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Happy new year from me (Wendy) and all of us at Hip Homeschool Moms! Each New Year is a time when many of us decide to make changes in our lives that we’ve been putting off or dreading. I was reading an email from a personal trainer that I follow, and he mentioned that some habits cannot be overlooked or ignored if we want to be successful at reaching our goals no matter what time of year it is. These habits cannot continue. Sometimes goodbye is the only way to go!
So how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye to an “old” habit and form a new one instead? Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you think about your habits:
- Is this habit one that is hard to control? (Like bad eating habits that spiral out of control and cause you to gain pound after pound without being able to stop.)
- Is this habit one that is making things hard for my family? (Like the habit of being terribly disorganized so that dinner is never ready and laundry isn’t getting done.)
- Is this habit one that makes my family or me feel upset or stressed? (Like the habit of keeping such a messy house that my children are embarrassed to have their friends over.)
- Is this habit one that is causing me to have health problems? (Again, unhealthy eating habits fit here. And the habit of a lack of exercise. Or even the habits of worrying too much or not getting enough sleep.)
- Is this habit one that is causing me to have troubled relationships with friends or family members? (Like blaming my problems on others instead of taking responsibility for them myself.)
If you have a habit (or more than one habit) that fits into one of these categories, then it needs to go. It’s a habit that you need to say goodbye to so you can replace it with a new good habit instead!
How about swapping those bad habits for some of these?
- Form a habit of eating healthy foods and only rarely eating junk food and sweets.
- Form a habit of being organized in an area that you were formerly not organized. (If you have lots of areas of disorganization, just pick one to work on first. For example, if you never have dinner ready on time, work on correcting that one habit before moving on to keeping the laundry under control.)
- Form a habit of keeping the house picked up and fairly presentable. (This may require enlisting the help of your spouse and children. And there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s ok to have other family members help keep the house in order. In fact, it’s good for them to learn this skill!)
- Form a habit of doing things that will help you feel better and be healthy. (This, like #2, is another area where you may need to work on one thing at a time. You may need to start small–such as taking a walk each day. Then once it’s become a matter of routine, start adding a few weights or maybe even join a friend to go to a local gym a few times a week.)
- Form a habit of taking responsibility for your own habits and behaviors so you can get rid of the ones that are bad for you and keep the ones that are good. (This isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to make real changes. We can’t change bad or destructive behaviors if we’re constantly blaming them on others.)
You see! Sometimes saying goodbye is a very positive thing! It makes room for good things in your life that you’ve wanted to do but couldn’t because your life was too cluttered with bad habits or behaviors that were taking up too much space and time.
I know many folks don’t like New Years resolutions, but I actually do! I think it’s a great time of year to remember that every day, every week, every month, and every year is brand new. They bring chances to improve. To leave behind whatever wasn’t working and start doing something new.
So instead of kicking yourself for what you did last year (or last week or even yesterday), just determine to start over tomorrow. Make a plan. Be prepared when you wake up in the morning to put your new plan into place. (And you DO need to make a plan! If you don’t, your old habits won’t ever change.)
We’ll talk more in the coming weeks about making plans and forming strategies for improving areas of our lives that need improvement. But the main thing to remember today is that, if you live in the past and relive mistakes you’ve made, you’re too busy to make a new plan, develop new purpose, and do the things you need to do to change. To become more organized, healthier, and happier.
Your life probably won’t be transformed overnight. Your house won’t be transformed overnight. Your relationships won’t be transformed overnight. But just think about what they’ll look like a week or a month or a year from now! You. Can. Do. This!
If you would like to share with us an area of your life or a habit that you’d like to change, please share it with us in the comments!