I always wanted to be the person that made and kept New Years Resolutions but I am not. Far from it.
I used to make a long list of things and habits I wanted to change. I felt as if I could just check off everything on the list, I would be the person I wanted to be. However, it was impossible to change so many things all at once and by about January 6th I felt completely defeated.
As soon as I "messed up" on one of the resolutions I felt like a failure and had no motivation to continue. I would tell myself, "maybe next year?"
I have a FULL life at the moment. Taking care of our sweet baby boy, taking classes to finish up my AA, driving lessons, taking care of our home, losing the baby weight/ getting fit, feeding the family, as well as trying to have some type of social life; seeing friends, participating in a weekly Bible study and MOPS group. Wow. Even writing that down overwhelms me a little. It's do-able...even if not in the perfect way I dream it :)
I know I need to let go of some of my ideas and ideals about how this time in life should be, or how I should be in life. But at the same time there are some things, small things, that I can change but instead of trying to do it all at once, I need to do it one. small. thing. at. a. time.
Each month I am going to try and make one change. For January, I wanted to work on my oral health. Now, don't worry that I am about to expose some awful habits or neglect (well, I guess that depends on who you ask) but I confess to this point I have not been a regular floss-er! I always wanted to do it more, I know it's good for my teeth, but I wasn't in the habit, I would forget and before I knew it a week (or a month!) would go by and the next time O did it my gums bled and felt uncomfortable and did nothing to increase my desire to subject myself to flossing more often!. All that said, I wanted to make this change and so I decided to make flossing a habit.
Every day in January I flossed at night. At first I had to be very intentional to remember but as the days passed, it truly did become second nature. By the end of the month it was no longer something that required any brain power to remember. I guess it's true that it takes just 6 weeks to make a habit.
So now January is over, my gums feel much better and I am inspired to start another new habit.
Here is my February proposal - Hanging up clothes, or putting them in the laundry at night and getting things out for morning.
Sounds simple enough right? but I am a slob.
At the end of the day I change into pjs and my clothes from that day just fall where they land at the side of our bed. Day by day the pile grows. Laundry loads get washed ad dried without seeing any of my things and I am often found digging through the heap and sniffing to find something clean to wear(!) The discipline of putting dirty clothes in the laundry or clothes for a second wear back in the drawer has eluded me forever. Again, I think about it every now and then but it is usually when I am sitting warm in bed and see the pile growing...getting out of the cozy covers is just not going to happen at that point.
The other half of this habit is getting clothes put out for the morning. Doing all the thinking so even on only a few consecutive hours of sleep I can still look put together. This would also include putting out a work out outfit so that as soon as Levi goes down for a morning nap I can jump on the eliptical, and then as soon as I am done and showered I have another waiting for me to throw on because time is of the essence :)
I am not sure how long it will take to get into this habit and I want to make sure this one is sticking before I move onto something else. Even if I don't get 12 new habits by the end of the year, even conquering 6 or so will be a great accomplishment.
Small steps. But making each one count.