Knowledge is power, that’s what they say right? I’m a smart girl. I read a lot and trust my intuition- which is the greatest source of knowledge. If the saying is true, I should be very powerful, right? Then why don’t I always feel powerful?

Because knowledge is only power when it’s put into action!

For example, someone who continues to smoke, despite the known health risks, has knowledge but no power. Knowledge must be turned into action before it becomes power.

The saying should really be: Action is power!

Gaining knowledge is, of course, the first step in the right direction. But if  you stop there, you are worse off than someone without knowledge. When you have knowledge but don’t put it into action, an internal struggle between what you should be doing and what you are doing develops. It’s an ugly realm to live in- believe me, I’ve been residing there for quite some time!

In 2018 I was reminded over and over again the importance of self-discipline and eating right, yet I chose to remain inactive. Not only inactive, but I often went directly against what I knew was right. It was conflicting and frustrating. In 2019 I am turning this knowledge into action and that action into power!

Discipline

For a traveler, nomad, free spirit and overall feather in the wind, the concept that discipline is a good thing, was a difficult pill to swallow. I spent years fighting the structure of mainstream work and family life to build a lifestyle based on spontaneity and freedom.

When I first broke free it was liberating! Everyday was open to whatever I wanted to do and wherever I wanted to be, the possibilities were endless!

But, it turns out, when I have too many choices, I freeze. On any given day I have the option to sight-see, read, write, take a yoga class, paint, do my hair, skydive, go to the beach, go to mountains, watch a movie, hang out in a cafe, scroll through Instagram or hop on a plane, ferry, or train. Literally, almost every single day of my life I have the freedom to do anything I want. (Within a financial limitation of, course). More often then not, I choose something then fret about all the opportunities lost. Or I spend all day weighing my options and never choose one. What a ridiculously awful first-world-person-of-privilege problem?!

I discovered that whenever I implemented self-discipline techniques into my daily life, I thought more clearly, I made decisions with ease and I lived in the present moment. Even so, I fought discipline. Waking up at 6am or designating a specific time to read and write kinda kills my nomadic traveler vibe, doesn’t it? I would ask myself.

In addition to my first hand experiences, the importance of self-discipline came up in almost every book I read this year- across a wide range of genres.

I can no longer be burdened by the knowledge of the positive effects of self-discipline without taking action.

In 2019 I am taking steps to discipline my mind, actions and speech so I can enjoy the freedom I worked so hard to cultivate in my life!

Mind

Think positively. All actions and speech begin as thoughts. Therefore positive thoughts yield positive actions and speech. It’s as simple as that.

The mind is non-stop by nature. Thoughtlessness only occurs in a deep dreamless sleep or deep meditation. The first state we are unaware when we are experiencing it and the second is rare and usually short lived. Therefore, we are always thinking. Negative thoughts will arise. I am choosing to not entertain negative thoughts. When they arise I will acknowledge their existence but dismiss them before they can send me in a downward spiral of negative thinking- which inevitably leads to negative action, speech, and emotions.

Daily Actions

I thought I had bid farewell to routine, structure and time management with mainstream life. However, these are things I desperately need in my life if I’m ever going to do anything worthwhile with it. I have implemented two ways to discipline my daily actions to ensure I make the most of my days. These include a morning routine and limiting the time I spend on my phone.

Morning Routine

Before bed I put my phone on airplane mode and do not check emails, texts or social media until I’ve completed my morning routine. I wake up between 5:45am and 6:30am (according to the sun/my natural body clock). I start the day by drinking a liter of water, doing yoga and going on a walk. Then I read a chapter in my book and write a journal entry. The last two activities are accompanied by a glass of ginger lemon honey tea or raw cocoa in almond milk. (I’m trying to limit my coffee consumption but have not committed to ditching it for good- I’m picking my battles over here!) I spend 10 minutes practicing the local language of wherever I am at. (Right now I’m working on my Indonesian- “Aba Kabar?”) Then I shower, eat breakfast, and am ready to face the day!

Limiting Phone Usage

When I am procrastinating, or the internet is buffering, or I simply don’t know what to do with my hands- my phone is my go to answer. It is an unnecessary distraction that dissipates my mind. As I mentioned in my my morning routine, I sleep with my phone on airplane mode. I set a few specific times throughout the day to check messages on all platforms. If it doesn’t come in before that time, it’ll have to wait until next time as my notifications are shut off.

A morning routine and limited phone usage allow me to accomplish the most important tasks of the day before I’m inundated with messages, information, and CHOICES. With a clear focus I set a positive and productive tone for the rest of my day!

Speech

I speak directly and honestly, even if it causes me or those around me temporary discomfort. Lying to spare someone’s feelings, or sugar coating something out of fear, comes back to bite later on. I either have to remember or justify a lie, which is unsettling- even if the lie is to myself. (Especially if it is to myself.) Speaking the truth, even when it’s ugly, gives me ground to stand on. I have found freedom in honesty and am committed to speaking my truth.

What I Put in My Body Matters

Duh! As ridiculous as this sounds, I haven’t always known this. I grew up eating mass quantities of Oreos, Cheetos, ice cream, pork chops covered in Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup, and Captain Crunch. But, for at least the last 5 years I have been vary aware of the effect food has on the functioning of my body and mind. Yet I haven’t always put this knowledge into action. That is changing!

From the research I’ve done- medically, environmentally, and philosophically- a Whole Food, Plant-Based diet is the ideal diet for me. Essentially what this means is the majority of my food should be whole (as in not processed or chemically treated) and plant based (as in not coming from an animal).

My 2019 eating habits will look vastly different than any year that has come before it!

Much of this, actually all of this, I began to put into action in the last few months of 2018. The New Year, however, seems like a good opportunity to put it in writing and officially commit to it. There is an added sense of accountability when something is put in writing, especially when it’s presented for the whole world to see!