I’m the type of person who is easily overwhelmed. I never used to be. I used to be able to just go, go, go and never stop. I used to be a much more disciplined person. I used to be able to put my mind to something and accomplish it. But life, little children, and physical illness has left me a little tapped out. Or maybe God wants me to learn to lean more on him than simply accomplishing things by my own sheer will. Regardless, I’m not the person that I hope to be in 10 years, or even a year from now for that matter.
My husband’s favorite quote lately has been, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard and it’s really made me think. My days have not been as productive as they should be, and so my days need to change if I want my life to change.
But like I said, I get overwhelmed easily. Trying to start 10 new routines in my life at once will last oh, a week at most. And a new diet that cuts out all my favorite foods and feeds me only fruits and vegetables, will probably last a day.
Since January, my husband and I have been following Dave Ramsey’s guide for financial planning. (Which I highly recommend.) He gives baby steps to achieve financial goals, like paying off your home mortgage, which seem too big to even attempt, outside of his process. We’re currently in baby step 2. We’ve had good months and bad months and we’ve had set backs and pushes forward and encouragement. And even though I occasionally will use my debit card, if I don’t have the cash, my spending habits and our budget, not to mention are debt, are MUCH improved from this time last year.
So, this got me thinking how I wish there could be baby steps in other aspects of my life. The two major areas that I am trying to conquer are my home and my weight.
Last week I bought an app for my new iPod Touch (4th gen, which Aaron got me for my birthday! Thanks honey!) which is called Home Routines. It has a built in list, which you can edit to your own specifications. Right now, I’m just going off the built in list. However, basically it’s just a list of things to do and I “check” them off my list. So, I make the beds, empty the dish washer, wipe off the table after breakfast, etc. etc. While I have yet to completely finish my lists by the end of the day, it has really helped me to consistently do the small things around the house. This is my baby step 1. Soon I will add bigger things, and weekly and monthly things, such as cleaning out and up the refrigerator on a more regular basis. I hope that my house will one day run somewhat naturally on a routine that I am simply in the habit of doing. However, if I plan to be running full speed ahead, first I need to simply take some baby steps.
Second, I’ve been thinking of my diet. I am a little overweight and I have some horrible eating habits. I would like to eat more healthy and teach my children healthy eating habits, but I must be honest, I look at people who are raw food eaters or gluten free diets, and I think they’re crazy! 🙂 And the thought of that type of diet completely overwhelms me. But right before I became pregnant (5 years ago now) I had talked to a friend about keeping me accountable for my eating habits. And I changed things and challenged myself differently from week to week. The first week, I couldn’t eat potato chips (my biggest weakness), the second no potato chips and only one desert-type item a day (I was having Bible studies at my house twice a week at this point in time and ALWAYS had sweet stuff in the house). Then I couldn’t have the bad stuff, and had to eat at least one piece of fruit a day. That might seem strange to someone who always eats fruit, but it’s just not in how I look at food… and that needs to change. Anyhow, my consequence for breaking any of my “rules” was to pay my friend $20. All of a sudden chips were a luxury item! However, after one month and losing 5 pounds, I found out I was pregnant and shortly thereafter was extremely sick, so I was unable to continue. (I mean eat a banana? Really? A saltine cracker sounds good.)
Anyhow, I’ve decided that I really had something back then. The hope was to change my eating habits for good. Not just for 6 months so I could drop some weight and then eat all unhealthy, however I wanted. So, I’m going to try this again. However, this time, I’m going to add aspects into it about eating only when hungry, and stopping when full. (Something that some people do naturally and don’t struggle with.) As well as add in some exercise.
My hope is not to be a house cleaning diva and a size two by this time next year. My hope is to having a more consistently clean house and to be a healthier mom. All it takes are small baby steps. If I take small steps, hopefully I won’t become overwhelmed and I will be able to persevere!