There is comfort in the routines of my life right now. I’m grateful for routines that keep family life moving smoothly when my focus is distracted by unexpected things. I was thinking about it yesterday and noticing the small areas that are not smoothed out yet - the habits we’ve been lax in, the jobs around the house we have yet to find a rhythm for. I’m trying to write them down as I notice them because I have a plan:
One new habit a month.
Yep, it’s pretty simple, but we’re all for easy goals here. Each month I’m going to ask myself “What is the one habit that we need to work on this month?” Most likely it will be the one that fixes whatever has been bothering me the most in the previous month. There may be a different habit to work on with different children.
Want some examples? At my house some of the things that bug me include:
- The shoes on the front porch. Go look at the picture at the top of this post. Really, that’s my porch today. With 8 people owning at least 2 pairs of shoes (sandals and tennis shoes), plus husband’s work boots and the occasional dress shoe, we’ve got a ridiculous amount of shoes on our porch. We have nice wire shelves out there to put shoes on but nobody – mommy included – has developed the habit of putting shoes on the shelves. Instead we drop them on the floor and everyone trips over them as we go in and out of the house.
- There is a certain child who never removes his dishes from the table. Ever. As it is not the 9 month old Caleb this boy needs to work on this habit.
- Another child, a girl, rarely remembers to step out into the hall and put her dirty clothes in the basket. She drops them by the bed and it’s as if she doesn’t see them anymore. Sigh.
- My desk! This one is pretty much all me – my desk is the dropping zone for papers, books, notes, and any other random thing I may have in my hand when I pass by on my way to another task. Time to work on my habits!
- Changing the toilet paper rolls when they’re empty. Am I seriously the only person in this house who knows how to do this? I just may be because I’m pretty sure I’ve never specifically showed my children how to do so.
There are more, I’m sure. I haven’t decided which one we’ll tackle first, but I am thinking it may be the shoes. I think it’s time I reread the free ebook Smooth and Easy Days from Simply Charlotte Mason to get motivated in our habit changes. I’m going to put it on my Kindle after lunch and start reading. It’s short enough I can read it during quiet time from start to finish and then maybe we’ll have a family counsel about what habit we are going to be working on.
What are some of the things at your house that drive you crazy, but could be fixed with just a simple habit change? I would love to hear your list in the comments!