Old Habits Die Hard

Confession time.  I have accountability issues… If I tell someone I’m going to workout, I don’t. It doesn’t matter if I tell one person or all of the internet, it doesn’t happen. Somewhere, someone must have cursed me with some serious self sabotage and I’m not sure where it came from. My mom has always been really great at speaking life over me and encouraging me. Someday… I’ll take that to the Father and we’ll unpack it together and release it. But, I’m just not ready for that. Nor am I ready to commit to you all that I’m going to do it this weekend and report back next week. If I were to set that kind of appointment, I wouldn’t show up and then, I would have nothing to tell you next week. But, WHEN it happens, I promise I’ll share it with you.

So… accountability issues. If I decide to create a new habit, I don’t tell anyone. Not even my husband. I just do it… faithfully. Consistently. Maybe, if I only fail me, I don’t feel so yucky that way. I realize that’s really unhealthy, always expecting to fail so not telling anyone. I’ll get there… someday ;).

THIS year though, I’ve made some new habits and they’re sticking and I’m really happy with them. Honestly they’re SIMPLE habits that should have been formed in week one of marriage but, they weren’t. SIMPLE ones like sweeping the floor every night. I didn’t do it every night for 9+ years. Only 6 of that have there been children involved.

It makes a HUGE difference. I used to think it would take me 30 minutes to sweep. Can you say perfectionist? I thought I had to move everything to sweep therefore I put it off for weeks. NEWSFLASH! You don’t have to move everything to sweep. So if you’re also operating under this myth, toss it. And just sweep around it. Once a week or even once a month you can move it all and do a really thorough job but don’t use that as an excuse to do nothing.

Another new habit I’ve formed this year is it’s all done by 7pm. What? ALL. I cannot believe I robbed myself of 7 years, ok 6 if infancy of child #1 doesn’t count, of ME TIME or husband time in the evenings because I put off kitchen clean up till after bedtime. Yes, there’s a season for doing it after bedtime, but for real get it done by 7. Or a reasonable hour that fits your schedule.

For 6 years I’d wait. All the dishes would pile. The floor… well, I already told you that rarely happened. The counters needed wiped. Lunches for the next day would be made. And by the time bedtime was complete I was so exhausted I’d sit and veg for another hour. Then at 8, or later…, I’d decide I better go do the entire day’s dishes… and make lunches. The counters though, naw. The floor… what floor? BAD HABIT!

So, since the first of the year, it is done by 7 or as close to it as humanly possible. We eat at 5:30 (this will have to move back when the days get longer and I’ll find a new normal). When the kids are done, they get to wrestle daddy. If daddy is at work or sleeping, they help mama clean up or take a bath or dance with a select few YouTube songs.

While that after supper activity is going on, mama wipes the table, gets the dishes done, and sweeps. It takes 45 minutes intermingled with the necessary interaction of the wrestlers, break dancers, or breath holders in the tub. At 6:30, it’s time to settle them down with jammies, teeth brushing, bathroom trip, oils, stories and finally prayers. Yes, it takes 30 minutes. All the while, I’m squeaking in the table wipe down or the sweeping or or or. And by the time ‘Amen’ is said, I get to go relax!

This simple evening routine has allowed me to read 9 book since the beginning of the year! And embroider some very special toys. What new habits have you created in 2019? What new ones will you create this month?

2 thoughts on “Old Habits Die Hard

  1. I love this post because I’m trying to make it easier to be a mom myself. Totally relate to being exhausted when Terin goes to sleep. You’ve inspired me to try a different tack. Thank you!

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