A good life is a disciplined life!
I write as an undisciplined person attempting to work this concept out.
But thankfully, I was blessed with a husband who has been instrumental in honing my self-discipline. Imagine being married to a drill instructor, wrapped in a life coach, wrapped in a dietitian, wrapped in a founding father, wrapped in a voracious reader, wrapped in a man. Throw in Mr. Miyagi and you’ve basically got him worked out!
While known for many things, he is best known for his comedic, yet truthful, motivational one-liners. Family favorites to include, “you might be hungry, but you don’t look like you have missed any meals” or “if it was a million dollars, you would have found it by now” and of course today’s title “at the point of cookie.” Before you become disturbed on my behalf – don’t. He holds people accountable and it is very refreshing (once we’ve nursed our wounded egos).
The title of this post was a comment he delivered to a fellow service member who was trying to lose a little weight. My spouse, in a moment of encouragement, explained that if you truly are attempting to curb your dietary intake, then “at the point of cookie” (meaning the minute the cookie touches your lips) STOP EATING.
So, what is your personal point of cookie? It can be anything. It may be eating out too often, expensive cars, travel, too much house or perhaps simply spending more than you make. It’s all just the outcome of our favorite concept of “I want what I want, when I want it.”
We all experience this desire to consume because it feels good, even if only for a moment. In the military lifestyle (where life and death situations can be a daily occurrence) the urge to swipe the credit card, or eat the whole box of Oreos, is even more tempting with the hope to have just a moment’s solace.
A few military moves back, I believe I reached one of my own personal “points of cookie” (I have come to understand I have more than one). As I was unpacking the house, I reached my wardrobe boxes and got to what I think was box number 5 of shoes. In college, my roommates nicknamed me Imelda – after Imelda Marcos the infamous klepto-crat and former First Lady of the Philippines. Mrs. Marcos was known for many things, but most famously noted was her collection of over 1000 pair of shoes purchased with the plunder from the citizens she swore to serve. Over thirty years later, I was still struggling.
The old saying “if the shoe fits, wear it” struck a hard blow.
What was I doing? Why all the shoes? Some were out of style and some I had not worn in years. I did a massive purge and set a goal for myself of no new wardrobe purchases for one year. So for 12 months I purchased nothing wardrobe related. No new dresses, socks, jeans, shoes, hair pins- NOTHING. It was liberating and so fulfilling that I extended it for an additional month just to prove to myself I could.
I know now that I could put the cookie down and walk away.
What makes someone disciplined and successful? Successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people are not. Are you willing to suffer the pain of discipline today to avoid the pain of regret later? Your ‘no’ needs to be bigger than your ‘yes.’
I stole all of those from my husband as that is the lighthearted chit chat at our family dinners. Bonus.
The vision of what you desire needs to be bigger than the cookie in your hand. Challenge yourself today to identify your personal point of cookie and get started on the more disciplined you. You won’t regret it.
P.S. if you’re feeling down about constantly bypassing your ‘point of cookie,’ take a look at this video and remember, everyone struggles with it! You can do it!