My Own “10 Days Without”

My Own “10 Days Without”

I haven’t read this book yet but I want to.  From the short interview and the sample pages on Amazon I believe that it would be well worth it when I can.  The premise of the book was for the author to go 10 days without certain things.

The one that really hit me was the idea of distractions (see Words of Conviction).  I have developed the habit of watching TV episodes off the internet (I don’t own a TV or have cable service) and movies (online and DVDs) when I get bored or lonely.  It is a hard habit for me to break.  I’ve had limited successful attempts at times but nothing lasting.

So in the vein of the ideas talked about in The Power of Habit, I need to do an experiment and find something else to do when I get the urge to or actually start to let myself get distracted by media.  Believe me I have enough things in my life that I want, or need, to do to keep me busy.

Now let me be clear.  This is not a comment on anyone else’s life or their entertainment choices.  This is simply an issue I struggle with and want to do something different.  I’ve talked about this a lot over the years, so now it is really time for me to start to do something about it.  For me, it goes back to a quote I have from John MacArthur.

Sin is what you do when you aren’t satisfied with God.

I want to honor God in what I do, so I’m going to start in one area where I struggle.  I’ll keep track of my progress below and add any insights I gain through the process.  Please pray for me through these next 10 days.  Thanks.

Day, Daniel Ryan. 10 Days Without: Daring Adventures In Discomfort That Will Change Your World and You. First Edition. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2013. [Christianbook] [Amazon] [Barnes and Noble] [Alibris]

Progress and Reflections

= Done; + = PartialX = Missed

May 12 May 13 May 14 May 15 May 16 May 17 May 18 May 19 May 20 May 21
+ + / X / X  + + / X X X / +


— see the comments for my Reflections.

Self-Control Check-in 3x5
Self-Control Check-in 3x5
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11 Comments on “My Own “10 Days Without””

  1. May 21, 2016 — I was reminded that God created us in His image and desires to have a relationship with us. We will have needs and there is a sense that we can, through our own ability, accomplish things and take care of our needs. There will be times though when our need is greater than our abilities. But we can’t forget that God gave us those abilities and He can provide abundantly beyond what we can imagine we thought we needed. Sometimes it will be financially or materially but its always relationally. I can’t forget to honor God when He provides for my needs through whatever way He chooses. He gives good gifts to His children.

  2. Note: This morning two passages came to mind as I reflected on this process. Yes these are from two prophets who are speaking to the nations of Israel and Judah but the message is still true today.

    Jeremiah 4:3-4 NASB For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem,
    “Break up your fallow ground,
    And do not sow among thorns.
    4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD
    And remove the foreskins of your heart,
    Men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
    Or else My wrath will go forth like fire
    And burn with none to quench it,
    Because of the evil of your deeds.”

    Hosea 10:12 NASB Sow with a view to righteousness,
    Reap in accordance with kindness;
    Break up your fallow ground,
    For it is time to seek the LORD
    Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

    I guess it’s time to do a little plowing.

  3. May 20, 2016 — So you can probably tell from the table above and the updates below that this hasn’t been as effective as I would have liked, mostly because I didn’t exert as much self-control as I would have liked. I’ll need to revisit this moving forward and keep revising how I respond to the times I let myself choose to be distracted.

    One thing I didn’t do, which I probably should have, through this process is to do an hourly check-in with myself to note my thoughts, actions, emotions, and other pertinent matters (see the attached PDF). The column headings on the card mean the following: Sp = Spiritual; So = Social; M = Mental; P = Physical.

  4. May 17 — Got some things done, but spent a majority of the day distracted.

    Note: I’ve found that having an office to go to away from my home helps me focus more. Something to look into.

  5. May 16 — It was a good day but ended with me falling asleep while watching a TV episode. A habit I developed over a long time. Just have to choose something different to relax at the end of the day.

  6. May 13 — I got some things done that I wanted to (some sermon prep, reading and research) but not everything. Spent more time distracted by online media (DIY and car modification shows) than I would have liked.

  7. May 12 — I did pretty good most of the day, thus the addition of the + rating. Limited myself to 1 TV episode over lunch and then in the evening watched 1 TV episode and then a couple of past episodes of Nova on By limiting myself at lunchtime, the likelihood of watching media the rest of the day became less. The Nova episodes were informative so I don’t feel quite so upset about watching more than one, especially after keeping my brain engaged in activity most of the day. Being single plays a part in this. I imagine if I were married, my evenings would be filled with some kind of activity with my wife and less likely centered around watching TV, at least I hope so.

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