Encouragement, Word of the Week


Part of getting back into my own work and not focusing entirely on parenting is building good work habits and routines. Just when I would start to find my footing this summer there would be a camp-out, or family trip, or crazy week with open houses for five kids in three different schools…

But every day is a chance to try again, and so I try again.

One of the things I’ve learned about myself over the last year is that I am also ADD, so strong habits are even more important for keeping me on track than I ever realized. Although his brothers started school last week, today is the first day of school for my youngest. Finally, a set schedule, five and a half hours to myself to work, do housework, and rest!

According to “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg it takes 21 days to create a new habit or change a bad one. I found this to be very true summer of last year when I got in an excellent habit of walking, journaling, and writing. Unfortunately it only takes a few days to fall back into old habits and all my new habits were part of the same cycle so most of that went out the window last fall. The habit loop is really basic there is a cue or trigger, followed by a routine, and then a reward. When you have gone through that loop enough times you begin to crave the reward and anticipate it so that the reward itself becomes part of the cue. For my walking habit it was my husband got and was with the boys (cue), I would go out and walk (routine), then brag to myself about how my walk went in my journal (reward). The walk became the cue for journaling, which in turn inspired my writing here and round and round we go. But when my boys still needed my help with school work in the evenings it threw the whole thing off track.

This time I’m working to stagger starting the new habits I want to develop for this new adventure I am on, so hopeful they wont become so intertwined that I loose the whole thing if I miss one element. I also have the benefit of nine months of stability (knock on wood) before my daytime schedule enters an erratic summer break.

So that’s where I am. Is your calendar affected by the school schedule? What are some habits you are trying to build this school year?

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