So yeah, I am basically the little pig below, but dancing to the refrain: fail fail fail fail fail.
Because I am failing still, but I continue to feel great about my progress. It’s really weird. Maybe at the end of this year, I will no longer feel so positive, and I will deem the entire effort a big, huge failure, but I doubt it, because even if I only keep up with a few of the cards, it is still better than how I was doing before, so really, a win all in all. (And a massive run-on sentence! LOL)
Here is the problem: I haven’t been following the rules with all my cards. And also I have no daily checklist to remind me of them. I mean, I HAVE one, I just don’t use it. I need to set up some sort of phone reminder thing. Anyways…the rules…
- The habit must be small.
- The habit must be worded positively.
- The habit must be accomplishable daily.
- The habit must be tied to some other thing or must have a reminder built into your day somehow.
Card 1: Make Bed –> This has been my greatest success. Probably because it perfectly fits the rules. When I see the bed unmade, I am reminded to make it. It takes zero emotional toll to do it after 3+ months of daily bed making.
Card 2: Facebook only in the bathroom –> I am no longer strict with this, but the spirit of the card has been accomplished. I only get on Facebook once or twice a day, even if I am dying to respond to someone’s comment on a thread (and you know some of those threads have been getting heated if you follow me on Facebook).
Card 3: Smile to feel happier–> This is going super well. I do have a little reminder post-it in the car, but it has truly become habitual, and it forces me to break some of my grumpy cat moods.
Card 4: Learn Spanish 10 minutes a day –> Yeah. Some days yes, some days no. Duolingo stops reminding you if you miss a couple days, so I need to start that back up. I also have a workbook that I want to use, so I will be fixing this card this month.
Card 5: Plug phone in living room –> Seriously, this one is the bane of my existence. I have a million excuses for this, from my phone needing to be replaced with old phones (with a succession of different chargers) until finally now I have a working phone, but I also had issues getting my charger downstairs (I know it sounds so simple, but… kids). And now we rearranged all the furniture downstairs and I lost my charging point set up, plus I keep wanting to listen to Audible while I get ready for bed. Sigh… This goes into the “fix” pile.
Card 6: Make things dim and cozy before bed –> Hooray! I am doing this. Now I just need to start doing it earlier.
Card 7: Relaxing music before bed. –> This only happens when the hubs wants to listen to music and I have to turn off my podcasts. “Fix” pile.
Card 8: Ten minute tidy up in the evening –> I tidy up too much during the day when I am procrastinating working on things (like this…) so I tend not to at night. “Fix” pile.
Card 9: Sleepy yoga. –> Totally not doing it. “Fix” pile.
Card 10: Hugging the kiddos –> Still getting in a few extra hugs a day, but I need to work on this to feel like I am doing enough to quell the voice that tells me I am not a good mom.
Card 11: No Facebook/Work afterschool –> We have been on school break for two weeks, so I will have to see where I am at with this. I am far more cognizant about this at the very least, but I really need a quality time habit stack with the kiddos to make this happen.
Card 12: Speak gently/look in eyes –> I have been a bit more gentle. But I rarely take the time for eye contact. I like to “Move it Move it” all the time. “Fix” pile.
Card 13: Drink agua and dance in the morning –> You already know I am not doing this because it was spring break and I lost track of nearly everything I wanted to accomplish. “Fix” pile.
So…how to fix? My evening habit stack (cards 6-9) needs a lot of help, mostly because once I finish putting the kids to bed and making lunches and doing the dishes and picking up and doing any necessary paperwork, I am SPENT and I just want to stand in the kitchen and obsessively read the news to figure out how worried I ought to be. Obviously this is not healthy, as I spend zero minutes relaxing and then wonder why I can’t sleep.
The habit stack fits the rules above.
How on earth can I get this habit stack kick started and make it stick? Well, I was listening to the Nutrition Diva podcast (4 Tips For More Mindful Eating) and she talked about a routine where she puts on her gym clothes as soon as she finishes her cup of coffee, and it has become an automatic routine that helps keep her from sitting around snacking. So I think I will modify my evening habit stack routine by creating a few new cards to go into the stack.
Card 14: Put on gym clothes after getting “last water” for the kiddos, and before reading books with them. This way I will have a limited amount of time to change, so I won’t dawdle or avoid.
Card 15: Go out for a walk or run. I am a total night owl and I love nothing more than looking at the starts. I rarely saw the stars in Singapore because it is such a well-lit city, but when I walk around the pond/lake in my community, I see many. I have already been doing this fairly often, so it isn’t too much of a stretch to make it mandatory. The minimum will be to walk to the end of my road and back, just so the parameters are set and it isn’t too mentally overwhelming when I don’t feel like it. If I can get myself outside, hopefully that will help me disconnect from my typical evening routines. (I am so committed I even just put my little stretchy phone holding thing on my shoes for later tonight. I will zip my phone in it so I don’t get caught up on it.)
Card 16: Read the news at lunch. I think this will help my evening stack if I have some dedicated time every day to read. It is my absolute favorite thing, and it always comes first even when I am mostly reading things that stress me out. I will probably fair better with my nightly stack if I know I will have some time to read the next day and can successfully put down the phone.
New Nightly Habit Stack
Step 1: Card 14–Put on gym clothes after getting “last water” for the kiddos, and before reading books with them.
Step 2: Not a card, but I have to do dishes and make lunches.
Step 3: Card 6–Make things dim and cozy.
Step 4: Card 15–Go out for a walk or run
Step 5: Card 8–Ten minute tidy up
Step 6: Card 7–Relaxing music
Step 7: Card 9–Sleepy yoga
Step 8: Card 5–Plug phone in
Things are going well, NOT. LOL, but I STILL HAVE HOPE! I am such an optimist. But really, I can totally kick these cards in the pants this month. :D
Posted by Watch Mom Try on Monday, April 10, 2017
AHHHHH! I did it tonight! One night down! Many many many more to go…
Afternoon Habit Stack to Fix Cards 10, 11, & 12.
To fix cards 10, 11, and 12, I need an afternoon habit stack. As long as we don’t have a playdate after school, we head home from school after a bit of outdoor play, at least until it gets dangerously hot out here. I think that by doing the following two things in a set order I will call my Afternoon Habit Stack, I can create a routine that will let me do cards 10-12 fairly automatically, thus ensuring my chance of success will be greater. :D
Card 17: Set up books to read with the kiddos while they are eating their snack.
Card 18: Sing a special song to the kiddos that involves touch and eye contact.
The Special Song: The More We Get Together (but with new words)
The more we read together, together, together,
The more we read together, the happier we’ll be,
‘Cause my books are your books, and your books are my books,
The more we read together, the happier we’ll be.
I’ll sing this to each kiddos, facing them sitting down, with our hands pressed together doing hand motions I made up. This ought to give us some special connection time before we read and spend time together.
New Afternoon Habit Stack
Step 1: Make the kiddos a snack.
Step 2: Card 17–Set up books to read with the kiddos.
Step 3: Card 18–Sing special song with each one. Finish with a hug to get cards 10-12 done.
Step 4: Read books with the kiddos of my choice and their choice.
Step 5: Do yoga and maybe a kids meditation book thing???
I am not feeling optimistic about my chances of accomplishing this stack this week or next, but I will do my best. My dog (who retired in Arizona with my in-laws) is at the end of his life and will be put down soon, and my grandmother is ill. I’m preoccupied, but of course, the kiddos still need an engaged mama, so I will do my best. I will update my progress in a few weeks. Cross your fingers for me!