Thursday, April 14, 2011

Self-discipline and self-regulated punishment

There's a list of things I feel like I should be doing on a daily basis.  This list has somewhere between seventeen and a million items.  Right along side of it are the weekly and monthly basis items.  Here are the first ones that came to mind:
  1. studying the Bible (not just reading but actual legit study)
  2. worshipping Jesus (canned or guitar)
  3. intercessory prayer
  4. logging transactions in my checkbook
  5. reading (spiritual and fiction)
  6. writing (blogs, personal letters, stories, poems, songs, journaling)
  7. cleaning cleaning cleaning cleaning cleaning
  8. walking Sophie the Wonder Basset
  9. taking care of my truck
  10. working out (aerobic and anaerobic)
  11. working on stuff to graduate in a month
  12. practicing for my voice lesson
On a good day, without planning it out, I may get three or four of these things done.  At worst, I will do absolutely none of it, spending my day reading blogs, hanging out, watching TV, etc.  Logically, I can't do all of these things to the extent that I want to every single day.  Dangit.  All of this is compounded by the fact that I usually get a full night's sleep and spend the first hour of the day hitting the snooze button (a habit that has irked even the gracious roommate).  

So, being the amateur economist I am, I figured I'd look at my perks, my carrots and sticks if you will.  The carrots that seem to draw me are the momentary pleasures of what I'd rather distract myself with; the only sticks are guilt, which is quickly washed away with some other distraction. 

One idea that has stuck out to me has been the thought of monetarily rewarding or punishing myself based on my own performance.  Here's the problem: I pretty much spend my money however I want, as long as I have it to spend.  If I spend it all, there's nobody to suffer but me, and I can suck it up.  If I want something, there's nothing but the desire to save for something greater that will keep me from spending it.  So I had the thought today: set a goal for every day on the night before, and if I fail to meet said goal, I put the money in an envelope where I can't spend it. 

Wait, so where's it going to go in the end?  Savings?  that wouldn't help, I'll eventually spend it again, and I'll just be rewarding myself long-term.  Missions?  Yeah, great idea.  "Hey, brother in Christ, here's a few hundred dollars because I suck as a person.  If my system works like it should, I can give you less money next month!"  Then again, I've always wanted to get into micro-financing, but never thought to set the money aside.  That way, I'm helping people, my money gets used for good causes, and it produces some measure of return for me.

So that's me.  What about you?  How do you deal with ways in which you feel like you suck as a person?  How do you self-regulate?

1 comment:

  1. Ditto... minus 8 and 9... and 11. I don't have a basset or truck, and I have a bit more time in college :P Add saving up for my first trip to India and it's about perfect.