Self-Discipline Challenge: Day 1

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Self-discipline Challenge

Thank you for joining us for the 21 Day Self-Discipline Challenge!  I pray you’ll be encouraged!  Please visit my co-hosts, Laura and Erin. If you’re looking for the link-up for your intro post for the 21 Day Self-Discipline Challenge, you can find it here.

Day 1: Discipline is a Choice.

Crystal’s words today are both encouraging and convicting.  The bottom line?  A lack of discipline is my own fault. The encouragement?  If it’s my fault, that means it’s also in my power to change.  So often we want to blame someone else, or something else for our own shortcomings.  Crystal says:

I’ve sometimes found myself wistfully thinking that if my house or life or responsibilities were different, then I could achieve a disciplined life.

It is so easy to get stuck in the waiting place (yes, that’s a Dr. Seuss reference), and think that if our circumstances or situation were different then we’d be different. But sometimes we need to change, and that internal change is what can change our perspective and situation.

But ultimately, whether or not I live a disciplined life depends solely upon me and the choices I make on a daily basis. . .I could wallow in frustration over my shortcomings and failures. But instead, I want to let that frustration motivate me. I am the problem, but I am also the solution.

I want to be the solution!


1.    Complete a small task that has been nagging you.
One of the examples Crystal gives in her book is sewing on a button. My poor husband has had a button missing from his pants for a while now, and every time he mentions it, we’re either gone from the house or it’s an inconvenient time, and then I forget about it.  Yesterday, when he got home from work, I asked him to get those pants for me (wasn’t sure where they were), and then I dug out the big bucket of buttons and my sewing kit.  Altogether, it took probably 5-10 minutes.  And we’re both glad it’s finished.

2.    Choose a mega-project; Break it down into 21 manageable pieces.
I think I’m going to cheat a bit here. There is this mega project, called finishing up my Masters Degree that I really *have* to complete by my comprehensive exams on the 17th . I didn’t want to count that because it’ll be finished early and it’s something I would have done anyway, but I am going to employ the technique of breaking it into daily chunks.

For my real mega project, I’m going to be going back to my Peaceful Home commitment, and will be working on downsizing (we still have too much stuff for our tiny house), and decluttering. And this will be perfect since we are hosting my husband’s family for Thanksgiving this year. 

3.    Complete Part 1 of mega project.
I broke this down, based on another challenge that Crystal did on her blog, 28 days of cleaning. So, each day I will focus on one area of my house, and find 7 items to get rid of. Today’s assignment was to tackle the kitchen cabinets.  I feel much better having the cabinets be neater and with less unnecessary items.  I actually ended up adding even more than 7 items to my downsizing pile.

Did you complete today’s challenge?  How did it go?  What is your mega project and what part of it did you complete today?


  1. Sheila Nelson Modine says

    Small project(s) I have 3 calls to make that I keep putting off.
    Mega project- complete unpacking organizing
    Today- organize my business cabinets.

  2. says

    I don't have the ebook and can't afford it right now but I'm jumping in because I Desperately need this. I will be having gall bladder surgery so hoping it doesn't keep me down for too long.
    Small project – my freezer has been driving me crazy…I don't know what all is in there and I need to buy groceries so I'm going to organize the freezer and see what I have.
    Mega Project – desperately need to organize house (never completely unpacked from move).
    Today: My closet.

  3. says

    I may blog about my progress (I have gotten out of blogging) but today I sorted the toy storage in our living room. I threw away broken toys, organized the rest into bins. Felt good and looks better!!!

  4. Bethany says

    Hello all! Both of my little ones are sick (fevers & cold symptoms) so Day 1 has been a struggle. But I am determined! I revised my intended small project (a large box of documents to be filed and organized) to something faster and more manageable.
    Small project: cleaned out my purse and the diaper bag/backpack
    Mega project: start weekly meal planning
    Today: Made meal plan for tomorrow to based on items in the pantry.

    • Crystal says

      Bethany, yes, we need to be flexible. Great job cleaning out the purse and diaper bag…for me anyway, that would really be a nice accomplishment. (I usually clean out my purse when it’s too heavy to carry! lol). I’m a big meal planning advocate! I takes planning, but it makes my life so much simpler when we’re really sticking to it. I hope you have success with it as well.

  5. says

    My mega project is to finish a graduate research paper that I have been procrastinating. I broke it into twenty-one chunks, and the first one is to finish the book I’m reading. Off we go!

  6. says

    My itty bitty project was cleaning/organizing my craft/computer corner. It is not finished yet, but we have 24 hrs, right? :O) My mostly-official mega project is to stop smoking; it entails more self-discipline than I seem to have had up until now. I’ve started the 21 chunk list, but wanted to get something on the blog before nightfall, KWIM (know what I mean)?

    I am SO looking forward to this challenge. As I develop more self-discipline, my mountain of half-finished stuff will dwindle to a molehill…or even smaller! :O)

    • Crystal says

      LuAnn, I am going to be praying hard for you to give up smoking! Praying for God’s strength for you! Thanks for sharing. I have the same hopes for my mountains of half-finished stuff! lol

  7. Lor Ale says

    I decided last night to do the challenge and so today I cleaned out my junk pile on my kitchen counter. I don't know why but it seems to grow all the time! That was my small project. To continue with that theme/area my Mega Project is cleaning out all the cupboards and drawers in my kitchen. My pantry is a monster unto itself so that is not on the schedule for the 21 days but who knows, maybe it will get done also. It felt good to get the junk pile and the junk drawer (part of the Mega Project) cleaned out. As I walk by the kitchen, it makes me smile to see everything tidy in that one area.

    • Crystal says

      Love this Lor Ale! Thanks for sharing :) Love that feeling of triumph and success that comes from being productive!

  8. says

    Wow! Love this idea…! I want to read this book…have it…just need to make a point to do it. My problem is that I am not sure if I can actually do the homework each day. I know…sounds like an excuse…! I want to go through this book with my husband. I will try to follow along here, too!

    • Crystal says

      If it helps at all, the homeworks are designed to not take very long, but instead to be short things that develop good habits. I hope you’re able to do it :)

  9. Coreen Smith says

    So excited and yet nervous about this process. May God be glorified. My mini project was to hem a skirt. The MEGA project is to finish a WordPress book and completely change over my website. I am a freelance graphic designer in a need of a completed and new look. This will be the ticket. Each chapter is one day. — Only 19 chapters left, but some will be broke into two days. Thanks for the motivation and the accountability.

  10. Veronica Bareman says

    I want to play, too! :o)

    Starting a day late, but here we go…

    Small project is to put away the scrapbook stuff that's making temporary residence in my living room – 5-10 min project.
    Mega project is to de-clutter and re-organize the basement storage area – perfect so I can get to the Christmas decorations I'd love to put up this year!

  11. Kay Vanatta says

    a day behind but playing along…

    small project – weed one of my fall crop garden beds…. seriously they are only 4 square feet – but haven't been near them in a month since nothing is ready yet!

    mega-project – finish the quilt from a (gulp) 2008 quilt class.

    today – hand sew hem for long strip.

    • Crystal says

      Kay, I’m so glad your joining in! Isn’t it amazing how fast time goes by when you have a project like that? So glad you’re going to get to complete it now! What a feeling of accomplishment that will be :)

  12. says

    Well my 24 hour quick win turned into a major project. But it was a great motivator to really push ahead to great things. I cleaned off my home office desk and am committed to processing all paperwork that comes into the house (mail, kids stuff, work stuff) immediately instead of letting it pile up.

    • Crystal says

      Awesome, Trish! So glad to hear you’re having success. Processing paperwork right away sounds like a great plan. That’s definitely something that I need to do as well.

  13. says

    I realized that after reading day one, I kind of had already done a small project today. I have had "give the dogs a bath" written on my "to-do" list for months now. I have three large dogs and it takes a bit of determination and imagination to get them cleaned. However, today, I just told myself I had to do it and I did! So, I guess it's kind of like cheating but, I decided that even though I read the challenge AFTER I had already bathed the dogs, I would choose that as my small project. As for my mega project? I have so many things I want to do it's crazy! I guess I will learn 3 new songs on the guitar. The goal is to be able to play them flawlessly by the end of 21 days. Step one? Pick a song.

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