My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

What Self-Discipline Can do For You!

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My alarm goes off at 4:30am every weekday morning. I get dressed, brush my teeth and head out the door to get to the gym by 5:00. I What Self-Discipline Can do For You!work out hard, and then hustle home to make sure my kids get up and get ready for school.

I've been called nuts, crazy, and obsessive for my early morning fitness routine. I call myself self-disciplined.

Wikipedia defines self-discipline as "the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state. Qualities associated with self-discipline include willpower, hard work, and persistence."

Sometimes at 4:30am I am understandably tired. It's dark and cold outside at that time of the morning especially this time of year. But I go anyway, because I know that the rest of my day is going to be filled up with the responsibilities of being a husband and father as well as my career. 

I also know that the consequences of not exercising will lead to a decline in my overall health.

Some people can start and maintain a fitness program on their own. Some people need help. Personal trainers, gym memberships, along with countless diet and exercise programs provide a structured environment for people to learn how to eat and exercise correctly. The goal is to not only reach a healthy level of fitness and health but to also to develop the tools and the self-discipline to maintain it for the rest of their lives.

The same can be said about paying-off debt. 

There are some people that can do it on their own. They just wake up one morning and decide that today is the day that they're going to cut up their credit cards, live within their means, and start paying down their debt. I've met many such people in the last year. 

Some of us, however, need a structured environment to keep us on the right path. We need to be shown, taught, or forced into handling our finances the right way. Whether it is a new budgeting system, a freshly attended financial class, or a Debt Management Program, these tools provide much needed guidance to move a person along the path of paying off their debt.

Obviously the goal is to see those account balances at zero, but we also need to learn to become self-disciplined about our finances.   

A friend of mine recently went out with some friends, but decided to head home early when she hit her pre-set spending limit for the evening. Her friends gave her a bit of a hard time about it, and although I'm sure they didn't mean to make her feel bad, to someone who is working through a difficult financial situation, such good natured ribbing can make a person feel frustrated.

Miriam-Webster defines self-discipline as "the correction or regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement."

I admire my friend for displaying the self-discipline to wish her friends well and walk out the door knowing that it was the best choice for her financially. 

Self-discipline is an interesting kind of animal. It makes people crawl out of bed in the pre-dawn hours of the morning even when they would love to stay in the warm comfort of their bed. It makes people go home instead of continuing to enjoy the company of friends. All for better health, a better financial picture, or countless other goals. 

What can self-discipline do for you?

Related Blogs:

Why Yes, We Can Afford That!

Halfway Home!

5 Positives to a Debt Management Plan

Travis Pizel, CareOne Services, Inc. Debt Management Plan Customer Blogger Travis Pizel

Travis is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog and is a very active member of the CareOne community forums. Travis is currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP). Travis very candidly shares his personal journey to pay off his debt and the tips he's learned along the way. As a father and husband he provides a unique perspective on balancing debt, finances, and family. You can also follow along with Travis on his personal blog, Our Journey to Zero. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

Follow Travis on Twitter @DebtChronicles

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  • I used to hate going to the gym as much as I hated staying on a budget. Both require a lot of hard work and discipline - only you are responsible for your progress and that can be scary. A few months ago, I started running at the gym (on an elliptical, knee problems prevent extensive treadmill use) and I HATED HATED HATED every second I was there. I would run 3-4 miles and it was torcher. . . until one day I ran 6 miles and I wasn't miserable the entire time. I started to become addicted to the feeling of running further I'd ever ran before, I am up to 9 miles now. The first 5 miles are still hard, but once I see 6, 7, 8, 8.5 all I can think of is going further than I went yesterday.

    I had that same experience when I was paying down my debt - it was misery-central at first. Not anymore, after months of dedication I have lived a new routine and can't imagine going back.

  • saracarr, you and I have followed very similar paths.  Although, I have always loved running, budgeting was also a source of misery for a very long time.  The more my wife and I do it, the easier it is, and the better the results.  Congratulations on your successes in both running, and your finances!

    I'm a die hard runner, and am currently training for my third marathon - if you ever want to "shop talk" about running, send me a private message in the community, or email me at travispizel@hotmail.com - I always enjoy talking to other runners!

    Thanks for your comment!

  • t-pizel you are my hero :-).  You figure out how different aspects of our lives all fit together.  Self-Discipline is difficult on just about any new activity we take on.  Once things become routine it does get a bit easier.  I also had a love for running.  That was until I had my neck surgery.  I am finding it very difficult to get started again as I hate starting all over.  This gives me the desire to start back up again.  Thank  you for sharing!!

  • Wow, mdavis1964, being called a "hero" is quite a compliment.  :)  I hope that my posts bring as much "positiveness" for my readers, as comments like yours bring to me.  

    If anyone is looking for motivation....whether it be to start budgeting, to do something about their debt, to begin running again, you may want to keep checking the posts here next month. Motivation sure would be a good topic for blog posts wouldn't it (hint, hint)???

  • I hate running.  Always have, but you just try to drag me off my mountain bike.  Sometimes we need to find our fit in order to find our fitness!

  • Great point, bax....not everyone likes the same brand of physical activity.  Applying that to personal finance, there is no single road to  being successful...you have to find your own personal way of handling your money that works right for you.  My wife and I tried several times before we finally got a system that works - and even then we are constantly tweaking it to make it better!

  • I wanted to get a rough estimate as to how long I have to work to pay for the interest on my credit cards for the year. Adding up the interest I've paid on my credit cards so far in 2013, plus a projected amount for the rest of the year I calculated that

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