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Habits are important. Up to 90 percent of our everyday behavior is based on a habit. Nearly all of what we do each day, every day, is simply habit. Jack D. Hodge

We build our life through our habits. We usually don’t think when we go to bed, what time am I getting up? It’s a habit. We don’t wonder if we’ll brush our teeth tonight or this morning, it’s a habit.

Many parts of our life we put on autopilot through habits. Good habits build a good life, bad habits create chaos. We only have a few times in the day when we have to make decisions. When it comes to going to the gym if my husband doesn’t go right after work he usually doesn’t go. If I don’t go right after dinner before 7:00 I usually don’t go. There is a window of about one-half hour when we decide if we are going.

The more we systemize our lives the more likely things will be put in their proper place and get done. Years ago I found a book The Sidetracked Home Executives. Two sisters needed to get their lives and homes in order and they created a system. Flexibility is built into the system. They had systems and schedules for everything. If you didn’t get the kitchen stove cleaned in this round you left it for the next scheduled cleaning. They divided cleaning and household maintenance into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly chores. The Fly Lady Marla Cilley wrote Sink Reflections and credits the Sidetracked Sisters for the system. It’s a system worth checking out. The Fly Lady has a website at www.flylady.net

This isn’t new. My mother told me laundry on Monday, ironing on Tuesday was the way to keep your laundry under control. On a farm there was a lot of laundry. Mom always washed clothes on Monday. It wasn’t how it is now, just throw a load in the washer and then throw it in the dryer.

The white clothes were washed then the less dirty, then the dirtiest. She had ringer washers and an old spin dryer at the time. All the laundry was hung on the line until she got a dryer when I was a teenager. Laundry was a big deal, an all-day affair. On cold winter days the sheets came in the house frozen stiff. Laundry smelled fresh because of fresh air and the Sun.

You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. John C. Maxwell

The secret to creating habits is to start small and forgive our self when we fail, falter, and procrastinate. It isn’t doing things perfectly that builds a good life, it’s doing them consistently not all the time but enough of the time that life is good, orderly, and fun.

The Fly Lady has monthly habits to concentrate on.

January – Shining your sink.

February – Decluttering for 15 minutes a day.

March – Getting dressed to shoes

April – Making the bed

May – Moving

June- Drinking water

July – Swish and swipe

August – Laundry

September – Before bed routine

October – Paper Clutter

November – Menu planning

December – Pampering

I didn’t look at this site for a long time until today. Menu planning, I’ve worked on it but it is always a challenge. When we ate meat with every dinner I had a rotation of dinners. I menu planned with plant-based meals when we first went plant-based. Now it‘s mostly my husband and I eating dinner together, and I don’t have a plan. Often Saturday soups and Sunday dinners lead to enough leftovers for the week.

Life changes and what worked for years no longer works. We have to change the way we do things. We have to adapt. New habits need to be created. We can give up habits that don’t serve us. How we live our life is our choice. Not making a choice is a choice.  I don’t know what we’ll have for dinner tonight because I don’t have a plan. Having a plan simplifies our life. It is easier to eat healthily and economically. There is less food wasted, less money spent, and less time wondering, what will I make for dinner. I need to get back to menu planning, it is so easy when you know what’s for dinner and you have all the ingredients.

There are always improvements we can make in our life. Start small, baby steps is the way forward. Do you have something in your life you want to change? Can you turn it into a habit?

Consciously create habits because habits unconsciously dictate your life. Anonymous

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Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table Paperback – Aug 25 2009


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