Happy Tuesday friends!
“What do you think I can improve on the most this year?” A simple question that I asked my husband Drew this past weekend.
Silence. I could tell his wheels were turning. He responded, “I think you could be a lot tidier.”
Now, if you’ve been reading the blog for a while…you know that I openly admit to not being the tidiest person. Every time I type that I want to follow it up with a sentence to justify it, but that is probably part of the problem.
People come over to our house + say, “What are you talking about? Your house never seems messy!” Well hello, I cleaned for you. 😉 Even if it is a close friend or my sister coming over, I always want our house to be picked up. I believe it makes people more comfortable.
A few weeks ago, I was cleaning the kitchen + I thought of a metaphor in my head that helped me to better understand WHY people have such a hard time starting a healthier lifestyle. This post will give you great insight into how my mind works + at the end I’ll give you tangible ways to change, whether your issue is not working out enough OR cleaning OR both!
So, here we go:
I love working out. Sure, it isn’t always easy to get started…but, I do love it.
My love of movement stems from participation in sports. Basketball was my first love + I fell for it hard in 5th grade. For me “working out” was disguised as practicing for a sport that I wanted to excel at. I enjoyed practice, I enjoyed pushing myself to the brink physically, I enjoyed trying to be the best.
So, working out has been ingrained in me. What furthered that was studying exercise science at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Body fat testing and VO2 max tests were my jam. I was able to study nutrition + realize how important the energy we put into our body was for performance.
It’s easy to say “I love working out”, but when I share all of what led up to this I think you get a better sense of why.
And there I was cleaning my kitchen, doing something that I didn’t enjoy + it came to me. Working out is to others as cleaning is to me.
I grew up in a very “lived” in house. Heck, my momma was busy raising her babies + making sure we were loved + fed. I wasn’t born a neat freak + not nurtured as one either. So here I am, an unorganized 30 year old. I could let this go on forever, or I could change.
I have friends that were raised to be tidy just as I was raised to move. Their parents were super tidy just as mine were super not. They had to pick up after themselves. Or, maybe they were born a perfectionist/their personality drives them to be organized. They enjoy cleaning.
All of us have habits, whether good or bad that have become a part of us. CHANGING them is hard.
Sometimes when I’m writing a post, I start thinking…Why is it SO hard for people to start healthier habits? Don’t you realize how important this is?! It is your life!
I gave myself a little tough love + humble pie when I started thinking that someone could easily say things like this to me about cleaning: WHY CAN’T YOU HANG YOUR COAT UP? It’s so easy. WHY CAN’T YOU PUT YOUR CLOTHES AWAY? That’s pretty lazy Amy. WHY CAN’T YOU CLOSE THE CABINETS? Simple. Don’t you know it will decrease your stress load + make your house a happier place? Isn’t that worth it?
I’m going to show you how to create an action plan for change. We’re all different, so figure out the 1 main goal that you have for 2017 + go after it. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on goal setting + one thing I learned is that if you focus on one main goal at a time, you have a much higher chance of being successful.
Action Plan Having a more organized household in 2017. I’ll fill in the blanks for this goal, but you can fill it in for your personal goal!
Know your why I’ve talked about knowing your why in an entire blog post before. It’s SO important for when the going gets tough + you don’t want to follow through. Know WHY your goal is important to you.
- It will lessen stress for my HUSBAND. The sermon that we listened to on Sunday talked about how if your goals + resolutions are not just centered around yourself, you actually will have a better chance of succeeding. I deeply care about my husband’s stress load + I know this is one area that I can help!
- Being organized decreases stress, promotes productivity + happiness. This is something that I can get on board with! I’ve already found it to be true because if I make sure to load the dishwasher before bed + can wake up to a clean kitchen, it starts the day on the right note.
Tangible Steps to Change Figure out what is going to help get you to your goal.
- Can this be done in 1 minute? Anything that can be done quickly, should be done RIGHT AWAY. I’m going to start asking myself this question + then follow through on completing the task. Example: When I get home from work after also picking Maxwell up from daycare I walk in the house with full hands + drop everything off at the kitchen island. The problem? It typically stays there, then Drew walks in the door (for some reason he is obsessed with putting his work bag in that 1 spot under the island…haha) + is overwhelmed by all the Amy/Max stuff that is in his little spot. Even though I just want to pick my baby up + spend all the time we have together before he goes to bed, I know that it would literally take me 1 minute to hang my jacket up, put my work bags in the closet, place my expressed milk in the refrigerator, + put my lunch containers in the sink. Other great 1 minute examples: making the bed, putting my freakin makeup back into the right drawer, putting my blowdryer away. I realize there is a lot of 1 minute things I can start doing + it will add up to making our environment less cluttered.
- Put laundry away as soon as it is dry. I have already started this one. I rock at doing laundry, but not so much at putting it all away. This adds up to a lot of clutter in our room + the easy fix is putting it away right away.
- Once a month team cleaning day. Drew + I schedule a time (+ when I say schedule this has been going on for 1 month) to spend the day deep cleaning the house. This way we’re committed + equally contributing.
- One small project every week. Even if our house is clean, there is a drawer, closet, or cabinet somewhere that is not organized. Organizing them all at once is overwhelming, but thinking of 1 place that can be organized a week is much more manageable. This past week, I organized the hooks at our front door. They had become a dumping place for everything, when really it should be a place for a couple jackets + the purse I’m currently using.
Barriers There are going to be obstacles, so it is best to acknowledge them + plan for how you’ll overcome them.
- Time. To overcome this issue, I’m going to add a 25 minute cleaning time chunk (commit + set a timer) into the day. I have zero excuses for not doing this on my days off. The nice thing about cleaning is that I can just turn on a podcast + 25 minutes is over before I know it.
- The dislike. I honestly would rather do like 100 other things. Maybe that’s how you feel about working out! But hey, cleaning + working out both should be done…so, I’ve just got to get over it.
- When you have an important goal + take the time to figure out how you’re going to achieve it, start NOW! Because you have the momentum + because there is no better time! Let me know what your goal is this, I’d love to hear what other people are working on!