Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Defining Character- Self-Control

Self-Discipline- the act of disciplining or power to discipline one's own feelings, desires, etc., esp with the intention of improving oneself

Self-Control- the ability to exercise restraint or control over one's feelings, emotions, reactions, etc.

Last month I declared the month "Self Control September".  Looking at the definitions above I should have named it Self-Discipline September, but I think they are pretty interchangeable.  Of all the fruits of the Spirit, self-control was definitely my weakest.  In fact I have even blogged about trying to get better with self-control/self-discipline here, here, and here. And I just remember my pastor JD saying in one of his sermons that you are only as strong as your weakest spirit.  So I am continually trying to work on this area of my life.

So what did I do to focus on my self-control in September?

1. I gave up soda (diet and regular) for the month of September.  I didn't drink a lot of soda anyway, but I would usually have a diet Mt. Dew, diet Dr. Pepper, or diet Coke just about every day.  All those chemicals can't be good for you (even if they are calorie free).  I did pretty good.  I had a cherry limeade that I think had Sprite in it, but other than that, no sodas.  Since the month has ended, I have kind of limited myself to just one mini (7.5 oz) soda/day.  I do notice that I get more headaches, but I also feel less bloated when I am not drinking soda.  I hope to keep them to a minimum from now on!

2. I had a virtual fitness partner!  I don't know what I would have done without Amber this month!  Each week we would send each other a summary of how we did the previous week as far as eating and working out.  At first I wasn't tracking my calories, but Amber was and she inspired me to get back on the bandwagon with that.  I thought I was eating pretty well, but it is different when you are tracking everything you eat!  I would often think before eating or skipping a work-out how this would look on my weekly report to her and it kept me from making some bad decisions.  I took this week off from counting calories and my 10K training program because I needed a break, but I hope we can continue our weekly reports because they have really helped me stay on track!  P.S. Go check out her blog!  It is one of my faves!

3. I started a 10K training program similar to the couch 2 5K program.  I'm up to week 6 and it is tough.  I'm up to over 4 miles/run and try to get all 3 runs in each week.  I think this helped me a lot too because I didn't want to get behind on the training program, so I would force myself to run on days even when I didn't want to.  I took this week off, but I had my 5K on Saturday and finally came in under 35 min!  My previous PR was 36:58 and I ran this one in 34:47!  I know it is still so slow, but hey it is an improvement!  Maybe one day I will break that 30 min. mark!

4. I've been using this app called "Home Routines" to stay on top of things around the house.  I have a morning checklist and an evening checklist and then a weekly checklist.  Here they are:

- Breakfast
- 15 minute focus/devotional
- Let dog out
- water animals
- get fresh and clean
- make bed

- Feed cat and dog
- Collect dirty laundry
- put away clean laundry
- shine sink (put everything in dishwasher and clean out sink)
- wipe down kitchen
- sweep floor
- run
- 100 sit ups
- swish and swipe bathroom
- take out contacts
- brush teeth
- pray

- Vacuum
- Mop
- Clean bathrooms
- Dust
- Brush Cam
- Go through mail basket
- Switch out towels (in bathrooms and kitchen)
- clean make up brushes
- clean out litter box

I didn't always mark off everything everyday/every week, but I aimed to get 90% marked off. 

5. Re-do budget.  I switched jobs this month.  I am still doing the same job, but I am a permanent employee instead of a contractor.  I used to get paid weekly, now I get paid twice/month.  I used to pay for my own health insurance and had no 401K, but now I have benefits through them and a 401K, so I had to re-do my budget.  I got my first paycheck this weekend, and I had to adjust my estimates a little (taxes are freaking outrageous!) but now I have my budget nailed down.  I am still doing envelope budgeting and I love being able to see where all my money is going.  Expect a whole post about budgeting later this week!

So there you have it.  I think self-control September was a success!


Jane said...

I think it is great that you devoted an entire month to improving your self-control. The pastor of the church I attend has been preaching for the past month on attitude, and he defined self-control as "the ability to bring yourself under the control of the Holy Spirit."

Congratulations on PR'ing your 5K time! :-) Every improvement is a victory, no matter how big or small. What a great accomplishment!

Erica said...

Chris has tried to get me to count calories for a while as a way to lose weight. I fought him on it left and right, but I finally gave in when I found an app called "Lose It". I'm only on week one, but it has worked great so far! I've come in under my calorie count everyday and it's so easy b/c they even list name brands and restaurants. Congrats on your running!!

Millie said...

Wow! Great job. Sounds like September was a huge success and I'm sure you'll keep it up no problem!

Kelly said...

I need to improve my self control in terms of delicious Halloween candy all over my office!

This is such a good attitude - for September, for life!