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30-Day Discipline Experiment – Day 3

It’s been good to immerse myself in this discipline experiment because it keeps it uppermost in my mind – and there are so many competing thoughts on the planet!

I’ll address the first two topics I mentioned in Day 1 – Yes I will post every day.  I have decided that would be useful.  And yes it will require a bit of discipline because it’s a holiday weekend and I might want to just mess around :)  But on some level I “want” to post every day and that’s going to make this easier.  Once I make a real decision, I follow through.  By real, I mean it’s something I don’t just do because I think I should do it.  I do it because I’m convinced it will bring me something positive, something I really want.

I’ve been thinking about what discipline means to me.  It is a loaded word for sure so I’ll start by saying what it is not for me:

  • It is not something that somebody else thinks I should do.  It is what I have decided is important for me to do.
  • It is not something designed to make me feel like a failure.  It is designed to help me get where I want to go.
  • It is not an absolute–even though it sounds like it is.  For me discipline simply means doing what I say I want to do. 
  • It is not about feeling guilty.  It’s about reminding myself that I really want to do something so I set up a system that helps me be successful.

Every 4th of July I host a party because we can watch the fireworks from my front porch.  It’s a lot of fun.  And every 4th, I get an opportunity to make sure that my house and yard are ready for company.    home sweet home

The party becomes an environment for me being disciplined in weeding, cleaning, preparing a festive environment, etc.  Having the party helps me follow through with what I know I really want to do… the long run.  In the short run, though, I might just want to kick back and watch a movie.  This little bit of discipline (and the party environment) helps keep me from defaulting to immediate gratification.  That’s it.  For me discipline is the antidote to immediate gratification.  After all I’m just a big kid – I want to have fun, live in the now, not do the hard stuff.  I’d like to leave that to the adults.  Oh-oh, I guess I’m an adult so I need to also do the hard stuff sometimes. 

So now because I have a party to get ready for, I’m going to go outside and mow my lawn and weed!  And then I’m going to come inside, take a shower, and watch a movie.  Life is good! 


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  1. Anne says:

    I relate to your theory behind preparing for company. I, too, like everything neat and tidy for company. When traveling away from home, I want everything in its order before leaving.

    Your reflection of discipline helping you to get where you want to go grabbed my attention. That is an excellent thought.

    Happy July 4th!

  2. Angela says:

    Wow! You know when something comes at just the right time. Karmic. Coincidence. Divine intervention. I’ve been grappling with the whole idea of “discipline” and why I seem to be lacking it now. When did I change? Why? Can I get it back?

    I was outside like a crazy woman myself today getting ready for my party tomorrow and felt so accomplished and pleased with myself when I was done. I had a goal, had a deadline, and accomplished it. And yet it feels like that so rarely happens anymore.

    And then you mentioned the areas of your life that you want some discipline in. Strangely, or not, these are all the same I have had on my list – except I also have being a great mom to my kids and wife to my husband.

    I am so excited to try this 30 day challenge with you – to explore these ideas and, I hope (dare I hope), to make some progress. I look forward to tomorrow. Thanks!

  3. Anne and Angela –

    Isn’t it funny that talking/reading about getting ready for a party would feel like getting a message from the Universe :) But it does. We are all connected. We are more similar than we are different. I’ve been charmed by the comments on these recent posts. We’re all tapping into each other’s hearts and that is such a treasure!

    Angela – I was inspired by your comment so will write some related thoughts for Day 4. Thanks!

  4. Cheryl, sounds like we’re on the same wave length. I was lying on the massage table a week ago and started talking about how I was putting together a Summer Spa for myself….

    Time to get more of my life in gear the way I’d like.
    I’ve been reading about the challenges you’ve had with your aging parents.

    This has been an issue in my life for many years now and my 93-yr-old mom is now in a care center. My father died ten years ago.

    My visit with mom today was one filled with tears as I patiently waited her few words to be articulated.
    My tears were dripping down on her as I was very close to her so that she could see my eyes. She has macular degeneration and doesn’t have much vision anymore.

    I’ll be following with you on the 30 days. I’m calling my Spa experience my Independence from various tolerations in my life that I am eliminating!


  5. Just saw this comment Suzanne! Sorry I didn’t reply earlier. My heart goes out to you with these issues. A spa respite does sound great. Did you do it? I get a monthly massage – and LOVE it! Looks like you do too. Cheryl


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