One of the most interesting thing I got out of the FET class I took is that 95% of the things we do are conrtolled by habit. They are rituals and routines we follow blindly without needing to think much or invest much of ourselves. Only 5% of what we do is controlled by free will or will power.
This has me thinking. When I was in school alot of people told me I was somehow exceptional. This always bothered me. I know the truth (and I was tested). I am only above average. And I come from a family of truely exceptional people (they were tested too, and my mom had to tell me….) What I did have was good habits. That’s it. I always wondered what I did that was different. Nothing more than just good habits. No secrets, no easy solutions.
The last 2 1/2 years I’ve lost alot of my best habits and kept many of my worst ones. Sigh. But the other thing they said is not to but energy into Not doing things, instead focus on the Do things. It’s like the dieter who’s so busy thinking about all the things on the don’t list she has to have them. Instead she should think about all the great things on the do eat list. Makes entirely too much sense.
We aren’t supposed to make “new year’s resolutions;” but we did pick a few things that we want to make into habits. I picked go to bed by 9:30 and start working out. We even got litttle logs to fill out on how we’re doing and had to pick a partner to report to every day. The idea is that by focusing energy on creating new habits, once they get to be habits they won’t take any more energy and we can start on something else. Having some background with routines in my life I think there’s something to this. Nothing throws me for a loop like getting out of my comfy getting up in the morning rut. That pattern where I get out of bed, start the coffee, use the bathroom, drink the coffee, wash, dress, get the kids up. I don’t even think about it, I just do it and it works perfectly for what it should do in my life. But if something interupts that pattern my morning’s shot.
So, if I faithfully turn off the light by 9:3o every night after following my getting-ready-for bed routine it should become another habit that just happens. I had to convince myself that it’s OK to go to bed without getting every thing done. That I will actually be a better mother if I take care of myself a little bit. This is one of those things I used to know… back before Icks and the push to finish school and get a job and then getting the job and keeping it while keeping up with everything else took over my life. Here goes nothing: I’ve got just enough time to log off and start getting ready for be.
Oh yeah, my boss is my partner to report to. But I get to ask him if he’s stuck with his plan too.