Hello, everyone! Today is an exciting day, because we are introducing a new habit! I always love starting a new habit. It’s a new chance to learn, grow, and get closer to the me that I want to be. It’s also a new challenge, which is great…most of the time. For this 90 days, we are creating a habit of cleaning the house for 10 minutes a day. I say “we” because this one is going to be a family effort, which is also exciting!
Why I Chose this Habit
In a previous post, I wrote about how Knowing WHY You’re Doing a Habit Can Help you Overcome Obstacles so I like to start every new habit with a reflection on why I’m choosing to do this particular habit. I wrote this habit a while ago, after I made my list of priorities; at the time, it was low on my list of priorities, but has recently jumped up for a few reasons. Let’s explore those reasons!
- My mental health – I’ve made my mental health a priority this year, and choosing this habit is no exception. I can get pretty easily overwhelmed, especially when there is a lot of clutter and chaos around me. Taking 10 minutes out of my day to clean and organize my house will help me to relax and stay in the present.
- Brings us one step closer to our goal of cooking at home – Brian and I have a really big financial goal that we’ve set for the next two years. In order to meet this goal, we’re going to have to quit eating out and start cooking at home more often. Dirty dishes stop me from cooking at home all too often, so this habit is kind of a prerequisite to meeting our goal.
- It’s a good opportunity to teach Mason responsibility – Maybe we can instill better cleaning habits in our children than we have. (This is not from a lack of effort by our parents, just pure laziness on our part.)
- It will help us be more active – 10 minutes isn’t much and everyday cleaning isn’t intense, but hey movement is movement when you have a desk job.
What are the Parameters of this Habit?
Now that we know why I’m doing this habit, let’s take a look at the specifics of the habit. When starting a new habit, there are a few things to consider that can help ensure success. Below are the things that I like to think about.
What are my timeline goals?
It takes me about 90 days to fully form a habit. Sometimes, I feel comfortable with a habit after 30 days, but don’t necessarily feel like it’s automatic at that point. Therefore, I will track the habit from November 16 – February 14. If I feel comfortable, I can add a new habit at any time after 30 days (December 16), but not before.
What time of day will this happen?
To start out with, we’ll try for 7:15, right after Willow goes to bed. It’s usually about time to clean up from dinner and is a good transition from the go-go-go of the day to a (clutter free) relaxing evening.
What are the “rules”?
I try not to set too many boundaries when I first start out with a habit. In the past, too many boundaries have led to a lot of frustration and feelings of failure. That being said, we do need some rules, otherwise things might not actually get done, so these are my rules for this habit:
- Ideally, I would like someone to clean the dishes every day. Other than that, I think we should just focus on the area that needs to be cleaned most. (If you’d like to work on this habit and feel you need more structure, check out this post from Daily News.)
- It should be a family effort. If for some reason the rest of the family doesn’t want to join in on a particular day, I will still do my best to do my part.
- Even if I clean up during the day, I will still do my 10 minutes at night before relaxing into the evening.
How am I tracking progress and keeping myself accountable?
- Tracking Progress – At the moment, I track my progress with an app. I’m still not sure this is the best method for me, but it seems to working so far, so I will continue that with this habit.
- Staying Accountable – As far as accountability goes, I saw an interesting post on the Organizing Moms blog which suggests taking pictures before and after the 10 minute clean up and posting them to social media for a little extra motivation. I will give this a try, but try not to judge too hard! Check out my Instagram and Facebook stories for daily updates from November 16, 2020 to February 14, 2021.
- Reflecting – One other way that I will be tracking this habit is through my weekly reflections. I will be doing that on this blog, but if you would like to reflect, you could easily do it in a journal.
What challenges do I foresee and how can mitigate those?
One thing I’ve learned about implementing these habits into my life is that something will inevitably go wrong. An unexpected challenge will show up and I’ll get derailed. Before, I saw these challenges (and my inability to get past them immediately) as a failure on my part. Now, I see them as a natural, and almost fun, part of the process. Through these challenges I learn more about myself and that’s really what this self-improvement journey is all about. Now, I didn’t spend too long thinking of all the things that could go wrong (like I would have done in the past), instead, I just made a quick list of things I could think of and decided to trust in my ability to overcome any challenge if reveals itself later. As I was thinking about the solutions to these potential problems, I reflected on my WHY for doing this habit, it helped a lot.
- Days when I feel too tired to clean.
- Remind myself that it’s only 10 minutes.
- Put on some upbeat music.
- Get through it and then relax.
- Days when I feel like there’s too much to do and become frozen.
- Start in the kitchen. Once I get going, it’s usually pretty easy for me to keep up the momentum.
- Days when Mason doesn’t want to help out.
- If he didn’t make too much of a mess that day, let it go.
- If he made a huge mess insist that he helps out. No TV or tablet until he does his 10 minutes. If he never does it, that’s his choice.
- Days where Brian doesn’t want to help out.
- Let it go, but still do my part. If it happens too often, have a talk with him as this was both of our ideas and cleaning the house should be a team effort.
- Days when we get so caught up in something that the kids end up going to bed late and we are exhausted.
- If the day was that stressful, let it go. No need to add more stress to an already stressful day. Pick it back up tomorrow.
What benefits do I foresee from doing this habit?
In the past, I’ve been a “what if…” person, except all of my “what if’s” were negatively inclined. I’d like to take a minute to think about the positive “what if’s”. What if my family succeeds in cleaning our house for 10 minutes every day?
- The house will look and smell great!
- It will be easier to walk around without toys on the floor.
- I won’t be as embarrassed or stressed when someone comes over to my house.
- It will be so much easier to deep clean if all of the clutter is picked up regularly.
- It will be easier for me to stay calm and in the present if I’m not looking around and seeing clutter.
These are just a few things that come to mind. Of course, there’s going to be so much more. Just like the challenges, I’m always surprised at what positives pop up when I start to work on a new habit.
Next Milestone/Final Thoughts
Well, that’s all I have for this introduction. If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for reading and I hope you get some inspiration or ideas for your own journey! Don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages for quick updates on how things are going. And come back next week for my first update/reflection on the 10 Minutes of Clean Up habit!