A more discipled life – habit training

The habits of the child

produces the

character of the man.

~ by Charlotte Mason

Even though I haven't been on here for the last few days, I haven't forgot about the 21 day challenge to a more discipline life. Between visitors, dance rehersals and appointments I really haven't had a chance to stop and read any more of the book. But I am happy to say I have continued with the discipline challenge. And what a difference it is making. Those simple steps of spending just 20minutes every night getting organised for the next day has made the world of difference, especially in this busy week. We have been out the door early every time, the house has stayed organised and we are all calmer. It is great.

This morning I finally had a chance for some quiet time before the girls woke (doesn't happen very often!). I read some more of the challenge. Today was all about habit training. When you really stop and think about it, being disciplined is really just about forming lots of little habits that you do every day without thinking. Think about some really simple tasks you do everyday…. brushing your teeth, brushing your hair…. you do these everyday without really thinking about it. Years and years of doing them every day have made them a habit.

Now think of your kids, espcially young kids. How many times do you have to remind them, or take them to do these two simple tasks. Most days…. everyday….. they haven't yet developed the habit of doing these tasks everyday. As a parent you need to remind them and help them daily to remember to do these tasks. In a few short years it will become habit for them and they will do it automatically just like you and me. 

Have a think about what other tasks are habits for you….. making your morning coffee…… reading before bed…… watching certain TV shows…… how you put your socks on…… how you tie your shoelaces……. even they way you drive to the shops……. you often actually think about these tasks. You just do them and probably do them the same way every time. You have done it for so long that way that it has formed a habit. It is formed a set pathway in the brain to make it automatic. But that took time, doing it over and over again until you get to the point you where you don't need to think about it.

Being disciplined is about forming habits that you do everyday to make your life smooth and easy. You don't think about habits and it will come to a point where you don't need to think about being disciplined because it will be a habit (I'm looking forward to that day!). It means not having to think about putting your shoes away when you take them off, hanging the keys on the key holder, putting the dishes in the dishwasher rather than leaving them in the sink, packing books/toys away when finshed….. How great does that sound.

The one thing that really struck me this morning was about habit training our kids. Here I am trying to develop a more disciplined life, so why not take our girls along for the ride at the same time. Teaching them to live a disciplined life as a child sets them up for live a disciplined and productive life as an adult. It helps to build their character.

I'm not going to race in with a list a mile long of habits I want them to form. I am just going to take it one step at a time. It will take effort, it will take time, but just remember the goal of this challenge….. to live a more disciplined life.




Day 4- It’s time for bed!

I don't know about you but for me this is one area where I really lack discipline. My nights are usually my chance to get that craft project started or finished, to read that book, write my blog, unload items to my shop. Just one more row… just one more chapter… Just one more item….. I get so absorbed in what I am doing that I loose track of time and before I know it it is midnight?

The result is a tired, grumpy mummy, who feels guilty because it is all self inflicted. Every time I do it I tell myself that I won't do that again…. But I do. Time and time again. Last night was the perfect example. Will I ever learn???

Guess what?  it all comes back  to being disciplined. Disciplined enough to say stop it's time for bed. Disciplined enough to not start something if I don't have the time to do it or do it properly despite how much I really want to do it. Disciplined enough to get myself organised so I have the time to do it.

It is amazing how discipline is the key to making life simple and giving us more time to enjoy the simple things in life..

Day 3 – Set Backs. Time to start small.

Today I have learnt the importance of being disciplined. Last night I got side tracked working on my 2013 diary. I just sat down other couch working on the laptop thinking  I would just working on it for an hour and then get sorted for today…. Well. Before I knew it 3 hours had past (because I just kept telling myself next set of adds and I'll finish up) and it was now 11:30pm! Way past time for bed considering the girls wake up at 6:30. I thought to myself, "ok we only have swimming tomorrow morning and the kitchen is tidy, the house is tidy I'll just get ready in the morning"

So much for being disciplined and being organized the night before!

Well this morning I realized that I had a bit more to do than just get us out the door for swimming….. Washing to hang out, a parcel to wrap and send off this morning, swimming bags to pack, morning tea to pack, dishwasher to unpack, beds to make, wheelchair to get out of the car, pram to get sorted … Hmmm maybe leaving everything 'till this morning was not such a good idea after all.

Maybe I had made the task too big. I have a habit of doing that. I am someone who plans big things and become quite impatient trying to everything now. maybe I need to slow down and start off with just one thing and not try to organise  my whole life in one hit.

Then reading over day three this is exactly what Clair had to say. If you make the task too big you easily become overwhelmed, struggle to continue and not follow through.

So I have broken my evening tasks down
1. Get bags ready
2. Get clothes ready
3. Check bread and milk (put bread on if needed)
4. Put washing on if needed (I love time delays settings on the washing machine)

Surely that won't be too difficult to do, especially since it is something I use to always do.

So have have you gone with becoming more disciplined? have you stuck with your one task and followed through? If so that is wonderful. Keep up the great work.

If you are more like me and already stumbled. Don't give up. Just start again right now. Go and do your task. If it is too big make it smaller. And take it one step and one day at a time. 

Changing my ways….

As those who have followed me from the start of my blog a few weeks ago you would know that I set up Dancing Daffodils as a way to share our journey to refocusing our life on the simple things in life. Over the last few years our life had just snowballed it a busy not stop rat race of running from one thing to another… something I am sure so many parents would totally understand from when they transitioned from a life as a couple to life as a family. Our focus was on doing life not living life and making the most of everything, including the little blessings God places along our path.

Looking back over this year I guess the reason I set up Dancing Daffodils was to keep me focused and accountable to others as we travelled this journey. Accountable to others so that I did continue along the road to the simple things in life and not once again let the busyness of life take over.

But to be honest the busyness of life has certainly captured us once again. You only have to sit in my lounge room at the moment and see the mess that lay before me; the clothes on the clothes airer waiting to be folded and put away; the basket of ironing underneath the ironing board pleading with me to straighten so we can once again enjoy wearing those clothes; the pile of almost finished projects sitting on the ironing waiting to be completed (and then maybe I could iron the clothes); the piling of dishes sitting on the bench waiting to be cleaned…… the list just goes on and on.

Last night I had to take little Miss Rapunzel up to the emergency department (she is home and ok – just experiencing side effects to a medication she is on). We were there for a few hours sitting around waiting for test results and medication to work. Whilst Miss Rapunzel sat back and watched the TV I just stopped and thought about the year we have had. The year where we were suppose to get back to the simple life…. the life of less stress…. better health….. feeling on top of things. Well it certainly has been any other than that this year.

From the outset challenges awaited us. This time last year we thought we had everything sorted out for the big move…. we had a house, therapy was sorted, specialists were sorted, work was sorted. Everything had fallen into place….. only for everything to fall apart when we moved (well not the house at least). 9 months on and only now are things sorted out. It has been mentally, emotionally and physically draining – and for those with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (& Ehlers Danlos Syndrome) you would totally understand how extra exhausting it has been; how right now I just want to curl up in a little ball in the corner and hide away for the next few weeks to just get the energy back. But I can’t. Life will just keep on going.

I also wonder just what had happened since this time last year…. I was working 2 days and managed to keep on top of everything (most of the time), had a great routine with the girls and we did heaps of fun things. Yes, things were beginning to get very busy but on the whole I managed a lot better than this year….. Yet this year things should have been easier. I wasn’t working… so I should have been able to manage.

On going to bed late last night I did a quick check of my emails and something caught my attention…. a book “21 days to a more disciplined life” by  Crystal Paine. It had only just been released in the last few days….. could that be my issue? Could that be what has happened this year? With all the interruptions this year, with everything that has gone on and by not working have I become less disciplined? Have I become so overwhelmed by it all that I always think I will start tomorrow? But tomorrow never seems to come. The more I pondered about it, the more it rings true. My journey to the simple life has certainly derailed because I have failed to keep my discipline on track. I have let so many interruptions get in the way of what should have been our year of bringing back life’s simplicities…. I have made our life more complex.

No chart, no downloaded routine, no book about how to be better organised and use my time wisely is going to be able to change where our life is right now. There is only one way that I can do that and it starts with me. I need to change. I need to change where I focus my energy; I need to change how I do things, when I do things; I need to become more disciplined in my life so we can enjoy the simple way of life.

So today I start things new. I know with God’s help and guidance I will change my life so I can be a blessing to the life of those around me. Today I am starting my 21 day challenge to a more disciplined life…… how about you ???????

(you can download the book from here)