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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How I plan of keeping my New Year's Resolution ~ Part 1

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So every year it's the same thing.  I make a New Year's Resolution basically just for the sake of making a New Year's Resolution.  Usually, I don't even attempt it.  It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I am overwhelmed and can't even figure where to begin.  I want to change things, but daily life happens, days rush by, and before long my so called "resolution" is all but forgotten.

But, I wanted this year to be different.  There are things in my life that I have been wanting to change, and I was finally at the point where I felt like I couldn't take it anymore.  I was constantly overwhelmed and frustrated.  I had so much to do, but by the end of the day, not much of anything had gotten accomplished.

So, I sat down an thought about what really needed to change, and here's my list:

  1. Quit yelling at the kids so much, and come up with some better form of discipline.
  2. Get healtier.
  3. Get my house more organized, and keep up with house work.
  4. Be more responsible with time & money.
Sure, it's a great list, but how could I make sure that these things actually happened instead of becoming next year's same old resolutions?  So, I prayed and prayed to no avail, but then something hit me.  I was asking God a question, but never slowing down enough to listen for the answer.  And so, I started sitting down daily and just listening.  I was in the habit of morning "prayer time".  I put parenthesis around it because prayer is supposed to be about talking to God, but I had turned it into a daily duty to be rushed through just so I could say I had done it.

So, I started sitting down and just listening.  I mean, I would say a quick "good morning God.  Thanks for the family, house, and waking up this morning, etc"  But then, I just determined to sit there, drink my coffee and say "I'm here, and I'm listening!"  And I did.

And then, one day, I just felt it.  I was running around the house, and suddenly, I remembered a book I read years ago called Look Great, Feel Great by Joyce Meyer.  It was about living a healthier lifestyle through better food choices and exercise, but she talked about instead of trying to completely change your eating & exercise habits all at once to take baby steps and focus on forming one new habit at a time.
So, I prayerfully considered my list and determined that a major factor in all these is I always overextend myself.  I don't mean to.  It's just that I want to do all these things.  Plus, I always grossly underestimate the time it will take to get something accomplished or I forget about other commitments I have made already and say "sure!  I haven't got anything going on!"  Then, later when I start to remember all the other things I have to do, I am like "oh goodness, why did I agree to this!"

Then, I discovered The Pomodoro Technique.  You can download the e-book for free here.  But the idea is soooo simple:  WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN!!  I may be dating myself here, but DUH!!!  Why didn't I think of that???  lol

So, first things first.  I started saying "no" to everything.  Until I get my schedule under control, I am just assuming that I don't have time for anything else on my plate.  Now, I am talking project wise...I'm not saying I won't go help out a family member or something like that if they are in an emergency situation, but people are always asking me to make things for them or go somewhere with them, and I just say yes without even thinking about what I already need to do. 

So, I grabbed a composition I had lying around and a pen and labeled the pages Monday-Friday.  Then, I thought about all the house work I wanted to get done every week.  It was a pretty short list, and I just divided them up among the days of the week.   I would share my list with you, but I found these cute free printables.  And she basically, has everything I had written down, and I love the way it's arranged so that the daily duties are there, then you have space to add something from the weekly duties list (things that need to be done once a week).  These are probably the best laid out I have found.

Now, I am going to work on completing that list every day until it becomes a habit, and then, and only then, I will move on to phase two.  I have been doing it for a while now, so that should be pretty soon.    I have to say, having a list to check off everyday makes it so much easier not to get distracted.  Not to mention, now that I realize how little time it actually takes out of my day, it is so much easier to just get up and do it!  I haven't timed myself or anything, but lets just say I usually roll my lazy behind outta bed at 8, and I manage to get quiet time (about 10 mins) drinking my coffee and reading my Bible, breakfast, kids dressed + teeth brushed, I dress myself, me & the kids make our beds, do school work, plus get all of my house work done by about noon!  Then, I've basically got the rest of the day off!  Well, except for cooking diner, but aside from that I can spend time with the kids, craft, blog, visit family, whatever!  And the great thing is I am actually enjoying it because I am not worrying about all the stuff I should be doing!

Lately, I have been spending the afternoons decluttering .  I have done some serious work in my sewing room and kitchen... pics and posts to come soon.  I also joined  Ask Anna's 14 Day Challenge. I have followed her blog pretty much since she started it, and I'm telling you this woman can clean anything!  So if you haven't checked her out yet, you should definitely check out her blog!

 But that being said, I guess my whole point is that instead of focusing on some perfect system someone else came up with, I am finally focusing on what I need to do for myself and my family.  I am not trying to completely transform myself or my body or my household in one day.  As Joyce Meyer always says, "it took more than a day to get into this mess and it's going to take more than a day to get out of it!"  But so far I am doing pretty darn good if I do say so myself...and I do...  ; )  lol

I'll keep ya' posted! 


Amy @ Increasingly Domestic said...

That is GREAT! I too have been doing Bible reading as well as a short list of housework chores each morning before I allow myself to do anything else and I LOVE IT! I am doing the Clean Mama challenge and she makes it so easy to get things done!
Anyway, Happy New Year! Here's to a more productive year!

Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life said...

This is a great post! I really sat down and thought about my goals this year. And then I broke each one down into smaller and then still smaller still tasks. And I have promised myself to work on one at a time! I, too, tend to just try to "fix" everything all at once and then get burnt out and back to the way it was before. I think making each new step a habit before I move on will help to reach my long term goals. :) Good luck to you.

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