Habit training for me, continued
on the mark
Like I said in a previous post, I need a sign in the morning to point me in the right direction. Sometimes I wake up a bit fuzzy about my plans for the day. By the time I remember, "Oh! I wanted to do such-and-such today," my day is already going somewhere else. I don't like that feeling.
I need a reminder in the morning, but I really don't want the first thing I see in the morning to be a to-do list. Even after a cup of coffee, I'm not chipper about chores first thing in the morning.
What motivates me in the morning is waking up to something pleasant to do.
For a long stretch of time, I was in the habit of taking a morning walk before my husband left for work. When I got home from my walks, I had energy that lasted the whole day. I felt like I had found something magical in those morning walks. But, I let the habit slip, and my days sort of slipped as well.
I recovered from the slip by starting my day with drawing projects. Sometimes I went outside, but sometimes I went only as far as my fire escape or kitchen table. While I drew, I also asked the kids to do something creative too. They could pick whatever project they wanted as long as they could do it without help from me. Like the morning walks, this creative time got me moving. And once I started moving, I kept moving through the day. But, I let the habit slip, and that productive feeling started to slip, too.
As part of my habit training, I've been setting myself up for success by setting up signs to see right away in the morning. On the stand next to my bed, I put a useful thing to remind me how to start the day.
My exercise clothes remind me to take a walk. A measuring cup reminds me that ingredients for scones are handy in the kitchen. My Bible tells me that a chapter doesn't take long to read while still in bed. My sketching supplies make it easy for me to draw something. My craft box reminds me that the earlier I get up, the longer I get to work on my quilt project in the morning. You get the idea.
One sign is enough for me to feel motivated in the morning. It seems sort of silly, I suppose, to need something to jog my memory and to make me pop out of bed, but I do need it. It's been about two weeks of concentrated effort, and my morning habits are very close to how I want them to be.
My family is noticing our days are going smoother. And I'm noticing the next habit I want to work on...but not just yet. The morning habit needs about one more week of attention.
Both photos were taken at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx last week.