Firstly a note – my post “be gone cranky rushed mama” was not meant as a
whinge about my husband not doing stuff to help out around the house.  He
is actually quite amazing and does a lot each day to help make the house run
smoothly and get us out the door on time.  My post was written from
my point of view and reflected my thoughts on me, my disorganisation, and my
hopes for change. 
So, how did I go being more organised?  The results were
mixed.  I had some success, but it didn’t feel like I had hit the
right mark.  There were lots of moments in the week where I
was better organised, however, I must confess that there were still moments
where I was rushing around at the last minute trying not forget anything. 
I did start my quick morning meditation habit again, so I think that
helped bring some calm, but I need some structure, more of a routine or
something to help me be more organised.  I am going to revisit my
routine and make it work better for me. 
This week I decided that my mantra would be “put s@*t away”!! It
made a big difference until Thursday and I don’t know what happened then.
 I didn’t get my normal quiet time during the day when the baby was
sleeping.  I spent those two hours battling with her to get her to go to
sleep, so my middle of the day tidy up didn’t happen.  And the second half
of the day was busy running here there and everywhere, and I couldn’t recover
my “put s@*t away” mojo.  
I have been reading Better than Before by Gretchen
Rubin, which is a book about how to establish and keep habits.  Rubin
suggests that
“Habits make change
possible by freeing us from decision making and from using self-control” (p5).
I like the idea that if I make some good habits, I will be freed of
decision making and life will run more smoothly.  After helping
readers know themselves better, Rubin outlines several strategies that help in
habit formation.  While I haven’t yet finished the book, I have
already picked up several tips that I think will be useful. 
I have been trying to work out what it is that stops me from making
plans that work for me.  I like to have a
plan.  I like to know what I will be doing in any particular week so
that I can plan ahead and be organised. As well as our online family calendar
(which my husband and I can both access at any time), I have an old school
paper diary AND a weekly planner that I fill in religiously.  So why
can’t I make it work in real life? 
A personality quiz that we did at work (I can’t remember the name of it,
nor do I still have a copy of the results),  identified me as someone
who dreams big, likes coming up with new ideas, but fails in the
execution.  While I love doing personality quizzes, I generally think
they should be taken with a grain of salt; however this result resonated with
me and has stuck with me for many years.  It is true; I often have
big bright ideas and then fail to follow through.  At work, I think I
can get away with it a little better because we work as a team and everyone has
different strengths and weaknesses. But at home, it is a bit harder to hide
from that truth. 
My plan is to review our regular weekly schedule and work out a plan
that might work for me.  But, how will I make myself stick to that
plan?  For those who are interested and think it might matter, I am
an ENFP or ENFJ in Myers-Briggs and an Obliger in Gretchen Rubin’s Four
Tendencies framework.   
Rubin suggests a couple of things that I think might work for me.  The
strategy of monitoring, where you keep a record of how you are going with the
habit you are trying to introduce, is said to be effective especially at the
beginning of habit formation.  I also think the strategy of pairing
might be useful, where you pair one action with another, usually already well
established routine.  For example, if you are trying to drink more
water, you might pair that habit with making a cup of tea.
I think they are great strategies to get started, but how will I make
myself do the things that are harder (or come less naturally for me)? 
Further into Better than before Rubin discusses the use
of rewards and treats.  She argues that when trying to establish a
new habit rewards actually get in the way and do more harm than
good.   Treats are different because you give yourself a treat
just because, it is not tied to doing something in order to “deserve” it. She
says that by giving ourselves treats we can ask more of ourselves.  So
perhaps I need to give myself regular treats?  It
seems counter-intuitive to me though, I like the idea more of
rewarding myself for sticking to my habits…. Maybe if I stick to the
habits for 3 weeks, then I could treat myself to a day’s shopping at
Birdsnest!! 
I WANT it to work.  I WANT to be able to feel more in control
and calm.  I would be really interested to hear your ideas on what
works for you?  Have you read Better
Than Before? 
What did you
think?  Do you have any ideas on how to
establish good new habits and routines that will help me feel more calm?
Until next time,
E xx