Tuesday, September 10, 2013

forming good habits. six months of lists.

i feel like this kind of goes without saying, but being a stay at home mom comes its own special set of struggles and challenges (it does however, also come with some very special joys and luxuries). the biggest one for me has always been productivity and time management. honestly this started way before alice was even born, really any time i didnt have school or work deadlines looming over my head i had no idea what to do with myself. 

so i got really good at making lists. the kind of firstborn/type-a lists that cover an entire notebook page (two columns) in teeny-tiny handwriting. the kind of lists with headings, subheadings, and sometimes flowcharts. the kind of lists that would take any person several months to complete, and quickly become a source of guilt and discouragement over my perceived incompetence at finishing things. 

i spent a LONG time stuck in a vicious cycle of making lists, getting frustrated and swearing off lists, feeling lost with the lack of structure, and resorting back to lists again. until one day, shortly after alice was born, when i was spending a LOT of time at target (alice pretty much only slept when we were out and about). , i found this magical weekly to-do list pad with only nine lines per day. so i could plan out a manageable, realistic list, for every day of the week. it was perfect. 

and for the first time in my life, i felt organized and productive, despite the fact that id just had a baby. unfortunately this feeling didnt last since the next few months would involve moving (twice), and starting our lives over from scratch in california. 

so naturally, i kind of fell of the wagon. until like a year ago once we were nice and settled in our (then) new apartment, when i got back on. but i wasnt consistent, the weekly list system mainly just served as a tool to try and work out a weekly chore routine (which to my surprise, eventually did happen AND is still in place), but even that was hit or miss. 

but recently somethings changed, i dont know if its because alice finally got old enough to be easier or what, but i started actually finishing my whole weekly lists. and then i started photographing them and posting them on instagram, keeping track of how many weeks i could keep it up. 

i thought it would last a few weeks, maybe a couple months, but id screw it up eventually, right? wrong. last weeks list was number 24. meaning ive completed my weekly to-do list every week for six months. thats HALF A YEAR. thats totally long enough that its become a natural habit, rather than a challenge. and it feels AWESOME. 

but now that ive conquered this once impossible sounding change, what do i do now? i feel like now i can move on to bigger and better self-improvements, but im not sure where i should start. any suggestions?

because the type a firstborn in me NEEDS a project to work on...

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