About Self-Discipline

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Self-disciple means doing what you know needs to be done even when you don't feel like it. {A Time to Clean: 30 Day Challenge} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

A Time to Clean: Day 12

You can read the rest of the posts in this series here.

It’s easy when you feel overwhelmed to just ignore the problem – indefinitely. You walk into a room and the piles of clutter just seem too great. Or you open that closet door and you shudder at the thought of cleaning out the junk – even though you can barely push the door shut. It’s easy to close the door {even figuratively speaking} and simply walk away and do something more pleasant.

But, does that really make your life easier? Is life more simple and less stressful when we ignore the problem at hand in favor of doing something that brings us comfort and enjoyment?

Probably not. In fact, I’d dare say, very rarely will ignoring a problem ever make the problem better… and it might even make the problem grow even bigger.


Self-discipline is basically doing what you know needs to be done even when you don’t really feel like it. Not everyone struggles with self-discipline or struggles in the same way.

You might have self-discipline in some areas and struggle in other areas. Some of us like doing laundry. Others hate doing the dishes.

Clutter and messy piles of whatever {laundry, old books, dishes, etc.} are essentially decisions that have not been made. Chronic stacks of dirty dishes are the most basic – you have not made up your mind to just get it done. Maybe you feel overwhelmed because you didn’t do it immediately and now every dish in the house is dirty. And so you avoid it.

Piles of paper on your desk mean you have not decided what needs to be filed and what needs to go into the trash. Too many clothes you no longer where means you have no made the decision to let things go – for whatever reason.

Self-discipline means make up your mind – make a decision – to go through the mess and get it done. Even when you don’t really feel like it. True self-discipline – the kind that stays with you and is life changing – means you face those piles on a daily or otherwise frequent basis so the piles do not grow.

It’s so much easier to clean a small pile than it is to clean a huge one. Just like I always say – It’s easier to clean a tidy house than it is to clean a messy house.

Self-disciple means doing what you know needs to be done even when you don't feel like it. {A Time to Clean: 30 Day Challenge} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

I, in no way, have perfected the art of self-discipline. There are some things I try and avoid at all costs. But, I do know how much better I feel mentally and emotionally when I tend to my tasks as needed rather than when the small mess has turned into a mountain. And sometimes I wonder why I make life so much harder for myself when it would really be so much easier if I just always did what I know I should do.

Maybe you’ve wondered the same thing about yourself.

In the winter months we spend almost everyday – all day – in our downstairs family room. The room is cozy and warm because of the fireplace. It’s our favorite place in the house – during the cold months.

 We spend very little time in the family room during the spring and summer. The problem with that has been pretty consistent over the years. Our homeschool stuff is in the family room. So, for half of the school year we do most of our schoolwork in the family room. During the warmer months we just seem to prefer being upstairs in the living room where it’s bright and sunshine streams through the windows. So, all of our school stuff gets carried around the house and stacked in other places and sometimes misplaced when it’s not put back where it goes in the family room/ school closet/ desk/ bookcase.

I really want this to change. 

I’ve lacked self-discipline in this area of my life for way too long. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to change if you want to see real change in your circumstances. It’s not easy. I’ve done it before in other areas of my life and even in my personality and how I react to things. So this is an area I need to work on.

What area of your home/ life do you lack self-discipline? Identifying the problem is the first step in making lasting change. The Good News is that Jesus will help every step of the way!

Today’s Goal

  • Think about which area of your life is most lacking in self-discipline. What steps do you need to take to make changes?
  • Remember that small steps of change will lead to greater success. Baby steps!
  • Pray about making hard decisions – about what things you should keep, preserve, or let go.
  • Pick up a journal and write down your thoughts about what He has shown you or print my free prayer journal.
  • Choose an area in your home you want to tackle. I’ll be working in my living and dining rooms today.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away. You can donate to our Appalachian Community Center if you’d like.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram – use hashtag #atimetoclean {optional}
  • Leave a comment below about what you chose to get rid of and anything else God has laid on your heart.
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow and spend time in prayer. Use your prayer journal. I’ll be waking up around 6:00 am.

My Progress

On Sunday I helped the girls with their room and we filled up two bags of clothes to give away. Yeah! The room isn’t done – I ran out of time, but it looks better and they’ll be working on it again today. I’ll be working on my family room. I’ve made some good progress in there. Slower than I’d like, but it’s still progress and I think today will see it almost done!

So, what are you working on?

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  1. I can totally relate to this. I'm working on cleaning the clutter now instead of ignoring until it becomes a mountain. Thanks for the challenge and continued encouragement.
  2. Today im working on our kitchen. We are a younger couple so when we were first starting out our sweet families were constantly giving stuff for the house. And since money was tight we hardley ever said no. Even in just six years we have accumulated alot of THINGS we thought we needed. I have spent more time avoiding these areas then going through them. This week will make a huge difference.Its been so freeing to clear out and bless others that need what we dont use.
  3. Just your graphic alone made me come check it out. Self-discipline and a pile of dirty dishes. LOL. That's me to a T! I have a horrible time with cleaning house. And I like how you phrased it as being a choice. I am choosing to leave it alone and do something else. thank you for this post. Thank you for that graphic. I am CHOOSING to clean my house. I have company coming tomorrow and it has to be done whether I really want to choose it or not. LOL. But it will be well worth it to see it all clean. i love clean. I just don't love to clean.
  4. First of all, I accidentally discovered your blog. With much delight and anticipation I look forward for the next daily installment. I am especially interested in the "uncluttered" segments. In todays installment, I identify with the dread of doing what I don't like and the mess that is there if I don't do it. So what is the worst of the 2 Evils? It brought to mind the 82 yr. old lady that worked 30 hours a week for me and sewed to make money at home as well as have a clean house and helped with her grandchild. When asked how she does it all, her reply it was; "I do everything for 5 minutes at a time". 5 minutes washing dishes, 5 minutes clean the toilet etc. She said that this work would be there when she came back for her next 5 minutes. It all got done!
  5. Since I stopped working I have gotten in the "routine" of cleaning the dishes before bed and making the bed in the mornings. My biggest routine I am having problems with is spending time with God in the mornings. Oh how clean my house would be if I didn't procrastinate sooooo much. Trying to do better....step by step. Thank you for your posts!
  6. We're currently in the process of moving and the mess can certainly become overwhelming. I'm currently struggling with keeping up with the normal household duties (dishes, laundry, vacuuming, homeschooling etc.). It seems easier to just leave the shopping in the hall instead of trying to fit it in the now messy/cluttered pantry/storage room. Or skip vacuuming as dragging boxes around makes it messy again (and the list goes on). But I know that will only make the mess bigger and there's really no good excuse. Some mess is inevitable when making a big move, but there's no reason to let it get out of control. Your post was a great reminder to stay on top of things. Thanks! Marianne www.preciselyhousewifely.com PS: Found you on Mix it up Monday blog hop.
  7. Self discipline is so hard for me, especially since I struggle with depression. It's hard to get motivated! Thanks for sharing (: Visiting from and would love a visit back.
  8. An excellent article. Closing the door on clutter is a decision--never thought of it that way. I love your sentiment that a tidy house is easier to clean than a messy one. Thank for adding your post to Foodie Friday and Everything Else.
  9. Hi there coming to you from http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/2015/03/one-project-at-a-time-3315.html I love this post and have pinned it and shared it on facebook!
  10. I'm loving this! You always bring such amazing things to our party. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you tonight at 7 at our party. I can't wait! Lou Lou Girls

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