What Cleaning My House Has Taught Me About Healthy Habits

There have been times when I get my house all nice and clean and say to myself, “I should just keep it this way all the time!” I mean, it seems logical. The house is sparkling and everything is where it belongs. Why can’t we just keep it this way all the time?

Are you with me? (If you’re not, well, this post isn’t for you. 😉 )

But what always happens? We might keep up for a few days, but eventually something doesn’t get put away. A small pile turns into a larger one. A hectic schedule means unwashed dishes are left to “soak” in the sink overnight.

Starting with a clean slate is great, but unless we fix the habits that got the house messy to start with, we will soon have a messy house again.

I think this is why we struggle to make changes with our health, too. We declare our clean slate, our Day 1 of our new program or plan, and jump in. But, we haven’t dealt with our bad habits, so they slowly start to creep back into our lives.

I think it is why expensive weight loss programs are so tempting, too. We think if we just get on the right program, it will fix all of our problems. If I just follow a certain set of rules or eat a certain amount of calories or drink a certain brand of shakes, my life will get fixed. If I pay the money to join this gym or that program, it will motivate me to stay on track. Or, maybe something like: “If I just eat Paleo for 31 days, I’ll re-set my life and I’ll forever eat perfectly after that!” Not that I would know anyone who thinks that way. Ahem. (More on my post-Paleo experience coming next week.)

change is not a process for the impatient

Yes, sometimes a program or plan will help us keep motivation. I tend to stick with an exercise or eating plan better if it has an end date. I’m a deadline girl. (Which is code for procrastinator, but we don’t need to talk about that today.) You might stick with a plan better if you are in a class or have invested money in a program. I’m not against picking a Day 1 and declaring a clean slate. I just think bad habits form over time and good habits need time to form, too. We have to make small changes and look at the big picture, and not get discouraged when we mess up on Day 5 or Day 43.

Our houses usually don’t get messy overnight. (Although, my kids could probably prove that wrong! And so could their mother.) We certainly don’t form habits overnight, either.

How are you doing with making small changes and working on one habit at a time? We are here to provide encouragement and accountability. We want you to succeed! Let us know how we can help you!

 

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CoriCori is a wife, mom of three and random writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change. She has a degree in journalism and enjoys doing research and writing.

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