Forming Habits

Several months ago I wrote about a personal characteristic that makes my life hard. I have no idea how to develop a good habit. I have never in my whole life learned how to acquire a good and healthy habit. As a child I never made my bed, I never worked on my science project until the weekend before the fair, I never kept a planner. Now as an adult I don’t floss, I don’t exercise regularly, I don’t spend 15 minutes each night tidying up the house.  I never work on anything little by little. I’ve always gotten away with starting and finishing projects in one n8652397443_164bae8daf_bight. I’ve learned to deal with sleep deprivation.

But I hate this and the only way to be a successful adult and especially a successful mother is to create healthy habits and work on things a little at a time. I don’t have the luxury of hours of uninterrupted time. I can’t starve feed my kids or leave them to their own devices for the day. But I also feel helpless looking at the pile of habits a highly efficient adult needs that I don’t have an ounce of.

One comment I got on that post was:

I feel like I have lived my life the same way. I am having trouble pulling myself out of this pit.

That’s exactly it. I feel like I’m in a pit. I am stuck. I don’t know how to build a habit and as I have come to find, building a habit is slow, nonlinear progress that involves a whole lot more regress than I’d like to admit.

Being a Mexican mother means being a perfectionist. A relentless, unswerving, not even slightly ashamed perfectionist. If you are depending on me to do something for you, I am awesome. I would love to have ten of me to work on things because it would be done on time and it would be awesome. But if you are actual me it sucks. I kill myself to produce perfect things and my poor family gets the brunt of it. Especially Brandon, he gets drill-sergeant-me screaming at him to help.

Anyway, back to the comment. I am right there with you. Hearing that someone else struggled with this, too, made it easier to move on. What can I do to change? What can I do to learn patience with progress?

Well, that’s what I am trying to figure out. I spent 2013 playing around with different systems, figuring out how many things I could try to change at one time. Which meant I pretty much spent a year failing. A lot. At stupid things, too. Like finding myself incapable of brushing my teeth at night. But I have learned that habits are hard and I have learned that I cannot change a million things at once.

So here’s to 2014. Here’s to clawing my nails into the dirt to pull myself out of this hole. To try and figure out how to motivate myself and not hate myself. Because this is a work in progress. Life is a work in progress. I am a work in progress.

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