Do you struggle to concentrate on your homeschool when your house is a disaster? OH MY WORD, this is one of my hardest struggles. There are days that I have to absolutely force myself to continue a homeschool lesson when all I want to do is clean the living room.
It’s not just homeschooling, it’s life in general. I have a very hard time relaxing in my own home when it looks as if I let a bunch of monkeys decorate. When I wake up to a kitchen that didn’t get cleaned the night before, my day starts on the wrong foot. When I didn’t have the kids pick up the living room the night before, it takes on a life of it’s own by noon. When my bedroom is a mess (WHY CAN’T MY BEDROOM EVER BE CLEAN???? I digress…) then I find it hard to get to sleep comfortably.
There may be some OCD issues there. But who am I kidding? We all knew I had issues.
What I’m learning is that it all comes down to habits. Habit is my word for 2016. I just finished the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and I was fascinated. In an extreme oversimplification of his point in the book, our whole life is made up of small habits. From the side of the bed we sleep on, to our lack of ability to find time to exercise, it all comes down to the habits we have formed. If we’re having a hard time making progress in an area then trace it back to the bad habit that has created it and attempt to reform that habit.
Really. It’s that simple. Who knew?
I have epic issues with my laundry pile. Epic. Why? I have made it an unspoken habit to make Monday “laundry day”. That one decision gives me the excuse to not do laundry on other days. Guess what happens? Mt. Everest.
Do you know a secret I’ve discovered? Lean in…. if you do a little every day it doesn’t pile up! It’s true! I know, right???
I’ve developed a few triggers for working on my laundry. Before I unload the dishwasher in the morning I put on a load of laundry. During lunch I switch it to the dryer. Life changing. And that is not sarcasm.
Honestly, that is just one example of several things in my life that have changed with habit formation. I’m still working on a ton, but let’s just say that I’ve stumbled onto a goldmine.
As homeschool Moms, we help shape our children’s habits as well. If left to themselves, kids will not get out of bed on time, do their math when asked to, unload the dishwasher, or even read their Bible and spend time with God. We need to teach them these habits. Imagine how much easier life could be for our children down the road if we instill habits in them that will become part of their every day automatic life? Bible reading, exercise, saving money…the list could go on and on!
So, think about your life through the lens of “habit”. What is an area that you would genuinely like to change? Chase down that thought back to the habit that forms it, and see what you can do about it. It’s worth the effort, I promise.
And please share your successes!