Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Habit Made Me Do This

We have a new thing around here. 

We aren't strong with systems and charts around here, but we continue to make attempts, so hopefully that is worth something. 

Last month we listened to TED Radio podcasts in our minivan on our way to our vacation in Missouri because all the things in this sentence sum up our cool factor.

One of the podcasts discussed the topic of becoming a better you.  There were several aspects to this quest which were discussed, most I don't remember most of them because Max was awake, but one which stuck with Alex and me was a man who tried to establish new habits for thirty days.

He would commit to cooking dinner for thirty days or writing for five minutes about his gratitude or exercising for 30 minutes.  Some things stuck, some didn't, but he discovered the power of committing to something consistently, trying new things, and developing a habit.

Alex then decided that the Dadidakis family was going to do this starting August first.

I would like to formally state that I was fully on board. I love this idea.

But...we have now reached the point in the summer where I really just need it to be over and I can lose my shit at the most benign, routine parts of the day because it's just time for everyone to get out of my house for a while.

The idea of introducing a new line item for me to manage with the children on a daily basis gave me pause.

The process of selecting what everyone was going to do almost broke me.

I selected for Max that we were going to count to ten in Spanish every day because that makes me feel like a better parent and momentarily international.

Stella wanted to read for 15 minutes until she realized she would have to do the reading herself and I am the meanest mom in the world. Then she thought she would run outside for 10 minutes, but then she remembered that she hates to be hot and it's 100 degrees outside.  She finally decided on biking for 10 minutes "because the wind she creates keeps her cool enough."  Insert much huffing and exasperation in between each idea.

Cole was going to go fishing every day.  Then he was going to hammer nails in to a board for 10 minutes. Then he was going to lift weights, run a mile, and punch his punching bag.  I suggested he write for 15 minutes every day but that seemed lame so he decided to just punch his punching bag for 3 minutes daily.

Aiden decided he would run a mile, then changed to playing ping pong for 10 minutes. There was very little drama or my involvement in his selection.  God bless Aiden.

Alex chose to mediate.  It takes him three minutes.  He basically chose to sit and do nothing for three minutes every day.  I'm waiting for zen Alex to show up and then I'll buy in to his new habit's worth.

I dutifully printed calendars and hung them on everyone's bedroom door for accountability.

Also, the man on the podcast mentioned that being able to place an "x" on a completed day gave satisfaction which motivated him to continue with his routine.

This is Alex and my door.

It's important that you know that yes, I have a very strange bedroom door.

Each of the kids have enthusiastically accomplished their habits without much, if any encouragement or reminder.  Aiden even chose to do his first thing this morning before he left with a friend on an overnight trip. Cole stopped himself from riding to a friend's house until he had punched his punching bag.

Alex has marked his X before I have even woken up.

I can barely finish mine before midnight.

I chose to write for 30 minutes.

Yesterday I literally wrote a description of my day in my journal at 11:30 pm.  My brain was so void of anything interesting that a full recounting of my errands, Max tantrums, and dinner cooking was the extent of my writing.

Can you guess what I did today?

I'll be on an airplane tomorrow, surely I'll have something more exciting to share.

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