We all have habits we already do on a day to day basis. Habits are things that just happen without us thinking about them anymore. We brush our teeth, make our beds, maybe we exercise regularly, eat meals, or wake up and have a cup of coffee. We do these things now without thinking.
The Power of Habits:
In a book called The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg he explained why habits can become automatic: “When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.”
I don't know about you but I would like some good habits that would help me in my homemaking to “unfold automatically”. Because there is the flipside: “The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits, and so if you have a bad one, it’s always lurking there, waiting for the right cues and rewards.”
What do we desire or crave? This is where we as keepers of our homes need to crave the right things to develop habits that help us in our day to day care of our homes. “Cravings are what drive habits. And figuring out how to spark a craving makes creating a new habit easier.”
Good Habits Create Freedom:
We've all heard it takes 21 days to form a habit (although new studies now say it could take up to 66 days). Whatever the time frame, we need to realize it takes time and discipline to form new and good habits. Taking care of a home takes time and discipline. It doesn't happen naturally without effort on our parts nor did God design it that way. He has designed us to work.
But all things should be done decently and in order.
~ 1 Corinthians 14:40
When we have built good habits into our home keeping they can become time savers for us and create more freedom into our days. When we work through the day efficiently, I can almost guarantee you that you will have more free time to do the things you enjoy doing.
Habits in Homemaking:
When I speak of habits in homemaking, my mind goes to the routines in my day. You may have bedtime routines for your children or things you do every morning when you wake up. You probably already have a system in place of cleaning up the dinner table when dinner is finished. These are good “habits” that help you to keep order in your day and accomplish tasks that need taken care of at the same time.
What are some habits you would like to form in your homemaking? My top habits that I get the most benefit from are my morning and evening routines. There are many habits built within each of them but they have become something I do now without thinking. They start my day well and help me to finish well and feeling prepared for the next day.
I can't determine what habits you would like to develop in your homemaking but I can encourage you to ponder and start small by doing just one. Maybe you don't clean the dishes up after dinner immediately and leave them until morning. Would you like to change that habit and do clean up the night before?
Your first step would be to identify where you need and want to change and the why. A reward can be a great incentive and it doesn't have to be external but can be the simple thought of how it makes you feel when you've accomplished the task set before you. It feels pretty good to not wake up to dirty dishes in the sink!
People lose their way when they lose their why.
Start small with little changes and maybe just one new habit at a time. This is why I have loved Flylady because they take one new habit every month that helps you in keeping your home.
Little changes do lead to big changes in your home. You and your family will be blessed with more time and less chaos. That's a good deal!
Community & Habits:
I thought this was an interesting take from the book: “The evidence is clear: If you want to change a habit, you must find an alternative routine, and your odds of success go up dramatically when you commit to changing as part of a group. Belief is essential, and it grows out of a communal experience, even if that community is only as large as two people.”
Community helps us to change. God wired us to be part of community. If you can find a friend to keep you accountable to each other it may be an encouragement to both of you. I love being part of your community here but I always encourage the face to face as the best way to grow in any area of your life.
What new habits are you hoping to form? Which one will you start with first? Mine has been exercise and my husband has been my accountability partner. I know it's not specifically related to my homemaking but it does help to give me the energy and strength I need to complete my daily tasks.
First we build our habits; then our habits build us.
~ Unknown Author