October 27, 2009

Cycle 8 Goals

Cycle eight is all about refining the work I've already done to make sure it will be sustainable for years to come. As much good as this challenge has done for our family, and me in particular, it took a few "revolutionary" ideas to make a lot of things click into place practically.

I've always had a problem with being overexcited about something at first and then dropping it after a while when I get bored with the idea or reach a certain level of proficiency. I don't want this to become an issue with everything we've improved over the past seven months. Thankfully a friend posted a link to The Flylady a month or so back.

At first I simply signed up for the emails thinking they'd have some handy tips and be nice reminders since my memory isn't so good. Yet, as I read the articles on the site and the emails, it wasn't the tips that helped me so much, but the changes in thinking she challenges you to make. It may seem silly at first, but if you start referring to exercise as "loving movement" and chores as "home blessings," you'll be amazed at how much more agreeable the tasks seem.

For years, I've hated working out and absolutely loathed doing housework. I've always found both to be boring, time consuming, and pretty much futile. Why spend x amount of time flailing about, sweating and panting and put up with the aches and soreness if the number on the scale never seems to go anywhere? Why spend hours every day scrubbing this or that in the house when it will be trashed virtually five minutes later?

I was looking for the wrong rewards. It was like I was waiting to be trained like some animal in Pavlov's lab, but no matter how well I did the task, the reward never came. Then between the things I've been learning from Hannah Keeley and The Flylady, I came to realize the reward isn't in the results, it's in the doing.

Why do I do these things? I get up and get moving to be healthy and able to keep up with my girls. They deserve a mother who can run around and act silly with them, help them with crafts, and still have the energy to prepare something nutritious for them at the end of the day. I deserve to be that woman too. I don't "exercise" to decrease my size, I move because I love my family and myself enough to stay healthy for them. I don't clean so the house is spotless, I do it so our home is comfortable and inviting to us and to visitors. Walking in the door and seeing a neat space is one of the best feelings.

So, this cycle I will be focusing on implementing some of the skills I've learned from these ladies. I'm already in the habit of dressing all the way to a pair of lace up shoes the moment I wake up in the morning. Doing my home blessings with some of the cleaning tricks and all-purpose cleaner recipe Mrs. Keeley used on her last episode gets the majority of the housework out of the way in an hour or less each morning with an additional half hour in the evening if you count cooking dinner/washing the dishes as I go. I made my control journal this weekend, and it's sitting in the kitchen. No more wasting an hour or more working out individual to do lists for each day of the week every Saturday. It's all there in the control journal. I just have to look up the day of the week and the zone we're in that week.

I'm following along with the "Cruising Through The Holidays" emails or at least the spirit of them, and if things go according to plan, 2/3 of our gifts will be ready and wrapped before the end of November. The girls will be helping me with the decorating as part of this year's countdown to Christmas. Since Sneak is still so young, we're making construction paper ornaments instead of bringing out the breakable ones from storage. It's more fun, and if any of them get destroyed, we can simply make more one afternoon. Our final few gifts will have to wait until the week before since they're food that can't be frozen.

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