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21 Days to a More Disciplined Life: Introduction

As I’ve alluded to over and over again recently, I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. And I’m struggling to get back up on it again.

I’ve been mulling over how to break the bad habits I’ve been developing and stop this downward spiral. The idea came to me to spend 21 days focusing on intentionally developing more discipline in my life. After thinking about it for a few weeks, I finally pitched it to my husband last week.

His response? “I think it’s a great idea. Can I join you?” 🙂

We sat down over the weekend and discussed what areas he and I are particularly struggling in and what specific changes would result in the most immediate and effective changes. We then came up with a gameplan for the next 21 days for each of us.

Since I know that public accountability works wonders for me, I’m going to blog daily about discipline (I’ll be preaching to myself when I write them, but you’re welcome to listen in if you need some extra motivation, too!) and I’ll also have a practical application project for each day. The following day, I’ll share the results of my project.

My hope is that, at the end of three weeks, I will have developed better habits and I’ll be pulling out of some of the mess and chaos that have resulted from my lack of discipline recently.

You’re more than welcome to join in this challenge, but please don’t feel obligated. Save the idea for later or skip over these posts if your plate is already brimming full.

By the way, thanks for bearing with me and my eclectic blogging. You all are the best!

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  • KATIE says:

    I think its great. I am struggling with discipline myself and I often visit your blog for motivation. I can’t wait to read all your posts!

  • Allison says:

    What a great idea! I want to join! 🙂

  • Alisha says:

    I need a little extra motivation for myself as well. I’d be happy to join. 🙂

  • I look forward to reading this series. I could use some inspiration and motivation on getting more disciplined! I applied myself last weekend and got so much more done and had fun time with the kiddo. Thanks for writing about this!

  • Fabulous idea……it’so important to be disciplined, but it is so hard!!! I was reading The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder to the kids today and Ma asked them if they wanted to put their reading away to save until Christmas and Mary commented that they should to help teach themselves self discipline. That was really stuck in my head and heart…..this is perfect timing!!! Thanks for your encouragement!!

  • Cari Payne says:

    This is a great idea! It is something I’ve been thinking about for a while lately myself, so I will definitely be joining you 🙂

  • Heidi says:

    I’ll follow with good intentions….. sometimes I go too gung-ho and end up in a corner with a box of oreos screaming “serenity now!” 😛

    • Elias says:

      Haha! I can so relate!

    • Mel says:

      Heidi, thanks for the laugh. You know, I saw peppermint oreos in the store yesterday. Good timing perhaps……maybe I should pick up a box.

    • Meg says:

      Oh my… thank you. The last few days have been crazy due to good intentions going up in smoke and I needed a laugh. I’m going to try to follow Crystal too. Perfect timing with the holidays coming up!

  • Stefanie says:

    I need this too! I’ve been slacking the past few weeks too 🙁

  • Stephanie says:

    It must be going around, I just spent some time this weekend going over our schedule and other things to get our family back on track. Today was day one, and it’s going well! I am so happy you are doing this, it will help me make day 2 and the days there after go well too!!

  • Jennifer says:

    so inspirational! I think most of us enjoy your “eclectic blogging”! Since it’s real, it’s something a lot of us are going through or thinking about… We think you’re the best too! 🙂

  • Mandy W says:

    Great! Thanks! My husband and I decided to set a 7PM “curfew” for ourselves – done with all chores, including the kids’ baths, by 7PM. Read to them, and they are in bed by 7:30. This means my husband can go to sleep by 8:30 since he has to be up very, very early in the morning, and we still have some time together to go over our days and our plans for the next day. So far, it has really made a difference!

    I am excited to get to follow along with you!

    • Merrilee says:

      I like this idea. Lately my husband has had to work late nights, and it’s up to me to get our 4 kids to bed without his help. Usually that means later bedtime for them, but last night I knew I couldn’t take the circus any longer, and put them all to bed early, amidst some very vocal protests from my oldest (9). I was amazed at how much I was able to get done (chores) in the remaining couple of hours. Maybe I should consider this a regular habit I need to work on.

  • jaime says:

    I’ve been struggling lately too, so this is perfect timing!

  • Tabatha says:

    I can’t wait for this! I could use some motivation in this area! I’ve become lazy lately and I need to get hoppin! 🙂 Thanks!!!

  • Jen says:

    I just went to the grocery store today aimlessly walking through the store wondering what I was gonna feed my family. I was so mad at myself when I left-why didn’t I plan a menu, make a list, and get my coupons ready??!! I have to get myself together and get motivated and organized!! Please help me 🙂 I will be reading everyday!

  • This sounds great, Crystal! I’m looking forward to reading along.

  • Angie D says:

    I. am. in.

  • I’ll be following along!

  • Barbara says:

    Good luck 🙂 and you might check out . Won’t say anymore, LOL just it’s for those of us who: I don’t time to do it right so it never gets done.

  • Jessica says:

    Yes please!!! I have a dozen or more good ideas, and plans, and papers… I’m always finding more “systems” or “methods” to keep my house clean, or spend more time with the kids, or save money, or eat healthier, or …. You get the picture. All the systems & methods in the world won’t keep my house clean if I don’t get up off my rear and follow them. I’m definitely in need of a self-discipline boost.

    • Celena says:

      I am totally the same way. I really enjoy coming up with ideas, organizing them, making charts, etc… but the follow through is seriously lacking. Spending time making charts and coming up with systems to make things work better in my home is a huge waste of time unless I actually DO them.

  • Public accountability seems to work well for me too. Ever since I started blogging, I’ve been better at sticking to the things I say I’m going to do! I wish you success!


  • Mel says:

    Crystal, you blog is truly a ministry. Can’t wait!

  • Great idea!

    I don’t mind your eclectic blogging. I’ve been reading since the start of the Biblical Womanhood blog days, so the eclectic mix sometimes reminds of those “good ole days”. 🙂

    • Meg says:

      🙂 Yeah! Someone else who remembers Biblical Womanhood 🙂 My first is 6 and my second is two 1/2 so its been alot of fun seeing Kathrynne and Silas growing up too and using alot of Crystal’s ideas and crafts with my litttles! *oh my do they love their clothesline busy bag!*

  • Gina says:

    I love your eclectic blogging–it’s what makes you “real!” And I am similar to you in that public accountability helps me, but I tend to share with friends and family instead of going online.

  • I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who’s fallen off the wagon (seems like a lot of us have)! I’ve been reading time management books and although they are good, I have come to the same resolution, books can’t make me get things done, I have to just do it, even if I don’t want to. 🙂

  • Catherine says:

    This is great! I have been seriously struggling with this too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Patty says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed with things at home lately and a lot of it is because I’ve been slacking a lot recently. I will definitely be following along!

  • Christa says:

    AWESOME! I need it too! Please share!

  • Rae says:

    have you been looking in my windows? Can’t wait to see more.

  • Bethica-Ann says:

    21 days. Did God whisper something in your ear about me? I kinda started today by trying to stay on one task until it was finished. Of course, when you’re doing laundry that doesn’t always work out. I decided to tackle two things at once, changing out/washing bedding while doing my other Monday laundry. It’s almost bed time and I only have 2 out of 4 beds done. But I must say that I honestly feel like I’ve gotten something done because simply putting on a sheet is nothin. I’m looking forward to your ideas.

  • Brooke says:

    It’s like you’re picking my brain every time you do a new series. I have been struggling SO badly with discipline lately! I feel like I’m finally getting back into the groove of things, but the whole month of October I felt like the worst wife and mother ever! The house was *always* dirty, the laundry was *always* overflowing, and we were late to everything! *Deep breath* looking forward to reading this series!

  • debber says:

    perfect, perfect for me too! Isn’t it neat to know that as you sit there berating yourself for not “doing better”, there are others who are feeling the exact same thing? how inspirational!

    unfortunately, part of my resolutions will be to spend less time reading blogs…but I will still come here. 🙂

  • Phaedra says:

    I meant to say three children under the age of six

  • Elissa says:

    I’ve been struggling with the same thing…and would LOVE to join you!

  • This is exactly what I’ve been coming to grips with in my own life. Just last week finally accepted that I need to have a schedule in my work at home/homeschooling the boys life… It sure ain’t easy.

  • Jennifer H says:

    I’m so excited about this. I really need to work on self discipline too – I just feel so unmotivated lately, like I’m barely getting by. Looking forward to joining in and starting to get my life back in order!

  • Libby says:

    Oh, I so need this, too. Last week I went on a Facebook hiatus until 2012 just to help me get off of my duff (among other reasons). Thanks for keeping it real!

  • I’m looking forward to the series. It is so easy in our busy busy lives to let time slip by and find ourselves leading an “unintentional” life while falling off the band wagon. Focusing on and developing those good habits, while realizing there will still be times that we need to go back and solidify them, is an excellent way to keep our eye on the end game.

  • Denise C. says:

    Awesome Crystal! I need more discipline too, and cannot wait to follow along! Cheers!

  • sharon barry says:

    Me and my best friend have been talking about “getting it together”. Our inside joke is, “that P word keeps getting in the way, PROCASTINATION!” We both work as full time nurses, exhausted at the end of a day. I, also have a 6 year old foster child, and we babysit our 2 year old grandson 5 nights a week. Organization and motivation would do wonders!

  • Stacey says:

    How exciting! I always need motivation!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas, they always inspire me! Can’t wait!!

  • lisa says:

    I need to join. Thank you for doing this!

  • Amy Looney says:

    Oh, Crystal, the Lord must have put this on your heart to share! I’ve been struggling with some health problems and have been feeling overwhelmed and cannot seem to get back on track. I’m looking forward to following along!

  • DeeBee says:

    I’m in!

  • Lori says:

    I am looking forward to this series as discipline is an area where I always struggle.

  • Sarah T. says:

    I’ve done the organizational ideas before too, binders and whatnot, to no avail. However, I have to say the Well Planned Day calendar you were able to give out at Relevant is working WONDERS in my home. I love having a place for everything one one sheet. Calendar with times, a to-do section, meals, shopping list… ahh… I breathe a sigh of relief knowing I’m not forgetting things (which I do way more often than I’d like to admit).

  • Sarah says:

    Great idea! I pretty much feel guilty on a daily basis and like I get nothing done even though I’m busy all day long. I’ve been interrupted 3 times just trying to write this comment! Definitely need some motivation…feeling very overwhelmed, especially with the busiest time of year quickly approaching. Thanks Crystal!

  • Sara says:

    This is such a great idea and comes at the perfect time. I have a very busy, active 13 month old and my husband is a youth Pastor who works constructions part time. We stay very busy but I never feel caught up. Hopefully joining you will help. Thanks for your blogging, your honesty and your inspiring life. God Bless and good luck on you 21 day journey.

  • MK Jorgenson says:

    Intriguing…I’m noveling like a fiend this month (November is National Novel Writing Month, after all), so I’ll probably just be watching from the sidelines, but I’m excited to see it happen! 😀

  • beth b says:

    I can’t wait to read more! I’m very disciplined in some areas and a complete disaster in others. While I’ve had an incredibly productive fall several of my goals have fallen away because I didn’t follow through.

    There’s a new book out about will power. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by John Tierny. I downloaded a sample months ago but haven’t found the discipline to read it yet. Ha ha.

  • Kathleen says:

    I love your eclectic blogging: it’s what keeps me coming back to your site!

  • Amy f;) says:

    🙂 My husband and I both read Disciplines of a Godly Man and pulled some good stuff out of it about discipline

  • nanh says:

    I LOVE this idea. I think definitely start off with great intentions and then I completely fall off. With the end of the year rapidly approaching, I think this is great time to feel better about myself and what I am capable of. Thanks Crystal!

  • Paula Cornell says:

    You have my support! I sometimes wish I had the same public accountability – I know it would help with my follow thru. I will muster up all the strength to join you both! Thanks!

  • Colette says:

    I think it’s a great idea. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles with discipline (or lack of). 🙂

  • Lynn says:

    Great timing for me! Can’t wait to follow along and join in! I so need this! Good luck!

  • Blythe says:

    My husband and I have been trying to get back on track….. so hard! I can’t wait to see what kind of things you have for us. 🙂

  • Meredith says:

    I’m in!! 🙂

  • Mindy K says:

    I am sooooooooooo on board! We have family coming from out-of-town and although I have lived in my house for 7 years, they have never seen it. We have spent the past 2 weeks just purging, cleaning, purging, purging, purging. Where did all of this STUFF come from?

    I am really looking forward to getting it all out of the house (and donating it to needy church families and crisis centers). I think it will be a much more enjoyable winter to spend time with the kids doing fun things rather than cleaning every weekend! And maybe my mind will feel less cluttered, too! But if it weren’t for the family coming, my motivation would still be in the toilet 🙁

  • Mindy says:

    Crystal – I am so excited for this series! I am the same way I need someone to do it with me in order to keep going. It is the motivation and accountablity.

  • Charity says:

    Thanks, Crystal. I’ve fallen off the bandwagon in couponing. I’ve got very frustrated and irritated at the t.v. series that at least in my area has ruined a lot of great couponing things for us honest couponers. I haven’t been saving (I’ve saved very minmially), gone over our budget on groceries, and have thrown in the towel since June. I did do a lot of canning this summer and was elated, but going to the grocery store used to be fun and now I hate it. Plus, I’ve lost other frugal habits I had. The coupons in this area have changed so drastically that it is hard to save. I’d love to join this and I’m seeking the Lord’s help in becoming frugal again. Thanks for being honest!

  • Dwilson says:

    I just have to tell you how much you rock. Literally, you have given me so much to think about and so much to do. Effecting such a needed change in me when I really didn’t know how to do all the things that I wanted to do. (that may not make sense) but I was so lost and stuck. I knew that I wanted to grow in to my roll as a mother and wife and still be able to accomplish things that are wholesome and are considered core Christian values. I appreciate you and pray nothing but your continued success.
    Thank you so much!

  • Heather W says:

    YAY You! I need to to this, too! Life gets crazy around this time of the year – shocker, right?

  • Kathryn says:

    God is really putting it all around me! Between my 1000 gifts ladies Bible study, our sermon series on the con game, (money topics), and the children’s ministry focus on thanksgiving for the month, now your self discipline series I’m taking the Hint!!

  • Kristin says:

    I’m a little late but I wanna do it too! 21 days. Hopefully it will last longer than that 🙂 I guess that is the idea.

  • Beth says:

    I. am. in.. Even if just to read and store for a later date, I could use some motivation, accountability, ideas, something!!!

  • Yvonne in AL says:

    I am with you on this one. I am in the process of reading “The Disciplined Life”, and all I can say is that I need to change.

  • Michele Pleasants says:

    I am in too! Perfect timing during this busy holiday season… can’t wait to get started!

  • I don’t want to do this…which is exactly why I need to! There has been all sorts of crazy chaos in our house recently-everything from all 4 kids with the stomach flu for 3 days, broken finger, visiting a hand surgeon, playing single mom to our kids while homeschooling, nursing, keeping our home show ready and trying to get it sold so we can join daddy 1100 miles away in Florida. Calgon!!! My weight-loss has slowed way down and I am using this crazy season in my life as an excuse! If there’s anything I need, it’s this series. So, thank you, Crystal, for your eclectic blogging which ministers right to my heart when I need it the most!

  • Allison says:

    There is something very comforting in this VERY LONG LIST of people who all have the same struggle!!! I am a firm believer that God does not give us any challenges we can’t *handle. It might be tough, but it will mold us into who He needs us to be!

    We can do this!! We can live intentionally and *do all that is required of us!!! So nice we have all these cheerleaders together. GO TEAM!!!!

  • Bridget says:

    I’m disappointed you didn’t post my comment. I’m sure there are a number of other women out there that feel the way I do. It’s all we can do to keep up. The comment wasn’t meant negative. It simply meant that us, as women, need to cut ourselves slack and realize we cannot do everything and be perfect at everything. That it is okay.

    • Bridget says:

      I take it back, I guess maybe my comment is out there somewhere? My apologies.

      • Crystal says:

        I just double-checked and I think the comment you are referring to was left on the second post in this series, not this one. At least that’s where it’s showing up for me.

        I hope that helps!

    • Crystal says:

      By the way, I completely agree with you. 🙂 See my post here for more encouragement:

      • Bridget says:

        Wow, that was fast. Thank you so much 🙂 I enjoy reading your blog. Can I ask you one thing? Can you do a section on how much you spend on toiletries and things like detergent and fabric softener? I swear, I can’t get out of Target for less than $100/week, but I also buy our toiletries and paper products there. It would be interesting to hear how much you spend for your family of 5.

        • Crystal says:

          We don’t use fabric softener, we don’t buy very many paper products, I sometimes make my own laundry detergent, and we get most of our toiletries for free or pennies on the dollar by combining coupons with sales. So we spend very little on toiletries and household products and it’s included in our weekly grocery budget.

          If you play the Drugstore Game consistently or just practice the Buy Ahead principle, you’ll likely find that you can significantly lower the cost of household products and toiletries. In fact, for two years when I was really playing the Drugstore Game hard, I usually had an abundance of toiletries and got most of them free or free-plus-overage. The CVS deals aren’t quite so good these days, but you can still get some fabulous deals.

          • Bridget says:

            I haven’t tried the drugstore game, due to time constraints. I guess, I’ll just keep using the coupons I can. I remember once you asked what was the one thing you couldn’t skimp on (if I remember right, yours was Pampers), and Tide and Downy are my thing:) I LOVE the smell 🙂 I don’t use paper plates either, but am guilty of paper towels and anti-bacterial wipes for the counters. Handiwipes and cleaning cloths always end up stinky at my house 🙂

  • natalie says:

    I just stumbled on this website yesterday and I find it fascinating. I am probably the oldest one here (70). But after being widowed, I need guidance for this new direction my life is taking. And this website seems to be it. I also enjoy all the comments and learn so much from each of you!

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