Day 7: Avoiding Negativity

Self-discipline Challenge

Thanks for joining us for the 21 Day Self-Discipline Challenge!  See what it’s all about here.  If you’re just joining in, you can get the book here.

Today’s Assignment: Avoiding negative thought patterns

“I’ll try”

Today’s chapter is all about negative thought patterns, and I know this is something I need to work on. But, it’s tough. One of the things Crystal talks about is the phrase, “I’ll try,”

“Try” may not seem like a negative thought word, but it really is! When you use the word “try,” you are telling yourself that you don’t really believe in your ability to get the job done. In your mind, you’ve already failed, and you’re accounting for your failure with your word choice.

I haven’t really thought about this much in terms of being a negative thought pattern, but honestly, it is negative. I say “I’ll try,” because I don’t want to lie. I don’t want to be one of those people who says repeatedly “I’m going to change.” And then doesn’t. So instead, I say “I’ll try.” But really everything about that is negative. It’s admitting defeat before I even start.

Crystal also talks about surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people. This is a struggle for me as well. I have to admit that most of the people around me (mostly family) are on the negative side, and are quick to say why my plan or goal isn’t going to happen. I am, however, so blessed to be married to a wonderful, positive and supportive husband who is such a cheerleader for me. He believes in me, no matter how many times I have failed in the past and I am so blessed to have that in him.

Today’s Assignment: Don’t “try,” DO IT!

Crystal also shared this short motivational video of Art Williams—whatever it is you are wanting to attain,

Assignment 1: Small Habit (dressed and bed made as soon as I get up)
If nothing else happens out of this challenge, at the very least, I feel like I have got back on track with this habit.

Assignment 2: Continue with Life Hack
I’m kind of lost on this for the moment. Wondering if I should start something new at this point in the challenge, or keep trying for the working out thing, even though I haven’t really started it.

Assignment 3: Mega-Project
Yesterday, I made it through the hallway closets, and today will be moving along to the bathroom and linen closet.  The progress so far has been nice and I’m looking forward to tackling the other areas in the house as well. 

How are you doing? How did day 7 go for you? Do you have any habitual negative thoughts?

This post contains an affiliate link (which is now actually So if you purchase the PDF book through this link, you’ll be helping to support my site.  Thanks!


  1. says

    Yesterday was a tough day for me too. My kids were up a lot the night before, and I was worn out. Luckily I had gotten a little ahead on my mega project, and I didn’t have any laundry to do, so I just went to bed. Now I feel much better today!

    Hang in there. Have you ever wore a pedometer? I wore one over the summer, and I was amazed at how much exercise I was actually getting doing housework.

    • Crystal says

      Wearing a pedometer is a good idea. Thanks for that. I know those lack-of-rest days, Jillian. Glad you got some rest and are feeling better today. Sometimes that’s the most important.

  2. lvg4him says

    Disciplined 21, day 7

    Don’t Try, DO IT
    This reminds me of a powerful podcast I listened to.
    It’s amazing how when we ask ourselves things like “why can’t I do this?” our brain starts looking for answers, and the answers are usually negative and non-encouraging. But if instead we ask a different question “how can I make this doable?” we start getting answers that are more inspiring. The podcast is definitely worth a listen to help ask right questions.

    Small habit:
    Beds made!

    Life Hack:
    In the spirit of remembering to plan for obstacles, I did not think the physical therapy would be inhibiting. So I am modifying to remove surfing the web on the treadmill for those days where I am in too much pain. That way I can still research and learn and plan lessons for the kids (I homeschool). But the “fun” stuff of FB and Twitter still must be done on the treadmill.

    (Did you see my post to your yesterday’s post? I was thinking of more short exercise goals you can set: walk around the block once after dinner, do 20 tummy scrunches when you sit down to get on the computer before typing, turn on some dance music and move and dance with the kids for 15 minutes before lunch or after naps. I hope that encourages you.)

    Mega Project:
    Clear of two more shelves on bookshelf, and clear off art table for kids and if feeling up to it, the bookshelf of art books.

    • Crystal says

      Thanks so much! I did read your comment, but it wasn’t until after I’d already posted for today. Those are some great suggestions and I appreciate them! When I was working out regularly (for about 3 months), I got started by “dancing” to an up-beat Christian CD I have. I definitely need to consider that again. Either way, you and my other encouragers have convinced me to just do it! lol. It’s pretty ridiculous for me not to.

    • Crystal says

      Me too, Stefanie! My plan is to make a list of all the subtle ways that I word things to keep from saying “I’m going to do this,” Because I know that there are a lot of them.

  3. Coreen Smith says

    I have been so good about getting my Mega project done, and that is a good thing. However I have really fallen short in the other two areas. Crystal, girl I am with you about the working out thing. All I can say that motivates me and hopefully will help you is that this weight will not fall off on it’s own and I will feel better everyday I do workout. I will be a better wife, child of the King, and in your case mother. I have posted my first weight goal next to my bed and when I wake up that is the first thing I see. It usually gets me going, unless my hubby wants to cuddle instead. Ugh!! My weakness. Day 8 will be a better day and more will be accomplished.

  4. Bethany says

    Day 7 was not my finest, but I WILL (notice I didn’t say “I will try”) do better tomorrow. :) I’m going to kick all negativity about this day to the curb and start over. If the Lord can make His mercies new every morning, then I can follow that example and give myself–and others–the same grace, right?

    Small habit (no computer until after noon): Success. It was a struggle. I wanted to cheat BAD. But knowing I had to account for my actions here helped me stay strong.
    Life hack: Partial success. Took the vitamin and drank half the intended water but had to catch up on the rest of the water later in the day.
    Mega project: Success…kind of. Had planned to follow my meal plan to make Crystal’s homemade pizza but got a long work phone call just as I got everything out to start the dough, then lost my window of opportunity for letting it rise, etc. in time for supper. Disappointing, but I did have 2 store bought crusts in the pantry so I used those instead. Can’t help but wonder, though, did I set myself up to fail? I NEVER buy pre-made crusts but last week I did, as a ‘safety net’ for meal plan success. Good planning, or did just knowing they were there allow me to slide a bit? ;) Hmmmm.

    Today’s focus on guarding against negativity is a great thing for me. My ‘all or nothing’ approach to things often stunts my efforts, and it’s because I hear slip into negative thought patterns when one thing goes wrong.

    Crystal, I just want to encourage you on your goal to workout. You can and will do it; I just know that today is the day! Even if you find 10 minutes for this, it counts. (That’s what I have to tell myself!) Last January I joined a SparkPeople jumpstart challenge that included daily 10-minute videos and after a month of doing those I was back in the swing of my other longer workouts, too.

    As always, thanks for your leadership and positive comments to all! Can’t believe it’s been one week already.

    • Crystal says

      Bethany, you were right..yesterday WAS the day for the working out! And today WILL BE the second day ;) So glad you’re going to kick all negativity to the curb. That’s exactly what we need to do! Part of the reason it’s so discouraging is because I had started this back in the spring and I worked out nearly every day for 3 months (I know that doesn’t sound like too long, but for me it was a huge success!). I had lost 23 pounds, and had worked up to running a solid mile. Again, not a huge thing but huge for me. I was considered medically obese when I started, and I had worked my way down to being “just” overweight by losing those 23 pounds. I have always struggled with overeating/food addiction and during this time, I had finally mentally conquered that battle. Food was just food. I didn’t crave sweets and junkfood and fast food. I just ate my meals, with healthy snacks that I needed for sustenance. And it’s so discouraging because of my all or nothing mentality, all it takes is a couple bad days to completely kill all that progress. So now, 5 months later, I’m pretty much starting all over with the mental part, and I’ve gained back about 7-9 of the pounds that I had lost.

      Anyway…enough of that. I truly believe that every day you stick to it and don’t cheat, just makes it that much easier to continue on. So glad you were able to stick with it, and that even though you didn’t drink all your water before noon, you still caught up and did it later.

      I do the same thing sometimes (miss the window of opportunity for rising). That is an interesting thought about “setting yourself up to fail,” by providing a safety net. I think that’s similar to my “I’ll say ‘I’ll try’ so that if I can’t do it I’m not a liar.” I think this could go either way. But, the bottom line for me is that if you did stick to your meal plan, period, then it’s a success. You still had your plan, you had prepared for your plan, and you did it. You didn’t eat out, or get stuck at 5:00 wondering what to cook for dinner that night. So, I consider that a success, and you can work on the homemade crust another time.

  5. says

    Boy, it’s really hard learning to focus on the positive when you’ve been raised in an extremely negative family! I was going to write, “I’ll try”! Lol!!! But I will do!!! Thanks for this post. I’m rooting and praying for you!

  6. Tami says

    i’m a bit behind on my mega project, but the other things are going well, and i will catch up today. umm, your post reminded me of something i read on Stacie wrote a quote from a book she’d read (i think a dieting book) something like, “Tomorrow is Monday”…like if we get messed up and aren’t doing what we want, then we don’t say, “I’ll do that next week, starting on Monday.” Instead, we say, “I’ll do that, starting tomorrow (if it is nighttime already) or today, if there is still time left in the day.” so, today is our Monday, our time to do those things we want to do, but don’t want to do! ;) i hope this is clear enough to understand! have a great day, ladies!!!

    • Crystal says

      Tami, that is so true! For me, I have to do it NOW. My biggest problem is that I get inspired in the evening so it’s always “I’ll start tomorrow.” but then I wake up much less inspired.

I love to hear your feedback and value your thoughts! All I ask is that we remain respectful and civil, even when we disagree. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate you!

Thank you for joining in the discussion!