I have been looking for change. I want to be better. I want to achieve more. I want to utilize my potential. I want to be less selfish. I want to be a better mom. I want to advance my career. I want to use my education. I want to be a better wife. I want to prosper where I’m planted. I want to experience more.
This list could literally go on and on and on….
At first I thought I would make a monthly “list” of habits I needed to change and work on them. As you might be able to tell from my “wants” above, these list were large and overwhelming…and probably not realistic for my life.
Taking a step back, I thought what if I could implement just 1-2 new habits in my routine per month? I could really focus on each habit and be consistent. In one year I would have 12-24 new habits. I’m pretty sure 12-24 new habits could make a pretty significant difference in my life….actually, in anyone’s life. More so, I’m pretty sure focusing on 1-2 habits per month is totally doable and not overwhelming at all for a full time momma to two wild kiddos, that works full time, and is full time student.
September was my first month to implement 1-2 new habits. I read an article that explained why getting up earlier helped a man succeed, not only in his career ambitions, but also in his life. In the article he discussed how horrible the “snooze” button is. I was a chronic snooze button hitter. I would set my alarm extra early so I could hit the snooze button 3-4 times in order to “wake up”. After reading this man’s article it hit me…
What if I didn’t hit the snooze button for 40 minutes and actually slept the whole time? What if I set my alarm for when I had to be awake, and just got up? Wow, what a concept.
I decided I wasn’t going to hit the snooze button for one month… to see if it made a difference…and I am hear to tell you, my new habit did make a difference.
Suddenly, I decided I was going to keep this going. I vowed to choose ONLY 1-2 habits per month that I would implement, focus on, and reflect on.
I didn’t want to be overwhelmed. I wanted to stick to my new habits. I wanted to really make a change.
I didn’t care if it was a tiny, super easy habit to implement, or a tough…I really need to work at it… habit to implement. If I felt it needed to happen, I would choose it for the month.
Septembers second habit…
I’m just slightly embarrassed to admit this, but my second habit for September was taking the toothbrush head off my electric toothbrush after each brush and putting it in the germ terminator area until next use (see picture below).
If you know me, I’m totally not a germ-a-phobe at all. But, for whatever reason this just makes me feel better. Why I didn’t do it before? Seriously, an extra 20 seconds added to my morning ritual? Why…I don’t know. Why it makes me feel like I’m in more control over my life… I don’t know. Why this was so significant to me… I honestly couldn’t tell you. It’s just one of those things that I knew would help me move forward, be better, be more consistent.
Sometimes, I think that when you feel really out of control of your life, taking control of something so small… is powerful.
It shows you that YOU have the power to change. That small changes make a difference. That conquering something small leads to conquering something huge!
Enough rambling… so how did 30 days of NO hitting the snooze button and sanitizing my toothbrush go?
I set the “snooze button habit” requirements that this would only apply Sun-Friday since Saturday and Saturday mornings Miss Zoey is my alarm clock. I am proud to say that in the 30 days I only hit the snooze button 1 time. The one time I did, I also called in sick to work because my little girl was up all night after getting the flu shot. I was so exhausted and drained that I knew I would be worthless at work and I knew that my little girl wasn’t feeling well and I wanted cuddle with her and make her feel better. So, the one snooze button hit in 30 days was totally acceptable to me!
As far as the super easy task of sanitizing my toothbrush… I didn’t miss a single day!
What I learned…
I learned that it really is awesome to not give myself the option to hit the snooze button. I learned that consecutively sleeping for 40 minutes is so much better than 40 interrupted, partial sleep minutes. I discovered that when I hit the snooze button, I’m delaying my day. I’m starting my day of with procrastination. I realized how annoying it must be for my husband, who doesn’t have to get up when I get up, to hear my alarm go off four times. I realized I wanted to change my morning mindset. I didn’t want to wake up automatically trying to delay my day. I didn’t want to go to bed planning that I would delay my day. I wanted to wake up, ready to embrace and enjoy the day. I wanted to go to bed with the mindset that I would wake up the moment my alarm goes off, get up, and get ready to make an amazing day.
I didn’t realize it until I started this new habit, but the snooze button makes me feel like I’m not eager to live life. Which brings me to another important aspect I discovered during this process. I found out that making the choice to not hit the snooze button, forced me to examine why I am so tired in the morning that I feel the need to hit the snooze button four times. It forced me to reflect on why I wasn’t excited to jump out of bed every morning.
Not hitting the snooze button led me to make changes in my life I didn’t even realize needed to be made.
The toothbrush habit was not a tough habit to implement. Besides having a sanitized toothbrush, which is obviously a good thing, the truly beneficial part was the practice of being consistent with an action. With both of my new habits I found that being consistent strengthened my will power and allowed me to increase the belief within myself that I am in control of my choices, my life, my decisions.
I believe every time you make a choice to implement a new habit, you stay consistent with that habit, and the habit becomes something you naturally do, it becomes easier and easier to create more new habits….to create a positive change in your life. I also believe that successfully creating small habits (think toothbrush) strengthens your mind and equips you with what you need to develop habits that are a little more challenging. My toothbrush habit was super easy and it wasn’t time consuming. However, developing a habit to exercise five days a week will be more challenging, and time consuming for me.September was a success and I learned a lot. I’ll be sharing my new habits at the end of each month and the lessons learned. So, if you want to make sure you get to read about Octobers habits, make sure you subscribe to my blog!
Cheers to you – Healthy Mom!