So – those of you focusing on a change of habit this month… how’s it going so far? I personally have been surprised how difficult going to bed at 10:30 is for me.
Photo by gblock
When the kids are finally asleep, it’s so much easier to get stuff done. But the clincher is, my youngest is still not sleeping through the night, and when I’m sleep-deprived, not much gets done at all during the day. I operate on survival mode, and if I do that day after day, I burn out. And that’s not pretty.
Here are a few tips when it comes to changing to a new and better habit while juggling kiddos at home:
1. Don’t halfway it. Pick the most pressing thing in your daily life that needs to change, and be all about it. Commit to it. Assume you will be able to change, and tackle this habit with success as the goal. It might be hard to focus on a new discipline when the house feels like chaos, but focus on God’s applause and work heartily to the best of your ability. And live fully in His grace.
2. Only focus on one habit. Trying to stick to a new bedtime, work out five days a week, learn how to tap dance, volunteer at the local orphanage, and finally go to the Lincoln Memorial at the same time is just too much. Especially when you’ve got regular life to juggle, like carpools and laundry. That’s why we’re doing this thing once a month, one habit at a time. We want it to stick.
3. Get accountability somewhere. Find a fellow mom to call you in the morning if you want to stop sleeping in. Set a timer to go off if you want to go to bed at a certain time (talking to myself here). Even just telling a friend about your new habit gives someone an opportunity to ask you about it later on. Why not blog about it (shock, gasp!)? Then you can have all your kith and kin know about it.
4. Give yourself a little treat. When you discover that – wouldn’t you know it? – you’re staying on top of all your ironing, reward yourself. Spend one of the kids’ nap times sipping coffee and reading a book.
5. Take note of your triggers. Does checking your Google Reader first thing in the morning suck away 30 minutes of time you’d otherwise spend working out? Maybe wait to read your blogs after breakfast. Do you have more energy after dinner than just before bed? Maybe that’s the best time to do the dishes if you’re wanting to have a clean kitchen first thing in the morning.
6. Remember your reasons why. Write down your reasons for wanting to change habits. For me, my reasons are that more sleep would improve my health, would give me more energy throughout the day, would help me be in a better mood for my husband and kids, and would honor God by resting in His promises that He’ll always provide. I’ve got those written down in my notebook to remind me.
Have you discovered anything that’s helping you?