A Year of Habits, no. 2
“Good habits are not acquired simply by making good resolves, though the thought must precede the action. Good habits are developed in the workshop of our daily lives. It is not in the great moments of test and trial that character is built. That is only when it is displayed. The habits that direct our lives and form our character are fashioned in the often uneventful, commonplace routine of life. They are acquired by practice.” -Delbert L. Stapley
Two phrases in that quote jumped out at me: “the workshop of our daily lives” and “the often uneventful, commonplace routines of life.” So true. Life is fascinating, isn’t it? In many ways, the boring stuff is the meat because what we do in those workshops, those commonplace routines, decides all the rest.
I’ve been working on the workshop this week. My first task is to master the daily schedule, for it is the key to success in every other area. Each day was different, and I didn’t get to everything on every day. My two youngest children got sick on Thursday, with another getting sick on Saturday. Given the usual challenges that come with illness and the hours of sleep lost by them and me, I feel really good about the degree to which I managed my “ideal” schedule this week.
Here goes (in no particular order):
First up, the habit of planning. I did a ton of it on Monday in Las Vegas. Since that day I’ve had countless thoughts and ideas come to mind to help me implement plans. I was also able to take care of some specific action items in regards to individual children because I planned to. I’m working on a weekly planning agenda that will help me stay on track.
Second, housekeeping. One of my major goals for 2011 is to improve the housekeeping habits for all ten of us. I can’t claim many inroads in the children’s habits yet, but my own efforts have made a big difference. We’ve been tidying our bedrooms before school in the mornings and again before dinner. The house hasn’t been this clean for this long with so little time spent on it. I’m excited about my progress and will share more details as they become real habits. Right now they’re still fresh starts.
Third, the habit of finishing. I’m really good at dreaming things up. I’m good at starting. I’m often good at finishing… eventually. Deadlines help, but too many things wait around for too long until I get to them. So, I’m going to become a finisher. I finished a few things this week. Most of them are simple and just need a few minutes of attention.
Fourth, creativity. I did something creative every day. I worked a little bit on physical things, and also spent time being creative in playing with children, caring for my home, etc. On Saturday afternoon my sister came over for a couple of hours and we did some sewing. We had a great time and I worked on a secret project…. more to come soon!
Fifth, Spiritual Growth. I did a better job of starting my mornings with the scriptures. I didn’t do it every day, but most of them. I’ve been reading a lot in the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy. Such treasures in there!
Sixth, Physical Health: I implemented my plan for daily exercise. Lack of sleep threw the schedule off a bit, but it was a great start.
Last, Reading. My intent is to give myself 30 minutes to read each evening before bed. The end of the school term created a lot of upheaval in our evening schedule last week, causing late nights. In the past 3 days I’ve had about 6 hours of real sleep due to sick little ones, so the reading got lost. I did start a new book, however, and have a strict reading schedule for myself over the next month. I’m only about 20 pages in but am really enjoying it so far.
So there it is. A much better beginning… I feel so grateful for the Lord’s help in accomplishing many things this week and for His help in showing me better ways to organize and take care of things for our family at this stage in life. I am so excited to see where these efforts lead.
Wishing you a great week,