10 Helps for Building Habits

 Posted by on January 29, 2013  1 Response »
Jan 292013
 

Help for Building Habits at Habits for a Happy Home January is the month so many are working on, hoping to and longing to establish new habits. And, yes, we are a website devoted to Habits for a Happy Home. So, here we are at the end of January. How are you doing? You may be wondering how do you make habits stick? Today we share all the best – from each of our authors – from the archives.

We invite you to pin, bookmark and save this post to your favorites. Come back and visit often! Because habits are not just for January but the whole year through.

Excellent post full of encouragement from Angie about Habit Formation  Once something is a habit, you don’t even have to think about it, you just do “it”. Isn’t that a gift because if we had to think about every single action we took, we would be beyond worn out.

Forming Habits – The Ones We Shouldn’t Have are the Easiest to Form. Sherri says, “When I have formed a habit, it’s usually because I have taken the time to write something down on my calendar and keep doing so until I don’t think about it anymore. I just do it. If I think I might forget to do something, I’ll set a reminder on my cell phone like an alarm or I’ll send myself an email. I also write myself notes EVERYWHERE.”

Fight Fire with Fire  – Kendra says 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.

IMG_0390 The Habit to Remember - Trisha shares a wonderful, visual way to build a habit of remembering.

Help for Making Habits Stick For me, over the years with babies, toddlers, stacks of school books, hungry mouths and now towering teens, these are the basic routes I’ve discovered for seeing results in building habits. The habits for building habits, if you will

Making Habits Stick: 31 in 31  …other avenues for habit building. One is making three goals to reach in 30 days. So, three habits in a month. 3 in 30. But this is the one that I really like…

In His Ways are not Our Ways Kim A. reminds of the basis of all. Put love first, and let everything else fall into place…schedules, schoolwork, chores.  All important things, but remember “the greatest of these is love.”

Habit formation: What About Our Own Habits? by Angie includes a Getting Started Plan.

Psalm 139: 1O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.

IMG_8070 Stuck? Try Micro Goals by guest contributor Cassandra Frear. “When I’m stuck in a rut or intimidated by a large project, this works like a miracle. It makes possible things I never thought I’d be able to do.”

And let’s not forget the Power of Prayer by littlesanctuary. “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:26-28

Bonus! Return of the Routine. Free ebook download through 1/31/13.

We invite you to subscribe so you won’t miss any Habits for a Happy Home.

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

~ by Tricia at Hodgepodge

How are you doing with forming habits? What are one or more things that have worked for you this new year?

Aug 252011
 

When I have formed a habit, it’s usually because I have taken the time to write something down on my calendar and keep doing so until I don’t think about it anymore. I just do it. If I think I might forget to do something, I’ll set a reminder on my cell phone like an alarm or I’ll send myself an email. I also write myself notes EVERYWHERE. Some things never really do become habits. I have to constantly remind myself to do them (like dusting the furniture or filing paperwork).

And then some things easily become habits and they are good habits to have, such as: going to church, reading my Bible, praying, cooking for my family, paying the bills, writing (I never have to remind myself to do this). I do have to remind myself constantly, however, to take my vitamins but I know they are good for me and that it is a habit I should form.

It seems like the habits that we need to make are hard to remember and the ones that we shouldn’t be doing – the things that are bad habits and should not be a part of our everyday lives – do not take an ounce of effort. They just slip right into our schedules without a thought. There are many of these. Laziness. Grouchiness. Watching too much television. Staying on the computer/online too much. And there are many other things in life that become habitual that we need to kick out. For me, as a little girl, it was sucking my thumb. Boy, it took forever to stop doing that!

First of all, you need to define exactly what habit you want to make and what habit you want to break. After all, if you don’t know what you’re going after, how can you accomplish it? Continue reading »

Making Habits Stick: 31 in 31

 Posted by on August 23, 2011  4 Responses »
Aug 232011
 

In my last post on making habits stick I mentioned Flylady’s one habit a month. Since then I’ve been reminded of other avenues for habit building. One is making three goals to reach in 30 days. So, three habits in a month. 3 in 30.

But this is the one that I really like. My pastor shared that he tries to make it a habit to read a Proverb a day. There are 31 Proverbs. So one for each day of the month. Just one a day. So, say you start off with good intentions and read Proverbs 1 on the first day of the month. Then you fall behind and suddenly it’s the 4th. It’s ok. Just read Proverbs 4.

My pastor shared the age old, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Then said,

“How about a Proverb a day will keep the devil away.”

I think we can all say that would be a great habit to build. And a simple route for making a habit stick. For me, the key is keeping it practical, building a new habit onto another habit that already exists. Reading a Proverb a day could naturally be the start of or follow my morning quiet time. Or it could be something the children and I all do together, right after breakfast. It could even be a new habit for around the supper table or tucking in time.

What do you think?

-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to middle school. She’s forsaken life in the drive thru lane for the road home. She contributes a blend of writing at parenting, homeschool and frugal living sites. You can find her facing that daily dose of chaos at Hodgepodge. Tricia is a.k.a. Hodgepodgemom.

Fight Fire with Fire

 Posted by on August 15, 2011  3 Responses »
Aug 152011
 

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.

His Ways are not Our Ways

 Posted by on August 10, 2011  2 Responses »
Aug 102011
 

It is my turn to post.  I am late, actually.  Several catchy articles compete for attention in my brain, all having to do with habits:   “Top Ten Habits for a Clutter-Free Home,” ” How to Keep Children Interested in Schoolwork,” and “Habits for Keeping Hubby Happy.”  All may be written someday, but right now my heart is heavy with my friend’s burden.  Her two and a half year old daughter is in the hospital facing cancer, surgery, and chemotherapy.  Three older siblings stay home under the care of relatives and friends while Mom and Dad keep vigil over Baby’s bedside, unable to attend to the needs of their other children.  Friends from our homeschool group reach out with food, transportation, childcare, house cleaning, cards, and prayer support.  I can only imagine the shock I would feel at such a diagnosis for one of my children, but for the dear friend, the shock is a reality.  So I want to remind us to remember the habit that really matters…love.  Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.   Then let His love pour out through you into your husband and children.   Give a hug, read a story, get up early and make a special breakfast.   Listen, really listen, to your teenager.  Let that love spill over to other believers, especially those hurting or in need.  Send a card, bring a casserole, take your friend’s children to the park so she can have a much needed rest.  Jesus said believers would be known by our love one to another.  Put love first, and let everything else fall into place…schedules, schoolwork, chores.  All important things, but remember “the greatest of these is love.”
Wife and homeschooling mother of three, Kim enjoys reading, writing, and watching old movies. A self-proclaimed chocoholic, she also loves to cook and bake. You can find more of her musings (and recipes) at thedaisymuse.com.