Nov 202012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge

My Mega Project, redoing the flower bed in my front yard, is actually coming along better than I thought.  I had meant to take a picture so that you could see what I did yesterday.  It didn’t happen obviously.  So, I’ll take a picture before I start working on it today so that you can see what got completed.  I just need the sun to come up so it isn’t a picture of black darkness.

{Update: here is the picture}

Initially I was going to lay down newspaper as a weed barrier, then top it with mulched leaves, compost and then wood chips.  My thoughts were to follow the methods shown in the Back to Eden video, as I knew they would work.  I had begun laying down the newspaper when this little voice showed up.  It reminded me of exactly how many weeds used to be there.

“Do you really want to risk it?  That is a lot of weeds to combat.  Grass is one thing, but weeds of the sort that were here …. shouldn’t you put down landscape fabric?  You have some in the house, you know.”

Fear won out. I went inside, grabbed the two rolls of fabric (one was new and one was partiall used) and layed it down.  Turns out I only needed to use the already opened one.  It was about two inches short after cutting it and laying down the second length.  This was a problem that was easily fixed as those two inches are going to be under rocks anyway.  Rocks, which had been removed from the old bed, were placed along the edges.  Where the seam of the two lengths of fabric overlapped I placed some wood from the old tree stump that is at one corner of the bed.   I made it around three sides with the first layer of stones before stopping to make lunch.  It had taken me about 30 minutes to get all that accomplished, after my conversation with the little voice, but seemed like I just bounded into the next stage.  I had hoped to make it out there during the afternoon to finish laying rocks, but that didn’t happen.

Today, my goal with this is to finish the rocks and begin adding the mulched leaves.  When I mulched them last week, I dumped them into a nearby bed, not spreading them out.  I knew that if I could only get to this point soon, it would be easy to relocate them.  If for some reason I didn’t make it to this point, I would only have to spread them out in that bed.  They would have gone there anyway, so it was really no extra work.

I still plan on placing compost on top of them, as well as wood chips once I find a source for them.

The part of the old bed, where I’m not putting the new one down, is still dirt and needs to be dealt with.  However, I realized that this part of the project was not my main point and I was not going to let it stop me from progressing.  I can work on getting the old roots out during the rest of winter, have it tilled in the spring, then rake it out and seed it with grass at that time.

I may decide to place some plants back in the ground before adding compost.  Either way, I want to get them planted again before putting woodchips down.  There are some lillies and columbine to be planted, as well as bulbs. The bulbs are what have me stumped and where I’m looking for a bit of input from my readers.

Should I plant the bulbs under the landscape fabric, cutting a hole where they will come up?  Or should I place them on top of the fabric, but under the leaves, compost, and wood chips?  These are tulip and hyacinth bulbs.

 Though I am not on schedule to have this done in the 21 days I originally hoped (that would mean by tomorrow), I am happy about the progress and the outcome.  There was a point in this process, around day 12, where I got really down about my ability to finish this.  At that point I almost called it quites and stopped.  So what kept me going?  I think it was the accountability.  Not with anyone in particular, but the fact that this is in my front yard and all my neighbors, the people driving down the street, and those who walk along our sidewalks every day are going to see if I don’t finish this.   Several have already commented about how it is great to see us working so hard on this project or that they are curious what we are going to do with the area.  I don’t want to be known as the “pretty house on XYZ street with the dirt patch in the front yard.”  Now I’m glad I continued on, even if it was because of imagined comments being made in every single car that drives by.

Tomorrow is the last day for the 21 Day to Self-Discipline Challenge.   I can’t believe it has only been 3 weeks since we started this. Even more, I cann’t believe it took me 4 years to get it started. Now I am looking around at all the other unfinished projects and wonder exactly how quickly they can be done.

How are you coming along with your project?  Did you make it or did you have some setbacks like I did?

Nov 182012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online “uniqueness” means “1. being the only one” or “2a. being without a like or equal.”  That last part struck me, “being without a(n) … equal.”  Crystal points out in her book that you have unique characteristics and circumstances that make you different than anyone else.  I agree completely.  I am not like anyone else and no one is like me.  However, putting it in the way of, “no one is my equal” puts a more positive spin on it.

Practical Application

To answer the question asked, “No. I do not think I am doing my best for the season I am in.”

I am aware of that fact, working on it and getting better each day.

Part of my not being at my best goes back to what we were talking about yesterday, comparing ourselves to others.  I had always imagined myself at this season with life being one way.  However, we were given a unique (there is that word again) set of circumstances that did not match up with what I had in my mind and it has taken me a while to accept it. I had taken me even longer to stop comparing myself to other, trying to do things the way they are, and start working on figuring out what works for us.  Months have passed before I realized I was in denial about whether I was comparing myself to other.  I spent all that time trying to fit into the mold I had created based on someone else’s circumstances. It is hard not to compare with others, ones who have not had to deal with the things we are, and who seem to have such a more ‘normal’ set of circumstances.  I sometimes forget our unique circumstances.

I am doing better at adapting, finally, but still working on it.  Just when I had things figured out, an extra daily obligation was added to the schedule.  This further divided my day.  I am trying to work around this while getting all the things done that I feel I am best suited to do during this season.  And I’m not talking the laundry.  Honestly, I’m thinking it means me getting up earlier so that I can wake up my household earlier.  Not exactly my idea of fun, but what I want to get accomplished will be worth it.

This topic today, uniqueness, is very timely.  A conversation in our household yesterday involved trying to decide if I should take advantage of a certain opportunity.  At first my husband and I were looking at all the benefits of doing so.  It really seemed like a great thing.  Then we started to realize the reality of doing such a thing.  “Perhaps we can adjust this or that.  Or maybe they would be willing to work with you/me” and “Do you realize that would mean no more lunches together every day?” That thinking right there lead us to the conclusion that right now is a very important time in the lives of the little ones in our care.  Sure, someone else could do the feeding and entertaining of them, getting them where they need to be.  However, the best use of my time, energy and talents would be in forming a stronger bond and getting them solidly on the path for their lives that we want them headed down.  No one else is equipped to do those things in the way I am.  We decided the opportunity, while a good one, had the wrong timing.  It wasn’t the best use of my time, energy and talents.

Mega Project

As for the Mega Project, I finished up all the leaf mulching yesterday. I am so thankful that it was a perfect fall day for this part of the project.  Most of the leaves were mulched and placed near the flower bed that I have been working on.  However, there is a tree in the back yard, the Tree of Heaven, whose leaves I don’t want in any other bed except for the one they already fall down into.  I know this tree puts out a chemical to keep other plants from growing.  My fear is that the leaves would have the same chemical.  These leaves never get added to the regular compost pile if I can help it.  Instead they get mulched and placed in the bed right below the tree.  I figure that they fall there anyway, so adding them mulched isn’t going to hurt the plants any more than normal.

While I was doing the mulching, I had time to think.  I thought about some big things, as well as some minor ones.  One thing that struck me was the fact that dealing with falls leaves means something different to everyone.  You see, our yards are unique, one of a kind, unequal, just like us.  Growing up we never worried about our leaves.  If we did, it was making sure the limbs and green walnuts were picked up so the grass and leaves could be mowed.  We may have raked leaves, but it isn’t a strong memory I have.

The first yard of my very own had two young trees.  I’m not sure there were enough leaves on them to fill a small trash can.  My second yard had a larger tree in the front yard, though it also was not a fully mature one.  This tree was a magnolia tree, which does not drop its’ leaves all at once.  My current yard, well, we have a lot of tree.  Of them, 9 are mature and drop their leaves every year.  Dealing with leaves in this yard has a completely different level of work than any of my other yards.  What it doesn’t have is the commitment to watering that the first yard had; that yard had no shade and didn’t retain moisture very well.  See, each was unique.  One wasn’t necessarily better than the other … except the first didn’t have a Tree of Heaven which does earn it a lot more points.

In the Mega Project section for today, Crystal is talking about the next Mega Project.  I’m glad to see this as I have already been thinking about the next project, but have had to hold myself back and remember that I need to finish this one all the way through before moving on to the next.  In case you are wondering, I have three different potential projects in mind.  However, I think I have narrowed it down to which I’ll do next, as I have been asked repeatedly to finish that project.  Yes, I can take a hint. But, again, I’m not going to start it till I finish this one.  At least not in full force.

As for using my strengths, hm.  I’m not really sure that leadership is one of my strengths.  I can do it, but I tend to be a great helper or teacher or guide in smaller groups.  How does this work in my projects?  Well, I tend to have little helpers.  I’m not a great “yes” person all the time, but I will walk you through it and describe everything along the way.  I will show you, have you help, then let you do it so you can learn.  In that sense, I’m good at getting helpers to work on a project I’m doing, then being able to let them do it while I go on to a different aspect of the project.

All pictures in this post came from

Nov 172012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge

Comparing myself to others?  No, I never do that.  Why do you ask?

Okay, so this is something I do.  Something I do too often.

I am going to post this now, even though it is in more of a draft form.  It may not be as good as some other posts, but it is my first step in not having to be perfect today.  =)

Practical Application

Application #1: Evaluate your goals to make sure they are what is best for your family at this time.

Application #2:  Sit down with pen and paper and write down all the areas in which you have compared yourself to others this past week.  Circle three areas that are important for you to change for yourself.

Application #3: Brainstorm ways to change those three areas.

Mega Project

“Keep at it.  Don’t give up.  Your almost there.”  That is my little pep talk for today.  My goal today is yard work.  Sounds big and ambigous so I’ll break it down.

  1. Finish mulching leaves
  2. Dig up roots in flower bed
  3. Mark off area of future flower bed (I decided to change what I had thought of a few days back and do it like I wanted to – not mimicking the shape someone else already had created, but on a smaller scale.)
  4. Make a list of places to call to ask for wood chips


Nov 172012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge

Practical Application

Practical Application #1  Read the article “Start Your Day by Eating a Frog First” – She not only gives the point of what a frog is, but helps you narrow it down for each day in a pretty easy way.  As I am posting this the day after Day 16, I can tell you that it went well yesterday.  My frog?  The dishes.  I tackled them before breakfast – yes, that meant I did not do them the night before … but that is a different issue.  That made the rest of the morning go so well.   I then made breakfast, picked up for 30 minutes, then realized that the house was ‘company ready’ and took a break.  I was able to do something fun without feeling rushed or like I was ignoring the elephant in the room.

Practical Application #2 What do you tend to procrastinate on?  Make a plan of action to make this a priority.  – I tend to procrastinate on picking up the house.  This is something I should probably do before bed, but at that point I am so tired I don’t feel like doing much.  I should do this during nap time, but I often get distracted and this is my lowest energy point during the daytime.  I should do this in the mornings before everyone wakes up as that is when I have the most energy, but am afraid of waking everyone up.  (We live in an old house with wood floors that creak.)  So what is one to do?

Well, for now I have decided not to make this the ‘frog’ to eat first thing in the mornings.  It works better to do this first thing after breakfast (after brushing teeth, that is).  So, I am keeping that my goal.  Instead, I am going to work on something that will put my day on the right path to doing the general picking up after breakfast.  The biggest thing I procrastinate on, actually, is doing my Bible readings.  Like I said above, I know I am a day behind posting this post, but that allows me to let you know how Day 16 went.  I was able to do my Bible reading yesterday morning, which set the day up on the right foot.  My Quiet Time wasn’t long or perfect, but it was what I needed.

I already get up early and have my clothes laid out (usually), so adding this to my morning routine is not going to be difficult.  I just need to do it before menu planning, ironing, checking email, searching on Bing to earn points towards a gift card, before doing the daily polls and NOSO on Swagbucks to earn points towards gift cards, checking the weather, checking blogs I like to follow … basically before getting onto the computer.  I do my Quiet Times in our spare bedroom, which is also where I do quiet activities every morning before the house wakes up.  Though the desktop computer is also in that room, if I go straight to the bookcase and get an extra Bible off the shelf (or bring mine with me) I can sit on the bed without seeing the computer or being near it.  It is an oddly shaped, large room, so I really can do this without being near the computer.

To make this more likely to happen, I am going to place my Bible on the night stand next to the bed.  This will make it the first thing I see when I walk into the spare room.  I have started  a plan to read through the Bible in a year, though don’t ask me how long ago I started it.  Even though it has taken me more than a year, I am still plugging away at that goal.  My place is marked.  The bookmark with the plan printed on it is in place.  All I need to do is open it and keep reading.

Mega Project

So, my mega project.  This is what it looks like right now, minus the bags and boxes.

That’s right.  Nothing has changed since Day 10 or 11.  I have been thinking about it, doing things not involved with actually working in the dirt on this project.  This is the part I have been procrastinating about – getting out the shovel and digging up those stubborn roots left in there from weeds that had grown too large.

I knew I really should have working on this yesterday (the actually Day 16), but instead chose a more pressing matter – mulching leaves.  You see, it has been almost a week since my  husband got them into piles for me to mulch.  Then it rained.  So we have wet-ish piles of leaves sitting on top of grass in our yard.  This mean we have spots of grass dying in our yard.  Mulching has taken precedence over getting the roots out.  It is still a step I wanted to do for this area, just not in this order.

I guess when there are two things you procrastinate on, you can’t always to them in the order you originally had hoped.


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Nov 162012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge

I know it has been a while since I updated my efforts in this series.  My posts on this series went from Day 11 to Day 15, with nothing in between.  I promise I didn’t forget about this series or give up on it. Life has gotten a bit odd lately and my normal blog time was claimed by something else.

Last time I posted about this we were supposed to find an accountability partner … I haven’t.  Actually, I forgot to ask the person.  Not exactly a great start to that step.  So, what have I done?  Not a lot, but some has gotten done.  I made a call about having someone till the former flower bed, mulched some leaves to later add to the new flower bed, and marked off three corners I think I want for the future flower bed.

Today I was feeling a bit down, okay a lot down, about this so I chose to use something Crystal talked about at the beginning of her book.  I chose to do something that has been on my to-do list and which could be done within 24 hours.  I needed a quick accomplishment, a completion of a goal – adding weather stripping to two doors to decrease the air leaks.

The first door, an attic door, is the source of a major draft in our house.  I usually control the air difference by hanging a curtain at the bottom of our steps to the second floor, and then closing the door to the second floor.  Not the best idea, but it has been the easy solution.  This year I was not looking forward to doing the standard solution.

The second door is one off my kitchen.  The gaps around the edges are so great that they created an area of several degree difference.   Today, I woke up and decided that today was the day to actually fix the issue.  I needed a quick project to get me back on track and this was going to be “it”.

Two trips to the hardware store – the first to buy what I needed, the second to return something and order what I really wanted – and about an hour of time (I had little helpers) and both were finished.  Well, as much as they could be.  I had to order some items the store was out of so the last couple of minutes will be completed next week.  Still I love the fact that the draft is gone and the other will soon also be done away with.

Practical Application

Today, Crystal talked about the fact that you can not say “yes” to everything.  Sometimes you have to say “no” to something so you can say “yes” to something more important to you.

Practical Application #1 Evaluate all the activities in your life right now.  What is one you can get rid of to better focus on what is important to you in the long term?

Practical Application #2 Create guidelines for yourself and share them with your accountability partner.

Mega Project

I don’t have any further pictures to show you today.  Though I am still working on this, I have slowed down considerably.  Perhaps it is knowing that the hard part is over.  Perhaps it is the fact that I need to do some calling around to find what I am looking for before moving forward.  I think I may have to reevaluate part of what I assumed for this project.  Things like having assumed I would be able to easily find a source for free wood chips.

How is your project coming?  With 6 days left till day 21 are there any obstacles you are running into?  What are you doing to overcome them?  Are there things you are having to say “no” to in order to say “yes” to more important things?

Nov 112012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post is follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge

Practical Application

Assignment #1: Find an accountability partner, either online or in real life.  Make a plan to keep each other accountable. I am not sure who to ask to do this.  The list is pretty short, but I haven’t actually talked to anyone about it.  I’ll have to think on this some today and make a few calls.  One thing I do know is that it will be someone I know in real life.


Mega Project

I am currently one day ahead of where I had planned to be.  Looking back at Day 1, when I had written out what I wanted to do when, I was supposed to be finishing up my project today.  Well, that happened yesterday.

(end of day 10)

With the sun setting sooner both Day 10 and Day 9 ended after dark.  At least one of those days this meant supper was later than normal.  I was okay with that as I knew that in the grand scheme of things, having this bed redone would have a more lasting effect than supper being late two days.

As today is Sunday, I am going to take a bit of a break.  The leaves in the yard were put into piles yesterday.  I am the one who likes them mulched and used around our yard, rather than have the city come around and pick them up.  That is my plan then for today.  In a few more days the plan is to use them in the bed, but I’m not ready for that step yet.  They will probably be added to the compost pile, on the edge or on top of the new section.  When I am ready for them, I can move them to where I want them.  The other option is to add them under a tree and get what I want from there.  The only problem with that idea is the potential for picking up more weed seeds.

My husband mentioned tilling up the area before adding grass seed or making a new bed.  I do think this would help smooth it out. We don’t own a tiller though, so I need to find someone who does.  I’m not sure how quickly they could some out, so that may delay this project.  Either way, I’m not on to the fun part – getting to make it like I want it.  Even if it goes beyond the original 21 days, this will be getting done soon.

One that thing needs done, no matter what we do, is to remove large roots and small stumps from the area.  Some of those ‘petite’ weeds were not so petite under the ground.

Nov 112012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post is follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge

Practical Application

Today is very timely, as I have been feeling the need for cheerleaders.  It seems like I have been working on this project forever and will never get done.  No true of course, but that is how it feels.  The posted notes around the house have helped as my family asks, “Why are those there?  What do they say?”  I don’t want this to be another thing I started, but didn’t finish.  So often, it is that motivation that has made me get back outside and finish what I started.

Yesterday I saw an acquaintance who mentioned having seen me out working.  “You have been working so hard.  It looks good.”  That alone was all I needed to hear that day.  It seemed to make all the effort worth it.  Amazing what a small kind word will do.

Application  #1: Find cheerleaders, either in real life or online.

Mega Project

Today is going to be a day of few words as the pictures will do all the talking.

End of Day 9:

End of Day 10:

Yippee!! All the dirt is gone, even the boxes and bags of it that you an see in the edge of the picture above.  Car is vacuumed (to say it needed it would be an understatement, there was dirt everywhere inside) and washed. The last part made my husband happy as he did not want to drive a dirty car to church.  He even said we would drive his  That may not seem like a big deal except that we never take his as a family if we go somewhere, unless it is snowing. My car is older, and a bit larger, so we put the miles on mine.


Nov 082012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post is follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge

Practical Application

Application: Write down your goals and tape them in a spot you will see often throughout the day. Tape them in more than one location.

Mega Project

Comparing pictures yesterday really helped me see that I am actually making progress.  I went from feeling as if I have done  nothing to feeling like this might actually get completed.  Now to keep up the momentum.  Today’s Mega Project segment in the book seems to be exactly along these lines. Crystal encourages us to “make a sticky note that says “I have finished my Mega Project segment for the day.”” This falls in line what she talked about a few days before, wording things in a more positive way.  By writing that you have already finished the goal you are making it seem like an actual possibility.  She then says to post this in several places.  In a way you are brainwashing yourself; infusing your thinking to accept that you can do this.

Today I have another 1/4 of the flower bed to remove.  In light of the paragraph above it should probably be worded, “I have finished another 1/4 of the flower bed.”  Even better, “I have finished another 1/4 of the flower bed and have hauled the dirt away.”  I’m just hoping it doesn’t rain today.

How would you reword your goal for today?  Where did you decide to post them?

Nov 072012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post is follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Self-discipline Challenge


Practical Application

Assignment #1: When negative thought patterns arise, how do you squelch them?  How will you replace them with positive thoughts? Aye, what a question!  I have trouble with this very area, squelching negative thoughts.  It is more that I second guess myself a lot.  A lot of the negative thinking that goes on in my head is usually about something I did or didn’t do.  Replacing them with positive thoughts has been a hard one over the years.  Sometimes a scripture I have memorized helps, or something I’ve read lately, or listing off all the positive things (in relations to whatever area is involved) have taken place helps.  I find that often negative thoughts are in the here and now, dealing with short-sighted things.  They also tend to creep in when I am not busy doing something.  Keeping my hand and mind busy is usually a good way to not have time for such thinking.

Assignment #2: Watch “Just Do It speech

Mega Project – Front Flower Bed

I made a lot more progress today.  Yesterday, Day 6, wasn’t started till the afternoon and was cut short.  I actually started to do my dirt removal for the day while it was still sprinkling and stopped within about 15 minutes because it was just way too cold to be out there while getting wet. That meant I was further behind today.  Instead of wallowing in self-pitty (I’m NEVER going to get this done) I decided to set a challenge for myself.  Not only was I going to finish yesterday’s section, but also todays.  The house was picked up, the dishes were done, lunch was pretty simple … I could do it.

As of the time of posting this, this is how far I’ve gotten (I placed items at the former four corners of the bed so you can get a feel for the progress; leaves and a lack of border were making it hard to distiquish the former edge and size):

The only section left to finish today is the square upon which the shovel is laying.  The closest edge of that square was supposed to be how far I got yesterday.  It didn’t happen.  I did finish yesterday’s section before beginning on today.

To give you an idea of how much is taken out, here is a picture of my yard just to your right of the picture above:

You can see that I took the idea of using trashbags to the fullest.  Each one is filled to the breaking point with dirt, weeds and other debris from the flower bed area.  Actually, some are beyond the breaking point and have already ripped or can only be picked up if you also hold it from underneath.  This is NOT the most eco-friendly way to remove dirt, but it was the only option I had if I didn’t want to make a thousand trips to the yard waste disposal site.  (And in case you are wondering what they do there, they make compost.  They burn some of that large wood the city has removed and pile that up with yard waste citizens have brought in.  The compost is free to anyone who wants to use it.)  My hope was to use each bag more than once, to help out my feeling of guilt.

And just for self-motivation here is a picture of the flower bed before I started and a picture of the progress so far today (yes, I know, the ones I posted above):

 That was a great example of the answer to Assignment #1 above.  Earlier I was feeling as if I had been doing this forever and was making no progress.  I knew that wasn’t true and that just seeing a picture of the two side by side (or one after the other) would dispell that thinking.  And did it ever.  I can’t believe the change.

One more good thing happened today and is probably the main reason I still have that small section to work on.  I started finding flower bulbs!  Instead of having only 3 I now have a whole gallon pot worth.  One of my fears, which as kept me from doing this earlier, has now been dispelled: not all of the flower bulbs will be lost in this endeaver.

Have you been hearing those negative thoughts while working on your project or while trying to keep a new habit?  What have you done to change them?

Nov 072012

Crystal from Serving Joyfully, Laura from Super Sweet Life, and Erin from Home With The Boys are hosting a challenge/accountability group going through the ebook, 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine.  (Found here and here.)  This post is follows my progress in joining their challenge.

Yes, I know this is a day late posting.  It was started, however, so I wanted to go ahead and post it before posting Day 7.

Self-discipline Challenge

Practical Application

Assignment #1: Are you being reasonable about your goals?  Can you set yourself up better for success?  I’m not sure I was being reasonable about the flower bed removal being able to be done in 21 days.  Even though we are only on Day 6 and making great progress, I can feel the “deadline” looming.  I just have to remember that even if I don’t finish I will be a whole lot closer to the end than I was when the 21 Day Challenge started.

I can set myself up better for success.  Keep my house picked up and menu planned.  It may not seem related, but it is and I’ll explain.  If the house is picked up and not in need of attention, or if I don’t need to worry about being inside 1 hour before a meal trying to figure out what to make, then I don’t feel bad for being outside.

As far as other goals – The goal of sitting my clothes out the night before is very reasonable.  To aid in this goal, though, I need to make sure that all the laundry is washed and put away.  Not usually an issue, but there do get to be days where I don’t feel like doing my daily load.  That right there could be setting myself up for failure if it happens to be the whites turn next to be washed and I have no socks.

All my other goals, which I listed as part of Day 5’s assignment are very reasonable.

Assignment #2: Take a look at your larger goals.  Do you see any that you can break down into smaller goals? There are a few goals from yesterday’s list that can be broken down.  When I get to the point of working on them, I will probably do so.

Mega Project – Front Flower Bed

Progress on the flower bed removal is coming along.  Yesterday was a bit slow and I didn’t get a lot removed.  Today went a lot better, but not as much as I wanted.  Turns out that when you fill a large storage container with dirt it is really heavy.  I had fewer buckets than I thought … in the end I filled trash sacks, which I have a lot of if need be.

Here is all I got done after yesterday (Day 5):

Today went better, though it started to rain.  I didn’t quite get to the quarter-way marks I had set for myself.

As I was digging I realized two things:

  1. The size of the bed still looked daunting and I needed to break that step down into visual goals.  I picked up some sticks from around the yard.  I place them in pairs at the half way point.  I then placed another set of sticks at each quarter way point.  The bed was then broken down into smaller segments.  I was able to see what I needed to do each.  Instead of seeing a huge bed in front of me, all I needed to look at was the smaller part for today.  The rest could wait for tomorrow.
  2. Instead of going from left to right, taking up a shovel full of dirt and then moving on, it was better time wise and psycologically to work from front to back for the width of a shovel or two of dirt in that day’s section, then moved over and do the next shovel or two width from to back.  This resulted in fewer steps and I was able to see exactly how much dirt I had been removing as the depth of that day’s section was there all the way to the end.  The first way left me without a visual guage and feeling like I had done nothing.

Today was a bit slower than I had hoped, but it was better than yesterday.  How is your project coming along?