“Babe, do you think it’s too prescribed to write a Habit Plan for the whole year?”
Ermmm, yeah, maybe. Why would you?
“Well, my month-long habit tracker is working so well and I already want to extend it to a 2-month plan — because some things happen every 6 or 8 weeks — so, I figure there are some things that happen every 6 months or once a year, so why not put them in…?”
“Yeah, I guess that’s a little much, huh.”
When I trace the origins of my newly-minted habit of habits, I can see this all started with extending my second set of house keys in November, at which point I gained the Lord’s most eagle-eyed observer: the live-in lover.
As is bound to happen in a relationship, I’d already begun to adopt some habits from my boyfriend (and he from me). For example, the daily making of fresh coffee, clearing the bathroom sink of my hair (instead of washing strands down the inevitably-clogging drain), clearing my car of accumulated detritus on the regular.
Most of these boyfriend-influenced habits have been in the realm of cleaning and clearing, maintaining order in a shared environment … where, let’s be honest, I’ve always been … relatively lax.
Examines fork from yesterday’s breakfast: No crusty bits! Okay to reuse!
Spills a few parsley flakes on the floor: No problem, sweep ’em under stove with sock!
And J’s most exemplary tidbit from me: “Hey babe, how do you clean a toilet, anyway?”
Because of our new living situation, I’ve begun to be more fastidious in my habits but the supercharge shift happened about a month ago after listening to a podcast of Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday (as I washed dishes!). She was interviewing one of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, whose books The Happiness Project and, my more favored, Happier at Home, have been on my physical and audio bookshelves for a while.
Gretchen was talking about her new book, of which I’d not heard, Better Than Before; about the idea of not being perfect, but of working in our lives to be, simply, better than before. I love this idea, and ordered the audiobook immediately.
Enter the Habit Tracker. Although this is not specifically one of her suggested habit-creating tools, I’d been saying around then that I wanted to put all my daily and weekly tasks into a calendar. This aligned perfectly with her theory that removing as many decisions from our day as possible is a delight. I cannot tell you how much I cherish this idea:
Fewer decisions = More Freedom.
Should I clean my dishes today? Clean the toilet today? Wash my hair today? Do I have the time? Do I feel like it? Do I want to?
ALL THESE DECISIONS VANISH!:
On alternating Mondays, I do my brows or paint my nails. Alternating Fridays, I ice skate or clothing shop.
It’s Wednesday. I wash my hair. (Sundays, too.) 😉
It’s Friday. EAT SWEETS DAY!
I’ve absolutely loved this new plan for myself. No questions. No doubt. No fiddling, cajoling, coercing, convincing, denying, depriving. No whining. No wasted energy.
I am thrilled at this new process for myself (vitamins every day in January!), but as I look to plotting into the tracker, “haircut (3x a year), oil change (2x a year), tire rotation (1x a year),” … I begin to wonder if too much tracking is tiresome and spontaneity-sucking.
I’m not convinced yet that it is, but I’ll schedule questioning for Friday.