Thursday, January 21, 2010

Building Habits: Habit #1

(BTW, that major blog post series I mentioned a while back? It's still in the works...)

The more I read Charlotte Mason, the more I am convinced of the value of forming good habits. You don't have to think about a habit, you just do it. The general scientific consensus is that it takes about 21 days to form any one particular habit. Charlotte Mason recommended working on one habit category for two months or so. There are many, many character traits I would like to form, but the first in my mind right now is cleanliness.

I have used Pearl's desperate need to be held as an excuse for too long. She will now play on her own for five minutes or so immediately after a nap, and five minutes of cleaning is better than none.

As a first step, I am going to commit to cleaning one room of the house a day, even if I only get five minutes for each room. I will do this cleaning right after Pearl wakes up from her first nap each day, because I think having a specified time each day is essential to keeping at the habit every day for three weeks.

I will use the following schedule for my cleaning:

Thursday - Dining Room
Friday - Living Room
Saturday - Kitchen
Sunday - Misc (dusting, vacuuming, etc)
Monday - Kitchen again
Tuesday - Bathroom
Wednesday - Bedroom

If I only get five minutes before Pearl starts crying, then that's what I get. Right now my goal is not a clean house, but to form the habit of daily cleaning. A clean house may not be possible while Pearl is young, but I can make an effort every day.

Expect updates every now and then about how I'm doing. And if I haven't posted an update in a while... ask! I desperately need the accountability.

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4 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Laura

    Good for you! And take heart: while you're developing your habit of daily cleaning, Pearl will be developing a habit of independent play. :-)

  • Ginny

    That's a wonderful idea. But, it won't hurt to start building habits in Pearl, too. Like the habit of playing quietly until you come after she wakes up.

    Just a suggestion. :-D

  • Sherry

    How's it going?

  • Sherry

    How's it going?