Saturday, November 3, 2007

SMART Habits Saturday

Things were going so well and then I made the same mistake I make EVERY time things get going good. It is very well summed up by these quotes from Karen Andreola, author of A Charlotte Mason Companion,

"The dangerous time to run out of determination is just before the habit is formed. For instance she may think, 'Becky has remembered so well up to now that I won't bother to call her back to put away her things this time.' "

"Years ago I made the mistake of allowing my children off from certain good actions on the weekend before certain habits were were solidly formed. My failing became apparent to me when I discovered that--like the month of March--Monday morning came in like a lion! To insure that Monday comes in like a lamb, those weekday actions of neatness, politeness, obedience, must be employed on the weekend too."

I do this all the time. I will get things running smoothly with steadfast routines, then all of a sudden I think, "We have worked so hard and things are going so well I think we all deserve a day off." I always think the kids will love me for giving them the day off. I always think I will get a sudden burst of energy after relaxing all day. WRONG! instead my house gets very messy, very fast, and suddenly my kids are surly, they fight (because they have nothing better to do), I get grumpy because they are fighting and the mess is so big that it makes me tired just looking at it. DSSH comes home to a messy house and no dinner and then I feel ashamed because he didn't get a day off and now he has to suffer the monster I've created. The list goes on and on. Why do I do this to myself? I think, even though I logically know better, that I have bought into the world's view of thinking that the highest goal to have in life is to have nothing to do. Well, I am way to young to retire, I haven't even come close to earning retirement, and it is a known fact that people must have something to do in life or they go crazy (why else do they have basket weaving in nursing homes?).

Therefore, my new SMART Habit this week is going to be keeping the momentum going. To get back on track with my other habits and stop taking "time off for good behavior." Here is my report on the other habits:

1. Jumping out of bed, making bed, shaking my booty till DSSH gets out of shower. I'm happy to say that I did this fully. It felt good to stretch and shake again.
2. Walking with kids to pick up Cookie from school. Eh, I only get a D- for this one. We drove 2 times and one time I actually left the kids at home because Sweet Terror was sleeping. Pablo is very good at watching the kids but I promised that would NOT be an excuse this year.
3. Dinner on the table no later than 10 minutes after DSSH gets home. Not good. I think I only did this twice.
4. Reading with my children. I am happy to say that reading the scripture stories with the boys every night has become a habit. We didn't do it on Halloween night and it just felt wrong. I'm still not getting in the reading with the girls though.
5. Organizing one thing every day and no T.V. until Friday. Totally bombed these. Watched TV 3 days this week and only organized 2 things.
6. No computer until AFTER school work is done. This one I get a big fat F- for. On Monday I stayed off the computer but we didn't get any school work done. Every other day I was on the computer before I'd even had breakfast. Not good, folks, not good.

Here is my game plan (today's to do list) for doing better.
-Make Homeschool Packets. I made a bunch of these and they work great but i ran out and was too lazy to make more. I get all their assignments together for everyday of the week, then all the kids have to do is grab and get to work.
-Get caught up on all chores so that on Monday the chores aren't so hard that the kids can't do them.
-Write two blog posts and answer an advice question today so that I don't have an excuse for getting online.
-Plan next weeks menu
-Get all laundry done so that we have socks and gloves ready for our daily walk.
-Figure out a reading plan for the girls and myself.

As I get these done I will come back here and turn them red. Happy SMART Habits Saturday to you all. For more great habit ideas check out The Lazy Organizer.


toddler said...

I am the same myself time of for good behaviour and then it is soooooo amazing how a tidy house can go to a house that looks like it has been hit by a train in under 24 hours!Good luck this week...

Family Adventure said...

Thank you for this. It is actually really helpful to READ this, even if you intuitively know some of it...


Amanda said...

good luck with your habits this week.

Ter said...

I hear ya. I tend to give up too easily (before the habit is formed)or I'll procrastinate. For example, after I eat supper I'll go sit and spend time with my husband before he either goes to bed or to work (depending on his schedule) at about 7pm, with the full intention of getting things done at that time but it never happens. But then if I just keep doing everything til it's done, I don't get to spend time with my husband before we're separated for the evening. Tough way to form a habit.

Cocoa said...

I do the same thing! I've also got a long list of things to do today so that Monday will be a better start to our week. Good luck!

Misty said...

I'm on the fence with this one. There are times that I REALLY need a break, and I take it. There is a high price to pay, and it highly depends on my mental state to decide whether I will pay the price cheerfully or not. We do, for the VERY most part, clean house every day. I function best in a clean home. I can't say I enjoy the work involved, but I'm most comfortable in my own skin, when my home is picked up, fresh, and smelling good.

Kristiana said...

What helps me is giving myself permission to check the computer when I get up. I don't know why, but I must check email and blog comments in the morning (unless I get up too late) then I can leave it alone while we do school. I read the regular mail and check email again after lunch and then I can practice my cello in peace.

I've just quit actual blogging in the morning and save that for late afternoon or evening when I don't have other things like homeschool that need to be done. A little computer fix in the morning has been a good thing. We've also quit doing school in the same room as the computer. Out of sight, (usually) out of mind.

I need a new reading schedule too. Reading at bedtime is great. Unless you're not there at bedtime 5 nights this week!

Good luck with your habits :)

Rebecca said...

I am always finding reasons I 'deserve' a break but then really it's just giving yourself more work to do in the long run and with less time. What a great reminder to be consistent with things. Good luck with your list this week!

Amber said...

GREAT idea on the chores. I find I often assign my daughter things that are well beyond her capabilities.

An Ordinary Mom said...

" ... the highest goal to have in life is to have nothing to do."

Excellent point! I think it is very important to keep the momentum going, but don't swing the pendulum too far the other way. You need to take some time to fill your cup up otherwise you will have nothing left to give. Even the Savior withdrew into the wilderness to ponder and be alone. The key is to find moderation in all things and to take breaks at appropriate times. It doesn't have to be all or none.

Just today Keri was asking if she could play and then make her bed. I said, it is better to get the work done and then play, kind of like how the Lord created the earth. 6 days of work and then He rested. Yes, I know, we ALWAYS have work to do, but deep down you know when the time is right to take a break.

Hopefully some of that made sense :) !!

One last side note. In the morning, reading on the computer helps me wake up so I normally check emails and comments and then I am more alert to say prayers, make the bed and face the kiddos. Just some food for thought.

Mountain Dweller said...

Your thoughts about "having a day off" were spot on. This happens to me on a regular basis!