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30-Day Discipline Experiment – Day 1

Cheryl and Sugar

As you can see from this photo, my sugar craving started young.  I think I was 3 in this picture.  I still cross my legs and eat suckers.

I’m going public with my discipline experiment because I think it will make this experiment more fun and because it may help me stick to my plan–you are my accountability factor.  I also am an educator and coach and always want to turn my lessons and experiences into teachable moments for others–if they have the same interests.

Why do I want to do this experiment?  While I’m disciplined in many areas of my life, I’m quite permissive in my personal life.  I naturally tend toward immediate gratification–even though I know better.  My friends think all I do is work and that I’m driven, but in my personal life I’m kinda mushy.  It’s that mushiness that I’m tired of.  The soft underbelly has just gotten too soft–if you catch my drift.  

After helping my aging parents get resituated in their home after rehab (mother) and babysitting (father), I’m ready to get started on my new and improved life.  My mother has been a packrat all her life, and I vowed as a teenager not to follow in her foot steps.  I’ve mostly succeeded, though I have her same natural tendencies toward clutter, creativity, ADD, permissiveness, a positive attitude, and immediate gratification.  That’s why I’ve so ferociously walked the self-help path these many years…and why I’m devoted to helping others do the same.

I don’t know what these 30 days will look like but I admit to being a little scared.  What if I eat ice cream when I’ve decided not to?  What if I don’t go to the gym even one day this month?  What if and what if?  But there’s also the what if I succeed beyond my wildest dreams and find a new level of health and well-being?

As I look around I wonder if I might be one of the rare beings who is willing to look at my faults and frailties–they don’t scare me nearly as much as they could.  I’m on a mission to live a healthy, happy life and if that means facing my demons, then so be it!  I find that many people are chicken–they’re deathly afraid to look at their faults.  I just don’t get that.  Big deal, you have faults.  Who doesn’t?  So I’m special–willing to look at my screw-ups!  Want to join me?

I have a sneaking suspicion that during this experiment I will have a blend of successes and challenges, and that I will make great headway in surprising, and as yet unknown ways.  That excites me and calms my fears about the unknown.  I want to thank you for being my accountability factor–let’s not underestimate your role in helping me succeed.  Think quantum physics–where we’ve learned that the observer changes the outcome of the experiment.

Want to join me in this experiment?  If so, subscribe to my feed to get my daily posts.  I’m assuming I’ll write daily posts!  But again…this is an experiment and I don’t know for sure what the outcome will be.  Here are some topics I think I’ll be addressing during my 30-day experiment:

  • What is discipline to me?
  • Will I write something every day?
  • Am I disciplined?
  • Is being disciplined important to me?
  • How would discipline help me–make me healthier or happier?
  • What do I want to be more disciplined about?
  • How will I work through resistance and obstacles? Just do it?  Decide and do it?  Will that be enough?
  • What’s my plan?
  • What outcome/s would I like to have?
  • 30 days or longer?
  • Any wiggle room?  How about–drop discipline when doing the activity would throw me too much out of whack – energy, time, etc.
  • How to manage energy and my mood?
  • How can I make it more fun and interesting?
  • Do it by myself or with others?
  • What about beer, coffee, ice cream and staying up late and sleeping in!  How many times can I hit the snooze button :)
  • Will I develop a routine or schedule of things I choose to be disciplined about?

Here are some things I want to be more disciplined about–gossip, complaining, my moods/perspective, healthy eating, regular routine/schedule, planned meals, scheduled enjoyable fitness program, weight loss plan, neat/clean house and yard, on top of life—bills, important papers, balanced checkbook, self-care and beauty stuff.  How will I make progress–look at just a few things?  Pick the most important?  Go whole hog and track progress in all/many areas?  These are the burning questions.

To subscribe to the feed to watch this discipline experiment unfold, either click “subscribe” in the upper right column of the blog or subscribe to the feed by clicking the icon in the upper right column that looks like this feed icon.  Or you can follow any permissive tendencies you might have and try to remember to check the blog regularly….or you may ignore this invitation entirely.  If you join me, I hope you will comment wildly on the posts so I’ll know that you’re with me on this journey.  And I’m interested in knowing what your personal experience is with discipline.  So let’s carry on!

To our healthy, happy, more disciplined lives!

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  1. Linda says:


    Sounds to me like you are taking charge of your mind and your life. Well done. Women are encouraged to let feelings run our lives rather than our thinking. This is nonesense. I’m cheering you on as you fight for yourself in this important way. You are a terrific role model. Battle on.

  2. Thanks Linda – Thanks for your encouragement.

    It just occurred to me that this experiment in discipline is occuring around Independence Day! Cool deal. Cheryl

  3. Helga says:

    I’ll be watching this with interest. I’m kind of “mushy” too, and have been thinking about similar questions lately. Usually, I do well when I’m in a structured format (like taking a class), but then slack off when the structure lets up. But on the other hand, I have this sort of casual re-committing (an oxymoron if ever there was one!) on a monthly basis that’s a holdover from when I followed Flylady’s program. This month’s focus was going to be doing my daily spiritual practice (meditation and inspiring reading, maybe 20 min per day total) and eating more of my meals at home rather than eating out. I think I’ll stick with the focus I’ve chosen, because they’re both important things to me right now, but I’m really interested in what you decide in terms of what goals you’ll pursue, and how you’ll keep yourself motivated. Sending thoughts of success your way!

  4. Debbie says:

    Are you familiar with the minister that launched the Complaint Free World idea? They suggest wearing a bracelet and switching it back and forth from wrist to wrist if you complain about something. The goal is to make 21 days.

  5. Anne says:


    I know that I’m in good company when the teacher lives similar life’s real situations.

    July is a good mid-year time to self evaluation and making small changes. It’s a good month to get prepared for the remainder of the year. That is something that I once did and a strategy that I went back to last summer.

    Glad to be here.

  6. Debbie – Yes I am familiar with the complaintfreeworld concept but thank you so much for reminding me about it. I’ll have to get the bracelet! Here’s the website for everyone to check out:

    Anne – I love the idea of a mid-year self-evaluation. I hadn’t realized that July is mid year. Thanks for that awareness.

    Helga – I’m guessing you’re a creative type? Creatives often do well in creative environments and then their systems fall apart when outside that environment. I know this because that’s what happens to me. That’s why I’ve devoted myself to designing personal environments for myself and others so that I can succeed in the long-run with my goals and desires. I write a lot about creating environments in my newsletters–and in my ebooks.

    Thanks everyone for contributing. Cheryl

  7. Pam says:

    Oh my yes I’ll join you……. I recently resolved to stop saying things I couldn’t say in front of my mother when other drivers cut me off, etc.

    In fact, I’ve resolved to not utter anything negative and if I think it to replace it with a positive thought SOON!

    This includes not getting caught up in the complaining at work … (though I have to say some of the comments from folks are TRUE!).

    Negativity is soooo bad for health……

    And experience has shown me one can always find a positive in every situation which otherwise seems to be a downer.

    I think perhaps keeping a gratitude journal might be a useful adjunct to this 30 day experiment!
    What say you?

  8. Helga says:

    Cheryl, you’re right – I appear to be a creative type, although it’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve thought about myself that way. They’ve been a much more fun and successful couple of years than all the ones that preceeded them. I’d been trying to cram my non-linear and ADD self into situations that didn’t fit me well, all the while telling myself that they’d eventually fit if I just buckled down and changed my entire personality (and brain), lol! Obviously, that worked extremely well. ;P

    Seconding the gratitude journal idea. It’s a big help with the positivity thing.

  9. Hi Pam and Helga – gratitude and appreciation are fabulous. Here’s a practice I followed for a year – it was amazing. I have a string of small orange beads (110 beads). Each night before bed as I touched each bed, I silently gave thanks for something. As you can imagine, I had to get creative and expand my thinking into categories – weather, things in my home, people i know, personal abilities I have, etc. I began to be thankful that the sun comes up every morning and that the wind blows and that my sheets are warm and soft. I learned a lot about gratitude and appreciation that year. And Helga, I learned to appreciate myself just as I am–ADD, soft underbelly and all!

    I’ve noticed that there’s always a new level to take this learning to – appreciating myself even when I get an email that hurts my feelings or when somebody is unkind to me or when I am unkind to someone.

    Aren’t we great! Cheryl


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