I’ve been working on something Big and Important and Impressive.
I have been planning out my new daily schedule for when I return home. (I know, I know; this seems pretty mundane to you, but I live for this stuff.)
First, I’ve listed all the new behaviors I want to accomplish, such as Going to Bed Early. Cooking a Healthy Dinner, and Going to Yoga. Next, I have assigned each new behavior to a particular time of day. I’ve tried to arrange them in an order that will be easy to remember, so that as I repeat these behaviors over and over, they will become habitual.
FlyLady has written about arranging your daily tasks into a sort of dance routine. She advises you to group tasks together into threes, to help you remember what needs to be done. At first, just like learning a new dance, it will seem difficult, but ultimately it will become second nature to you, and the steps will flow together smoothly : One, two THREE! One, two, THREE!
So, I did that. I grouped my schedule into nine sections – three for the morning, before work; three for the afternoon, when I come home; and three for the evening, before bed. Each time period has three categories: PREP, MYSELF, and HOME. For example, the morning looks like this:
- PREP: 1- check my calendar; 2- reflect/pray for my day; 3- go to yoga.
- MYSELF: 1- shower/skincare; 2- get dressed/do hair; 3- eat breakfast.
- HOME: 1- swish/swipe bathroom; 2- put in a load of laundry; 3- defrost something for dinner.
Yeah, it’s basic stuff, but sometimes I have let things slip when I was in a hurry (which can translate to “when I stayed up way too late the night before;” in other words, “more often than not.”). You know, skipping exercise; skipping breakfast; skipping a morning chore – it becomes way too easy to tell yourself you will get to it later.
I am impressed with the schedule I have laid out for myself. Maybe a bit too impressed… I am a little worried that expecting myself to adhere to the perfect schedule is just asking for trouble.
It reminds me of a “Cathy” comic strip that hung on the refrigerator door at the old house. Cathy was listing all the things she had scheduled for her day: “Write in journal! Exercise! Cook healthy food! Meditate! Write affirmations!” (I can’t remember the exact words, so I am winging it here.) In the final frame, she remarks something like, “The problem is, I have one full-time, non-paying client.”
That’s the worry. I know that all my schemes are ambitious. Sometimes, I wonder if there is time to fit everything in; time to do it all, let alone do it all well! But I have faith that, in time, these things will become habitual and will just happen on their own. You know what they say: even the most undisciplined of us have routines – they are just routines filled with bad habits instead of good habits.
Here’s what a “Bad Habit Morning” might have looked like for me:
- PREP: 1- hit snooze; 2- hit snooze; 3- wake up in a panic.
- MYSELF: 1- shower/no skincare; 2- throw something on/leave hair wet; 3- hope to grab food at work.
- HOME: 1- leave wet towels lying around; 2- leave dirty clothes lying around; 3- have no plan whatsoever for dinner.
Obviously, replacing any of those habits with better ones will be an improvement, so I should not look at this new schedule as something oppressive and onerous, but as something that will put into place good habits that support my health and my daily life, instead of bad ones that stress me out and make me unproductive. See? The new schedule is not a chore; it’s a gift to myself.
I’m grateful for the beautiful view from our new location in North Wales. What unbelievably gorgeous countryside this is. David has just gone to fetch fresh eggs from a nearby farm, I am blogging, and Q is getting ready for homework time. It’s been a very good morning.