7 Personal Disciplines: A 90 Day Challenge

I’ve always been considered a fairly disciplined person. There are certain disciplines that have made me who I am today.

In especially busy or stressful times of life, however, I do not always feel as disciplined in each area of my life. I may excel in one area, but not in another.

The only solution I know to remedy a lack of discipline is to add discipline. I also know that if I repeat a discipline long enough, it becomes a habit – part of the DNA of my daily life. This process has worked for me before. With that in mind, I’m adding some discipline to my life. I’ve done this before and it forms healthy habits I carry on throughout the year.

For the next 90 days, I’m attempting to improve in seven areas of discipline.

For the next 90 days, I plan to add these 7 personal disciplines:

Eat – I am what I eat many times. When I over-eat or eat the wrong foods I gain unnecessary weight and don’t feel as well as I should. My goal here is to average eating between 2,000 and 2,200 calories per day and to monitor the type foods I eat.

Pray – I know prayer is a life source. I’ve seen the results of prayer. Prayer doesn’t always change things the way I’d want them to be, but prayer always changes me. It gives me strength, comfort and confidence. Why don’t I pray more? My goal is to pray throughout my day, recognizing God is with me always.

Read – I need to be regularly reading my Bible and supplementing it with Christian and leadership books. I can be legalistic about Bible reading, but the discipline I need is to read it for relationship (with God), not just for education. Part of being discipled by others happens as I read other work. My goal here is to always be reading through a Bible book I’m not preaching about, journal about my Bible reading and to read at least one chapter of another book every day.

Write – I’m introverted, so I process information many times by writing. I’m fairly disciplined with my blog, but I have some larger projects I should be working on. My goal here is to average one hour extra writing time per weekday. I may do that in a couple days per week, but want to maintain that as a total hours each week to write.

Exercise – I know this is a secret to my productivity. My goal here is to do cardio 4 days per week minimum and exercise with weights 2 days per week.

Sleep – Through my life I haven’t usually needed a ton of sleep, but that has changed as I have gotten older. My goal here is lights out by 10:15 and to take short power naps as needed – and not feel guilty about them.

Pause – Anyone who knows me well knows I have a hard time staying still long. I do take a “Sabbath” and believe everyone “rests” in their own way, but this is a discipline to have some time during the week where I do absolutely nothing. My goal here is to have a 2 to 3 hour time each week when I pause from all activities. (I can assure you this will be the hardest discipline to complete.)

I’m excited about living a more disciplined life.

Do you want to join me? Would you commit to disciplining yourself in each of these areas over the next 90 days?

You can change the details of each discipline, you may need more calories or less, you may choose a different exercise, etc. (For example, the graphic I used is from when I did this several years ago. I no longer run like I did then. I’ll likely do this time on the elliptical or with fast walking.)

The key is to be disciplined in 7 critical areas of your life.

And don’t be legalistic about it either. This is not meant to bring another burden to your life. It is meant to help you be relieved from some – eventually. If you mess up one day just begin again the next.

Who is with me?

Which of this will be hardest for you to do?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 27 Comments

  • Michael S Lawrence says:

    Great post Ron. My hyper penchant for physical activity makes it hard for me to be disciplined with reading my bible and doing nothing, resting. Those are very hard for me. One thing that has helped me recently is building habits for things I normally do not do naturally well is blending or creating a hybrid habit when possible. For example: I listen to some of my favorite sermons while working out or cleaning the house.

    • Ron Edmondson says:

      Good call. Yes, I’ve always said that everyone doesn’t “rest” the same way. It requires adapting discipline and habits to individuality.

  • […] or the mind’s thought processes. Ormrod 2008 explains self-regulated learning, which includes personal disciplines such as goal setting, planning, self-motivation, attention control, application of learning […]

  • Really helpful post Ron – I've joined you although have adapted parts to suit where I need to restart. It's making a difference already. Thank you

  • […] been a few days since starting a 90 day challenge a mate told me […]

  • I am joining you. I am commiting to disciplining myself in each of these areas over the next 90 days. (My intention is to get disciplined in 7 critical areas).

    I was looking for such a opportunity. Thank God, you sprung up with this idea at right time. Hope, I will be able to share the success of this 90 day exercise with you.

    Out of the seven areas, my hishest concentration would be on —

    * Praying
    * Reading
    * Exercising
    * Sleeping

    Here we go!!!

  • David Roseberry says:

    I'm in. Beginning tomorrow.

  • Sara Miller says:

    This is great. I will accept your challenge. :). My life has been feeling like its scattered everywhere lately. Getting a routine with some set disciplined is where I need to be. Thanks for the challenge.

  • Nate says:

    This is exactly what I needed struggling being disciplined as well right now. If you don't mind, what program did you use to create your idea chart?

  • TJ says:

    Wow.

    I like this idea. I like your list. I think I need to do the stuff on your list–like, all of them. =)

    But…I just haven't figured out how to get it to all fit in to the time I have.

    I'm going to think about it, though; knowing someone else is doing the same thing is a good motivator for me. =)

  • @andredaley says:

    I am in. As an introvert as well I resonat with some of the patterns and need to be more intentional in a couple of the areas.

  • Carissa
    Twitter:
    says:

    Me! I’m all over the place right now! 2 hardest will be sleep and pause.

  • A. Amos Love says:

    Ron

    Those personal disciplines sure sound good – to the natural mind.

    I know it’s hard to believe… BUT… I see it a little different. 😉

    “Personal Disciplines” are more heavy weights placed on folks shoulders.
    Just a few more “laws” I can’t live up to. 🙁

    And the focus is on me – What is Amos doing? Accomplishing?

    The focus is NOT on Jesus – What is Jesus doing? Accomplishing?

    Best thing I ever did, for me, was throw away the scale and trust Jesus.
    Throw away all the “Personal Expectations” of what makes Amos a better christian. Better person.
    Learned Jesus loves me just the way I am. And He is setting me free from “Personal Expectations.”

    Those who are led by the Spirit – those are the sons of God. Rom 8:14.

    … the strength of sin is the law. 1 Cor 15:56.

    But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Gal 5:18

    • ronedmondson says:

      Most of the time when it deals with living free I'm with you but I also believe there is a need for discipline and accountability. Perhaps I'm like Paul:But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV)

  • I am in my brother. I would love to join you. Grace and Peace Pastor James Owolabi

  • Laurinda says:

    YES! I needed a good motivator. I'm in the process of buying my first home. I feel like my life has been derailed. "Home Buying for Dummies" did not prepare me for the process. I'm nearing the closing date and moving. I needed something to kick me in the butt and get back into these great habits.

  • Glenn Metts says:

    I love this Ron! I too need to be more disciplined. I will accept your 90 day challenge! I love the quote…I believe it may have originated with John Maxwell… "Keep doing what you've always done and you're always going to get what you've always got!" I definately want to build good disciplines into my life that will move me to be a more Christlike in every area.

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