From Our House to Yours
How Habits Can Make or Break Your Homeschool Day
The alarm rings. You know you should get up to start your homeschool day, but instead you hit the snooze. Just 5 more minutes, you tell yourself. But when the alarm rings in 5 more minutes, you turn it off. Later that day, you are behind in your homeschooling and frazzled. How you wish you had gotten up when your alarm first rang! Tomorrow, you will do better. Only tomorrow comes, and barely awake, your hand fumbles to shut off the alarm. I’m just too tired, you tell yourself. Later that day, you are even further behind than the day before. Stress rises. You promise you will do better tomorrow, but you don’t. Another day lost. Unbeknownst to you, you now have formed a habit, and unfortunately, it has the power to make or break your entire homeschool day.
How to Break Bad Habits and Replace Them with Good Habits
The good news is bad habits can be broken! Thinking about what leads up to the habit is one powerful tool to breaking it. If you are sleeping in every morning and missing the start time you desire for your homeschooling, maybe what led up to this habit is simply that you set an unrealistic start time. Setting a new, realistic start time and sticking to getting up at that time could easily break this habit. Or, maybe what leads up to this is simply the fact that you are overly tired. Making a point to go to bed earlier could be all it takes to break this habit. Or, maybe you don’t even remember shutting off your alarm. Moving your alarm across the room so you have to get up to shut it off could be all it takes to break this habit.
First recognize the habit, and then do all you can to focus on breaking it!
Experts say habits can be made and broken in 30 days. This may not be true for ALL habits, but I believe it is true for most. The first step to breaking a bad habit is to recognize you have it. Then, you can put laser focus on it to break it. Often we have many bad habits, but choosing one to work on is usually best! I have found I am happiest with my homeschooling if I wake at 6:15 AM. This is NOT because I adore getting up at 6:15 AM! Rather, it is because my day goes better when I do. I put laser focus on creating this habit this year. What I found is what I do the night before makes or breaks this habit! I set out my devotional, homeschool schedule, thyroid medication, a water bottle, workout clothes, and my clothes for the day. Then, I set my alarm. I try hard to get to bed no later than 10 PM.
What is your bad habit?
If I were to ask you what your one bad habit is that you need to change, what would you say? What leads up to that bad habit? Is there something that triggers it? My 12 year old has arrived late to our first meeting time for two years. The first meeting time was to enjoy discussing/correcting his Bible Quiet Time and to do his dictation. I finally asked him what he has been doing in his room that prevents him from arriving on time. Do you know what he said? It surprised me. He told me he makes his bed and gets dressed. We have 10-15 minutes together. I thought he was dawdling, but really, he just cares about having his bed made and being totally dressed for the day before we meet. We ended up setting his alarm 10 minutes earlier, so he has time to make his bed and dress. He has not been late ever since.
Don’t be discouraged by a bad habit. You have the power to overcome it! Furthermore, you can replace a bad habit with a good habit. One habit at a time, you can transform yourself. With the power of faith in God, you have His strength to draw upon – and it is superhuman. One day at a time, you can become who you want to be. Furthermore, you can become who God wants you to be. How powerful is that?!? I’m starting my 4th week of plans for Heart of Dakota‘s USI and Revival to Revolution. You know what? I have woken every day at 6:15 AM so far. It has not been easy. However, I am happy! Truly happy. I am homeschooling with enough time in my day to do it well. There is time for my Bible Quiet Time. I am exercising and eating right. The meals I am making for the boys are healthy ‘enough.’ I get to work in the afternoon on time. What habit do you want to change? Attack it with laser focus today!