1.25.2015

Life at Home: Self-Discipline



Our Life at Home series continues with the topic of self-discipline. We have already begun to discuss the very important topic of self-discipline with regard to shopping and eating, and now we are looking at where we need it at home. Self-discipline is extremely important to have at home because at home we are our own bosses, we set the tone and no one (unless you live with your parents) is going to set it for you. Sometimes this freedom runs away with us.

I believe everything boils down to needing self-discipline at home. It could be that you need self-discipline to not reach into the cookie jar all day long, or binge-watch reality TV. It could be that you need self-discipline with how you communicate to your spouse (otherwise known as biting your tongue) or with keeping your home office in order. Many of you expressed the desire to change how much screen time you use each week... this is where self-discipline comes in handy!

This week's video answers the question: why even bother with self-discipline? Why not just do what we want to do and live how we want to live? Check out my video to hear my response. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

This week I would love to know... what areas of your home life require more self-discipline than others? How do you plan to implement your changes? Let me know in the comment section below. On social media use the hashtags #LifeatHome #MADAMECHIC

News
She is Little,She is Fierce blog writes of Lessons from Madame Chic: "this book is perfect. You need it STAT!"

Tips on Life and Love recommends At Home With Madame Chic in their article: Clutterbugs, Beware: 10 Books for Organizing Your Home.

Italian readers: The marvelous Edy Tassi, who translates the Madame Chic books into Italian, has written a blog post about At Home With Madame Chic on her blog. You can read it here.

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Practice self-discipline with the small things. This week, put your belongings away immediately after you use them. This goes for everything from the sugar bowl to the blow drier. Don't leave anything for later... with intention, put it away as soon as you can. Notice how this small change exercises your self-discipline muscle and will inspire you to become more disciplined in other areas of your life.


Testimonial
Of Lessons from Madame Chic, loganperin writes on Instagram:

I'm currently a 19 year old exchange student in Japan from Ohio, and the other day I saw this book in a store. I've always been interested in French culture so I bought this book on my Kindle. WORLD CHANGED. I've been incorporating these into my daily life and it's amazing what a difference it's made. I've been very homesick... This book has helped me turn my exchange around and given it a whole new meaning. I am truly grateful.

Thank you! I hope you enjoy every moment of your exchange in Japan. I am so happy to hear that Lessons from Madame Chic has inspired you in such a way.

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26 comments:

Marija Charlton said...

Hi Jennifer,

As always, it is a pleasure to watch your weekly video!
With regards to self-discipline, I have you to thank for assisting me with shopping - mainly clothes shopping with the 10 Item Wardrobe, but other things too.

The other day, I was walking through a department store on sale, when I passed two women, with one saying to the other:' Get me out of here, I can't stop myself!'
It then hit me that I no longer feel like this when shopping. I now go out with firm ideas of what it is that I am buying, and I am in control, sale or no sale.

As I was walking away, I smiled to myself, and wished I had your book with me to give to the two ladies...

With the warmest regards,
Marija

Rose said...

I need self-discipline (also) with filing and with not procrastinating on small tasks, too often I decide not to do a small task until I can do the "lot" such as window cleaning. Those two will be my focus for this area. Thank you Jennifer.

Lollyg said...

Jennifer,
Thanks so much for this inspiring series!

I need self discipline to challenge myself to seek out the arts. Too often, I let these chances for life enrichment pass me by! Please, could you devote some time this year to tips in this area?

In the meantime, I am enjoying all of your work!

Thank you!
Lisa

Ladylike said...

The area of my life that requires the greatest amount of self-discipline is in responding or not responding to those people who are irrational, unfair, or ungrateful, those who hurl accusations, in short those who don't exercise self-discipline in their own communications. It is so tempting to give them the lashing they deserve and so hard not to. You wrote about this in your first book, and I'm thankful for the encouragement.
--Alexandra XXX

Dina finds said...

Hi Jennifer,
thank so much, Jennifer. I tend to think everyone else is doing it all with ease...
Two things I struggle with: making the effort putting simple make up on in the morning rush, and putting things away after use - we don't have a lot of stuff but it seems to be constantly messy just because I always think "I will do this later"
Thanks
Dina

Sandra Seidel said...

Dear Jennifer,
Self-discipline...ouch! My two biggest are my computer (how did I get so many unread messages?) and food/meal planning. We waste food & sometimes I worry our diet isn't as balanced as it should be.
I'm so thankful that I fould you. You have such a caring way of expressing yourself & I so appreciate you.
Kind regards,
Sandra

LadyFin said...

I get a lot of inspiration about self discipline thinking about our grandmothers generation and how resourceful and creative the women of that generation were!

I struggle the most with daily tidying when I feel wiped out. I am 4 months pregnant with a toddler and really struggle at the end of the day after my daughter goes to sleep. I want to just go to sleep too!!

Summer Smith said...

I need self-discipline to not procrastinate about the small organizing and keeping clean the hot areas in our house. Also, putting my clothes away after I wear them. Instead of just dutifully hanging them up and putting them in the dirty clothes hamper they end up in a pile on my dresser and then overwhelm me! ;)

I will say that setting the timer, for 15-30 min. & listening to a book on tape helps me a lot. And helps me to get enriched culturally at the same time.

I also have felt a change in my thinking when going shopping like Marija Charlton mentioned. It feels so good!

Edy Tassi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edy Tassi said...

Hi Jennifer,
thank you so much for sharing my post and for this interesting new video. You are right, at the end of the day everything boils down to self-discipline.
I always need self discipline with the writing. As I am afraid not to find the right idea, not to find the way to express it as I want, I often give up and tell myself I'll do it tomorrow.
So I have to sit in front of my computer e tell myself, "now you write". Even if it'll be all rubbish, now you start writing".

I'm looking forward to see your next video.
Have a nice week!
Edy

Dianna said...

I had a baby late last year, and I'm working on my self-discipline in two areas: (1) to stop snacking and eating as much as when I was pregnant, and (2) to get the housework done while my baby sleeps.

Earlier I tried stopping snacking altogether, and it didn't go well. At the new year, I set a smaller goal to avoid snacks between breakfast and lunch, and I've succeeded every day! Once that feels natural, I'll work on my afternoon or evening snacks.

Setting smaller, more reasonable goals works best for me. When I try to do too much at once, I fail spectacularly, no matter how badly I want to change.

Inkfanatic said...

Hi Jennifer,
I completely agree with you regarding self-discipline! Man o Man, are there areas I need to work on, lol.
In general, I've tried to make this the year of making better (all around) choices, so this goes right along with that :D
Probably my biggest area is meal planning & creative use of leftovers (or just eating them!), as Sandra mentioned. There are just two of us, and no kids. It shouldn't be such a big deal. But it's hard to cut everything in half a lot of times, and not everything is great reheated. We are much better than we used to be about food waste, but certainly could improve still.
If I could pick one thing just now, for you to elaborate on, it would be meal planning! :D
Thanks for all you do & share with us!!

Katya said...

I need self-discipline with controlling my phone usage in front of my sweet children (desperately need it!!), treat self-control as you are working on yourself, and also, self-control with cleaning as I go, instead of waiting until the kids are in bed at night to clean up (which usually results in leaving the mess until the following morning!)

Emily Spence said...

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for such a wonderful post! This really resonated with me. My intentions for 2015 are to get rid of a few bad habits that have developed due to a lack of self discipline. A big one for me has been keeping my phone out of my bedroom. I can get so easily distracted and be scrolling through Instagram until the quite late, and if I wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom I would often have a quick look at my emails or Facebook. How terrible! I have no doubt it was contributing to my poor sleep every night. My husband had started to call me 'glowworm' due to the glow from the screen in the dark! I now keep my phone in the kitchen overnight and am using a travel alarm clock instead (the time isn't lit up unless you touch the alarm). It's only been a month and already I feel so much better. I'm sleeping well and I feel proud of myself for having self discipline.

Warmest regards

Emily

LilyBart said...

Thank you for the thoughtful post and video.

My problem is: tardiness (yes, I'm ashamed to admit that I'm late for almost everything) Not very chic and elegant.

LunaStitches said...

I need self discipline to go to bed earlier. I've always been a night owl, but sometimes lack of sleep gets out of hand. I hate going to bed - love the quiet of the night and sometimes just can't make myself get out of my chair to start my bedtime routine.

Because poor sleep affects all other areas of my life, I've determined to improve in 2015. I hope I have more energy for things I really want to accomplish, can resist afternoon sweets more readily, am not so tardy all the time, etc.

Laura Kelly said...

Hi Jennifer! I am loving your life at home series. Home is sacred to me and I love all you have to say about how having a quality life begins at home.

I though you may find this article interesting since you love the arts and making time for the arts is an area you are focusing your discipline. It addresses a possible solution to the decline of those who regularly patron the arts.http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/how-art-institutions-are-changing-their-business-model#.VMZIbZyZd2Y.facebook

Lisa said...

Hi Jennifer:

Thank you for this post. I've been thinking a lot about this subject lately. I came up with two areas I need to practice better self-discipline; first, grocery shopping. I'm totally wasting produce because I get so carried away and almost always food shop when I'm hungry. Such a bad habit. Second, I need to work more on taking better care of myself. Thanks for getting me started.

Best Regards,

Lisa

Susan said...

Hi Jennifer
I'm a long time admirer of your books and blog, thanks for your part in making the world a better place and inspiring us likewise.

Whilst I'm the last person who could be described as self-disciplined, one phrase that does motivate me on my efforts in this area is 'the freedom of discipline'. Once those habits you speak of are established, there's lightness, flow and freedom to be found on the other side.

The goal is not the act of self-discipline but the reward of self-discipline. Thanks for the timely reminder to try harder.

Warm regards
Susan
South Africa

Nicole W. said...

Specific, positive habits are the key for me to feel strong, empowered and successful. For me, the word discipline is loaded with too many negative feelings and experiences. Being consistent, finding motivation, behaving in an accountable way (to myself, family, career and community), and building ways to get support/feedback are all skills that can be developed over time in ways that want me to keep going.
Your books and blog are chockablock of great information for developing positive habits that improve my life one bit at a time.

galant said...

My self-discipline waivers when I get on the computer and look at lovely blogs like yours!!!
By the way, have bought the St Ives Apricot facial scrub and the moisturizer you recommended, and I do like the scrub - not so sure about the moisturizer, but I will give it more of a go than just one application before I use it on my body rather than my face (not that my face isn't part of my body; I think you know what I mean!)
All good wishes,
Margaret P

Rebecca Sheffield said...

Housekeeping! We always go a little longer than we should between vacuuming or dusting. The mail sits on the table a little too long. That kind of thing. I've tried a variety of schedules but none last very long because they're too ambitious or kind of ignore the natural rhythm of my day (I'm at work all day, married, with a 10 month old daughter). And, frankly, I'm really lazy and dislike the activity.

I love Susan's comment about "the freedom of discipline" and finding the reward of it, rather than doing something for the sake of "having self-discipline." We're all motivated by a sense of reward and the reward of having done it isn't enough for me. I need to think about the true reward. Not having a pile of cleaning to do on the weekend? Not worrying about someone stopping by and the house looking a wreck? Not having to look at yesterday's mail still on the counter? I need to spend a little time and energy on this!

And I totally relate to chowing down on goodies. If they're not in the house, I don't think about it. But put some freshly baked cookies in front of me and it's on!

Kathryn Bechen Ink said...

Great post, Jennifer! Yesterday while doing my ironing and home tidying, I played your YouTube videos, most of which I have not watched before. I especially liked the one where you tell young women to dress in a way that they will attract a quality man who values them, and not just any man. Wise advice! As a former teacher, I also like that you are teaching what you are about dressing for beauty and self-respect to the world of young women! Your little daughters are so very lucky to have you as their Mom. :) Kathryn

Kristien62 said...

There are two areas of my life that lack discipline- watching TV and dealing with clutter. My home is relatively free of extraneous items. But then why did I say "dealing with clutter" is a problem area? Because it is all in the attic. When I can't figure out how to handle an item, I shove it in the attic. And-you guessed it- the attic is a nightmare.

Also, since I retired, I have developed the habit of sitting down at lunch and watching "a program" which turns into two programs or a movie. This is especially problematic in the winter when I really hate to go outdoors. Any suggestions from readers are welcome.

Ladylike said...

Hi Jennifer, I want to finally address your second question, which is about implementing changes, the hard part. I find that my husband is my greatest ally in finding the elusive self-discipline in challenging communications. I run my intended reply by him, and he can usually tell me what the probable response will be to any of my proposed communications. It is also helpful for me to express my feelings about the recipient to my husband instead of to the person directly, since the latter route usually does not bring about the desired result. This way I get my feelings out, without making the conflict worse. After all, even if the other person is mistaken, and I feel I am in the right, it is usually not productive to express this. People are defensive, and to me it's preferable to put an end to unpleasant conflict rather than prolong it. My husband is handy to have around, but a good friend could be able to serve a similar role! In short, two heads are better than one! The pre-communication conference also allows for time to pass, so that I have time to reflect on what the other person is saying (maybe there is something to it?) before releasing any anger that has been triggered. Why bother with this amount of self-discipline? I feel so much better afterwards knowing I restrained myself, and didn't say all those things I was thinking!
--Alexandra xx

Evaline said...

To Kristien62__does your community have a swimming class, Nordic walking group, or library book club?

If so, maybe you could try something like that to get you away from the TV.

I personally enjoy the Nordic walking as it gets me outside on the trail in my local park and it is inexpensive...just the sticks, some walking shoes, and a water bottle. The sticks help my balance and posture.

Good luck!

 
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