When we decided our topic for August, I was both excited and apprehensive. I was anxious to hear what all my fellow bloggers had to say on the subject, and fearful that I would never be able to come up with something to contribute myself! See, much like Trisha, I have a terrible memory. Since we had children, I just feel so scatterbrained all the time. Like I’ve had pregnancy brain for the last 10 years, and only a few of those years I could actually blame it on pregnancy. So often in our house, I see a habit that I need to work on, or I read some great thing that would benefit our family, and we might even do it once or twice… but then we let it go. It just gets forgotten. Buried among all the distractions. So I don’t have any great wisdom to share, only a couple very simple coping strategies.
I think that technology is probably to blame for a lot of the habit-issues we have. We all know what a time drain it can be. Our lives are driven by devices. Devices that distract us so, so easily. So I guess I’m fighting fire with fire here, because I use those same distracting devices to help me with habit building. For me, this is the modern day equivalent of a string tied to my finger.
First, I use the calendar program on my computer. This is Outlook, but I’m sure most of the calendars out there work much the same. This little list is all the things that are coming up. Of course it contains all my appointments and our family’s scheduled activities, but I’ve also added things that I want to remember to do. Things I’m likely to forget. See there at the top of the list – my reminder to write this post And down there near the bottom, a reminder to clean the bannister & stair rails – something that doesn’t need to be done often, but if I don’t have a reminder, it will not be done at all.
Then for more short-term things and one time reminders, I set alarms on my phone. During the summer we had a rule that if chores were done by 7 PM, the kids could stay up an extra hour for some family time. The second one is to remind me to water my front porch plants. And the last one was to make sure I remembered to bring some books to a friend at church.
Now that we’re starting school, I’m going to take advantage of these tools even more. We fell out of the habit of having a family devotion time before school. I’ll be adding an alarm on my phone for that one. I also want to make some time for us to get outside and do a little PE each day. We’ll have an alarm for that one too. And I want to remember to celebrate some of those fun random, everyday holidays, so I’ll go through and add them to the calendar on the computer.