Monday, June 1, 2015

June Goals: Habit Training

A lot of people have been talking about the power of habits on podcasts lately. Could I tell you which ones? Of course not because I didn't write it down when I was listening. Common knowledge is that we only have so much willpower to go around so if we have well-established habits we do those things without thinking. That allows us to save our willpower for something else, like eating chocolate cake.

Homemaking habits have saved me with small children. Washing the dishes as soon as we eat, starting a load of clothes first thing in the morning, and cleaning the kitchen before I go to bed all contribute to a smoothly running home. I've had personal habits for some time. I just get up in the morning and fix my hair and put on makeup. It's not always fancy but I'm presentable every single day. I've also started a new exercise "program" that I'm trying to make a habit. It does involve running in the morning so you know, it's less motivating than some things.

I've been trying to establish creative habits this year. So far I seem to have conquered writing every day and my weekly sketches. (And every day means at least 500 words a day, excluding Sundays.) I've been practicing the piano pretty much every day for five years but the piano lessons have helped me focus on what I'm practicing. That makes a difference too.

For June I want to add one new creative habit. I'm going to do one ten minute sketch a day (I always take Sundays off), excluding Tuesdays because I want to do my 20 minute #52for2015 sketch that day. Is this art fancy? No, it's certainly not. But my piano playing five years ago was less than fancy; it was horrid. And now I can play fairly competently. So in five years I could drastically improve my drawing skills as long as I don't let bad art stop me now. Everyone (with the exception of some prodigies) starts out doing things badly. You get better with practice.

I'm going to divide my page into four squares and do one square a day. I've actually been doing this for the past week or so to make sure it was realistic for life in this season and it seems to be. This exercise has actually been something I've looked forward to doing every day since I started working on it. At the moment I'm going to go with similar themes on each page like I did on the one pictured here.

Then a few other June goals.

1. Two reading lessons a week with Micah.
2. Finish memorizing Psalm 19 with the boys.
3. Go on one out-of-the-house date with Justin. We missed this for the first time this year last month.
4. Lay groundwork for a new project. (Was that mysterious enough?)

So what about you? What habits do you have that help your life? What habits would you like to start? Pick one and try it this month.

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