him influences everything we do (Luke 10:27).

2. Be responsible for your money.

Retail therapy feels good after a breakup or a difficult week at work. Spending your entire paycheck in one weekend may provide instant gratification, but that kind of satisfaction doesn’t last.

Discipline with money stems from understanding that God is the source of contentment, not wealth or luxuries.

When we put our hope in money to fulfill us, we’ll inevitably be let down. Money is a good resource but a terrible god (1 Timothy 6:6-10).*

3. Make the most of your time.

We can make the most of our lives when we realize time on earth is limited. What are we supposed to do with our time? Do good, enjoy life and respect God, because it’s all a gift from Him (Ecclesiastes 3:12).

Your time shows what you treasure. If you need more sleep and time with your family, set an alarm for when you need to leave work and log out of Facebook at a specific time every night. Discipline with time means demonstrating the importance of someone or something in your schedule, not just saying you’ll get around to it.

Instead of asking, “What can I do with my time?” ask, “What will I regret if I don’t ever do it?”

Discipline isn’t something negative working against us; it’s a tool to help us.

Discipline isn’t something negative working against us; it’s a tool to help us. We can use discipline to be like Jesus. He temporarily left something good — heaven — to give His life for something greater. Through Jesus’ death on the cross, our sin is paid for and we can have a relationship with God. Jesus then overcame death by rising from the grave! Jesus was disciplined to the point of death on a cross, and today “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”  (Philippians 2:5-11).

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