Grace Atwood on Discipline
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If I had a word for 2023 (I love this idea!) I think it would be discipline. Discipline is a little boring, it’s not very glamorous! Hard work isn’t sexy or exciting and appearing effortless is much more aspirational. The truth is, nothing about me is effortless. I am generally just a pretty effortful person. After a lot of thought and deliberation, discipline is this year’s word. I am really really trying to be very disciplined in a few particular areas of my life. I am plenty disciplined with work… it’s the other areas that need help!

Discipline with my workouts.

But not just with workouts. Stretching and foam rolling too! I want to be in the best shape of my (recent) life this year. I say “recent life” as I will probably never run marathons again (and I wouldn’t want to!) but also.. my 41 year old knees and hips!, but I want to be in the best possible shape that my body can be in.

The Peloton treadmill (and app) have been really helpful with this goal; I genuinely look forward to hopping on the treadmill 5 days a week, even if it is just for a walk/run. And the app motivates me (I always want to earn my daily circle with a workout!). I have only been doing the Peloton about nine weeks now, once it is a few months I’ll write a review. I’m a big fan and am really glad I took the plunge even though it was expensive and big (it’s a bit of an eye sore to be honest!!).

Discipline with my time.

If it isn’t a hell yes, it’s a no! I have been really good about saying no to most things and not going to the events or parties I don’t want to go to. As a result, I feel more excited about things I AM going to do. Book club or movie night? Yes please. Family dinner? Hell yes. An event where I barely know a soul or have to spend the evening making small talk? Probably not.

Discipline with my energy.

This is something I am still working on. I have ruminating thoughts. The day after an event (usually any bigger party), I spend entirely too much time replaying the evening. How awkward I was. The things I said that were wrong. Worrying. The time spent worrying could be time spent doing. This also applies to what media I consume… be it the news, scrolling instagram, what podcasts I listen to. I only want to put energy into consuming media that brings me joy or makes me a better person.

Discipline with administrative tasks.

I always get my taxes done in time but man does it get down to the wire. I will be two weeks ahead on blog content but then months behind on bookkeeping. And I absolutely hate, hate, detest bookkeeping and so I put it off. Same goes for other administrative stuff (opening that mail pile, sending out invoices, etc.) I am making a point to stay on top of that this year (and also setting aside a one hour block on my calendar, every two weeks to catch up on any errant bookkeeping, paperwork, etc).

Do you have a word for 2023? My runner up word is cozy!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Patty:

    Same word!!! I am allergic to the word “discipline” because it feels so ANGRY, so militant. I have been talking with both my therapist and coach about it (lol) and they helped me reframe it as Devotion. “I am devoted to myself.” So, I foam roll because I’m devoted, I write every morning because I’m devoted, I eat whole foods ~80% of the time because I’m devoted to myself.

    For me, it takes away the punishment of the word and makes it feel a bit more soft.

    Good luck! <3

    2.6.23 Reply
    • Oh wow that is such a great twist on it!!! May need to steal! 🙂 good luck to you as well!

      2.6.23 Reply
      • Patti:

        Discipline is the right word. “Extraordinary” is the little “extra”.

        2.7.23 Reply
    • Cy:

      I feel the same way! Thank you I am going to use that too!

      2.6.23 Reply
    • OMG, I love that perspective–devotion. I may have to adopt this.

      2.6.23 Reply
  2. Katie:

    My word for 2023 is space! Making space for what matters and energy boosts vs making space for depleting situations (parties, toxic coworkers, etc.)

    2.6.23 Reply
  3. Madeleine:

    Love this! My word for this year is “less.” Less spending money, less comparing myself to others, less being busy…I want to be comfortable with just BEING instead of always doing and wanting more.

    2.6.23 Reply
  4. Annie:

    Love this! I got a Peloton tread last year and I love it so much. I like that it’s not just super intense runs, but the walk/runs, hikes, and walks are a great, low impact way to get some exercise in. Have you done any of Olivia’s music based runs? They’re my favorite! She has a ton of variety in the run (some songs focused on endurance, some on chorus runs, some progressive, some hills, but gives you lots of chances to recover), so the class flies by. Highly recommend!!

    My word(s) for this year are embracing change. I made a fairly large career shift in January and am having my first baby in June, so I know my life will look totally different when the year ends compared to when it started. I’m trying to make sure not to hold on too tightly to how things used to be and just embrace the new-ness that will come along with the change!

    2.6.23 Reply
    • Yes, I love that about it too! I am going to have to try Olivia out as I haven’t. My favorite teachers so far are Susie and Becs. And Marcelle!

      Love your word choice!

      2.6.23 Reply
  5. Cathy:

    My word for the year is SAVOR. I realized I need to live more in the moment and truly enjoy what I am experiencing. I love to hear other people’s words for inspiration.

    2.6.23 Reply
  6. Katie:

    I love these more personal thoughts, a great way to start my Monday! I really need to stretch and foam roll more, it’s so boring though! There are so many stretching “classes” on the Peloton app, I just need to force myself to do one after a workout.

    2.6.23 Reply
    • I have been trying to make it a habit! So often I just want to eat something or shower right away… I try to always stack a 10 min stretch (or 5 min worst case) onto the end and it really helps.

      2.6.23 Reply
  7. Lexa:

    Re: post-event ruminating and replaying and questioning – I have started framing these in my head as “socialization hangovers.” I’m a person who’s always going to be anxious around how I present myself and interact socially, and once I started thinking of all of that “morning after” thinking as “oh, this is just my socialization hangover, totally normal, breathe through it and it will pass” it has helped in terms of letting those thoughts go and not spiraling over them.

    Love discipline as a word – it’s so unglamorous and I feel like it’s something everyone is rejecting or feeling like they shouldn’t “have to” have…but it’s what keeps us moving and learning and growing!

    2.6.23 Reply
  8. Shannon:

    Tell me more about your “male pile”! haha

    2.6.23 Reply
  9. Perrin:

    My phrase of the year is “attract delight.” It is mainly that I want to work on being present and really noticing the small, delightful things in every day life. It does not have to be anything big or grand, but letting a sunset be delightful! I think of it as building my gratitude practice.

    2.6.23 Reply
  10. C:

    I listen to Jay Alderton’s podcast where he points out so often we say we need to be motivated to do something – but motivation means waiting around “wanting” to do something. Discipline is hard because we do it regardless of how we are feeling and we do it every day. And in the end our future-self thanks us because we made their life easier not more difficult.

    2.6.23 Reply
    • I love that! Such a good distinction.

      2.6.23 Reply
    • Carrie:

      Great distinction between motivation and discipline. I also just heard someone describe discipline as a form of self love…
      ignoring current pleasures for future rewards. Loving yourself enough to do what needs to be done, in the pursuit of what was meant for you.

      2.7.23 Reply
  11. Jackie DeBlieux:

    Such a great post! I could practice discipline with energy, for sure. I spend so much time on my phone, more than I feel like I should in hindsight, and so much time overthinking. Trying to be better with this. Also, for admin tasks, I will say time blocking helps me. Hope it helps for you too!

    2.6.23 Reply
    • Same same and same!!!!
      I love time blocking as well. It’s just the starting point that is hard, once I get in a groove I’m a machine!

      2.6.23 Reply
  12. M.:

    Mine is chill. Chill on worrying. Chill on spending. Chill on eating and drinking too much. Chill on comparing myself to others. I want to appreciate what I already have and be present and mindful. It’s a challenge for me!

    2.6.23 Reply
  13. I love posts like this (I appreciate the fashion and beauty posts as well, and know they are important to the business of being an influences), I like talking about more topics than just stuff to buy, and loved seeing more content like this mixed in. Thanks for this one!

    2.6.23 Reply
  14. Cy:

    Hi Grace,

    I know this sounds obvious, but is there a reason you don’t hire someone to do your bookkeeping? Wouldn’t it free you up to put your efforts to other areas? I’m not the most disciplined person, if other people are counting on me, it’s a win win. I’m not so great showing up for myself. I’m working on getting more disciplined about exercise. I take a once a week Pilates class and do one session with my trainer( I’ve really gained strength!) in between I try to fit in some power walks and yoga at home. I’m not losing weight yet( turns out I have a slow thyroid, so finally got proper medicine to help with that) but, I do feel better. My words are ; balance, nature and acceptance. Had to have three. Discipline definitely helps with balance. Thanks for the informative post!

    2.6.23 Reply
    • Cy:

      Sorry, not nature, nurture!

      2.6.23 Reply
    • I just don’t have anyone I trust! It would probably be smart down the road. Love your words!!!

      2.6.23 Reply
  15. Annie:

    Discipline is obviously about way more than exercise (and you word it well in your post!) but it made me think of this: In one of your podcasts a looooong time ago, you and Becca discussed exercise. Becca remarked that she found more success when she exercised every day, because it became a non-negotiable (like applying deodorant, brushing your teeth). When she said she’d work out, say, 4 days a week, it became a negotiation and the mental space exercise took up became more exhausting than the action of exercise! It was such a lightbulb moment for me. I’m a disciplined person by nature, but this statement… it actually changed my relationship with exercise. Since viewing it as an everyday task, the mental hold it has over me has lessened. It has become more “neutral” for me – it is just something I do because it’s part of the fabric of my day, and there’s not really a moral value connected to it anymore. I feel weird if I don’t exercise, because, like brushing my teeth, it’s become intrinsic to my day-to-day.

    This idea has honestly spilled over to other areas of my life since then. When wrestling with an undesirable or challenging task that I need to do regularly, I ask myself: “how might my mentality around this task change if I make it a part of my everyday administration?” It might not always be applicable, but in some cases, it really works for me.

    So, in sum: should Becca be a life coach?

    2.6.23 Reply
  16. Frieda:

    That’s some food for thought. I always connected the word disciplin to imperialism and fashism as it is one of the “Four prussian virtues” (that defined a good German in the time of the world wars) and a world with less disciplin is in that regard definitely a more peacefull and diverse one. But I see that it can also be very positive mindset and am very interested how you will feel about it at the end of the year.
    I don’t have a word of the year but a slogan: “Never stop learning and exploring.”

    2.7.23 Reply
  17. Jennifer:

    I have been doing a word for the year the past few years and I have been struggling with a word this year and once I saw this, it clicked. I have been having internal dialog (self bashing really) about how I haven’t been working out (became a full time caregiver for my mom with dementia) for quite a while now and I can feel it. Pre Covid, I worked out 5x a week and my goal was to build muscle and hopefully reduce fat to age healthier. I can’t get to the gym anymore because of Mom, however I have what I need at home to workout. I have been lacking the motivation (discipline!) to get back into it but now that I have identified my word, it’s helping. My word last year was boundaries and it has helped so much.

    2.7.23 Reply
    • Thanks for sharing. That sounds really tough!!!! Even just making 15 minutes for something at home (like a Melissa Wood Health or P.Volve flow!) will make such a difference.

      2.7.23 Reply
  18. My word for 2023 is bloom. It feels a bit cheesy but last year was a lot of planting seeds in my life with starting a new job and that being a major life transition. This year I’m ready to “bloom” and grow into my full potential.

    2.8.23 Reply
  19. Daniela:

    “Discipline with my energy” really resonated with me in regards to dating. Loooved this!

    2.24.23 Reply