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Sunday, 25 September 2011


I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about self-discipline. Why? Because I don't have much of it and I NEED it. I need self-discipline for this fitness competition (ahem eating habits i.e. eating 12 cookies = bad idea); for my career (think about how well I could do if I didn't procrastinate ever); and for my family (I hate it when I get impatient and take over a task for Nia).

Anyway, eventually I decided to look to Google because as we all know, if Google can't answer my question there is little hope that an answer exists ;) I came across a blog post with a list of questions to help evaluate self-discipline in various areas of life. I really liked the questions because I found they had a dual purpose in giving me a direction for improvement as well as a reminder that I do have some strengths. For instance, I am not so great with a strict diet but I am fantastic at sticking with an intense exercise program. I am not so great at staying on top of mopping my floors but my children always have weather-appropriate clean clothes to wear and healthy food to eat.

I have posted the questions below and provided a link to the article. Once the questions are answered, and the areas you want to work on identified, the next step is to design a progressive overload program (like weight training) for yourself. Start small and work your way up. I would like my house to be ready for company 24/7. If people drop by I don't want them to find chaos. However, with small children this is a task and a half so in order to keep things simple I am creating a weekly cleaning list to follow. For instance, Thursdays will be bathrooms (this is where I regret all the bathrooms in my house lol) and Fridays will be floors (on the upside here I have a steam mop that I am in love with). Ok, so maybe my house wont look like it came out of a magazine all the time but I can do the best with what I've got.You will probably still find Thomas the Tank Engine sitting in front of my dish washer and craft supplies all over the dining room table BUT my floors and my bathrooms will be shiny.

Anyway, here are the questions:

  • Do you get up at the same time every morning? Including weekends?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you have any addictions (caffeine, nicotine, sugar, etc.) you’d like to break but haven’t?
  • Is your email inbox empty right now?
  • Is your office neat and well organized?
  • Is your home neat and well organized?
  • How much time do you waste in a typical day? On a weekend?
  • If you make a promise to someone, what’s the percentage chance you’ll keep it?
  • If you make a promise to yourself, what’s the percentage chance you’ll keep it?
  • Could you fast for one day?
  • How well organized is your computer’s hard drive?
  • How often do you exercise?
  • What’s the greatest physical challenge you’ve ever faced, and how long ago was it?
  • How many hours of focused work do you complete in a typical workday?
  • How many items on your to do list are older than 90 days?
  • Do you have clear, written goals? Do you have written plans to achieve them?
  • If you lost your job, how much time would you spend each day looking for a new one, and how long would you maintain that level of effort?
  • How much TV do you currently watch? Could you give up TV for 30 days?
  • How do you look right now? What does your appearance say about your level of discipline (clothes, grooming, etc)?
  • Do you primarily select foods to eat based on health considerations or on taste/satiety?
  • When was the last time you consciously adopted a positive new habit? Discontinued a bad habit?
  • Are you in debt? Do you consider this debt an investment or a mistake?
  • Did you decide in advance to be reading this blog right now, or did it just happen?
  • Can you tell me what you’ll be doing tomorrow? Next weekend?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your overall level of self-discipline?
  • What more could you accomplish if you could answer that last question with a 9 or 10?

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