The secret of discipline is motivation. When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself. – Alexander Patterson

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I was really challenged by Melissa’s “Jump Start Your Day with a Simple 5-Minute Routine,” post (The Inspired Room), especially since I’ve been a slacker in making my bed this month. Seriously, in my almost 20 years of marriage, I’ve always made my bed.

But this month? I’m not sure what got into me, or where my discipline went.

So I had a pep talk with myself after reading Melissa’s post, and I got my bed-making mojo back. I am happy to say I am now making my bed as soon as I get up in the morning.

January for me is a time for eating healthier after all the holiday parties, exercising more, challenging myself to get back in to running, organizing and cleaning out cupboards and files, and dealing with paperwork and tax stuff, which I hate.

My husband and I also sat down and wrote down the names of a few couples that we want to have over for dinner. We made a plan, but it takes discipline and effort to follow through and really make it happen. In our case we’ve asked ourselves, do we want to be lonely and isolated (as we age) or do we want to nurture long-time relationships and be open to fresh, new ones? We can get in a rut of seeing the same people over and over, and not sharing our lives with possibly new, younger friends. Not to give up the old, but to add in some new. Just a thought.

Discipline helps us do what we know we should do, but probably will not do without concerted effort or help.

Are you more disciplined and motivated in the month of January? Have you thought about relationships that you want to pursue in 2011?

And (Lord help us all) do you have a secret for making your bed every morning?