Know your habits

All of us have bad habits. Some have more than others, but we all have things we would like to change. I will not even go into the whole list of habits I would like to change, but I’ve decided that there are several I want to work on:

Habit #1 – I tend to leave clean laundry in the laundry basket for too long.

I absolutely hate putting laundry away. I have no idea why, but I would seriously rather clean a bathroom than put laundry away. Not even just my bathroom. I would clean almost anyone’s bathroom if I had the choice between that and laundry. Then my clothes inevitably get wrinkled and I end up throwing some things back into the dryer with a wet washcloth to smooth them out again. How incredibly inefficient! So I’ve decided that I am only allowed to do one laundry load at a time. That means that one load must be fully put away before I start another. This should prevent the backlog.

I also discovered that I like putting away clothes better when my kids are around. I guess folding laundry is just boring to me. If I have a little guy nearby who wants to pretend to drive the ‘semi truck laundry basket,’ I”m much more likely to keep going.

Habit #2 – Leaving doors, drawers and cabinets open.

I used to be so good about this! Get a pen, close the drawer. Get a snack, close the pantry. Get a cup, close the cabinet. Simple, right? (Insert giant Family Feud buzzer sound) Not simple anymore. As I write this, I’m staring at an open pantry door. Ridiculous! It takes 1/2 a second to close it. (I just got up and closed the pantry door by the way). After baby #2 came along, I got a little flustered. Oh, and I always have a baby in my arms. So I just open and grab and walk away. Now I usually go back and close everything eventually, but in the meantime it creates a couple of problems:

-It looks messy.

-It can be dangerous. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bumped my head or a knee or elbow. And it’s even more of a safety issue for my little ones!

-Open drawers, etc encourage those curious little 3 year old hands to look inside, even if it’s a place where he knows he isn’t supposed to be lurking….Knife drawer, hot water heater closet, etc.

So this one should be easy to fix. It’s just about being aware of my tendencies and doing something about it.

Habit #3 – Not drinking enough water.

I just don’t really like water…so I don’t drink enough. This, in turn, makes me tired and achy, which makes me crabby, which makes my family crabby, which is a problem that is completely preventable! So I have a couple of options that will hopefully encourage me to hydrate sufficiently!

-We already have some Gatorade and Crystal Light mix. I need to utilize them more often. If I don’t feel like I’m drinking just water, I’ll drink more of it.

-I need to monitor how much water I actually drink. Some days, I’ll realize it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and I”m still on the first glass of water. So I’m devising a little chart that I can magnetize and monitor how many glasses I drink each day (pictures to come!). Now this won’t be fool proof and I won’t use it every day, I’m sure. However, it will make me think about it a little more and when something is in the forefront of your mind, you tend to take action a little more.

Example, many experts suggest taking 10,000 steps per day. I put a pedometer on for just day-to-day and realized I walk between 5,000-7,000 steps in a regular day, even if I don’t do any specific exercising. Now, I don’t always wear the pedometer and I don’t always get to 10,000 steps. But when I wear it, I see how quickly I can get to the goal during the day. And when I don’t wear it, I try to take extra steps just to be sure I’m maximizing my daily routine. Just by thinking about it, I have been able to change a bad habit into a good one.

Lessons Learned:

-Everyone has their own method for completing tasks. Find what way works for you in a particular task and heck with everyone else. Do it the way that YOU will actually get it done.

-Take care of your health so that you have the energy to take of the other things in life. Self devastating habits hurt more than just you. So drink that water, eat a carrot, take the stairs, quit smoking, whatever you need to do to inject healthy habits into your life.

-Habits DO NOT change overnight. Give yourself a break if it’s hard to establish a new routine. When you cut yourself some slack, you are more apt to continue to make changes.

There are several more general habits I would like to work on, such as being an over-zealous multitasker, but I will get into that later. For right now, I’m going to focus on making several small changes that will make my life easier, healthier and safer.

And I know I’ve said it before, but organizing is not just about where you put your stuff. It is how you function, how you live, how you feel. So evaluate your day-to-day situation and see if there are small changes that could make a big difference.

What habits do you want to work on changing?

~Erin

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