Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday: The Route Less Traveled?

I am thankful that desperation caused me to search for the help I needed to start down the organized path, and that determination to change blossomed inside my heart. I acknowledge myself for going beyond admiring "people who are organized" and just taking a new route. My hope is that the lines below encourage you cast off your own doubts and start off on your own path, too.

The words route and routine are fascinatingly similar. Think about it. Do you take the same route to the grocery store or work every time you go? Do you do it routinely without thinking? The dictionary definition of route is "the choice of roads taken to get to a place, or "a regular journey;" and for routine,"a prescribed, detailed course of action to be followed regularly; a standard procedure."

Established ways of doing things are really just routines and methods that support your priorities and help you carry out the possibilities you envision! If you are still in the daily throes of putting out fires, and reacting to each thing as it comes your way, stop it! Realize that you are much like someone heading the wrong way down a one-way street, and even though your heart is pounding, and your palms are sweaty, you have to just steer your way back to the correct route, and take it! The alternative is a wreck, right?

What's the worst that could happen if you decide to "get organized?"

Your routines will become, well, routine! Just as you find yourself taking the same way to the grocery store, your weekly and daily habits can support your trip on the organized path. Choosing to adopt and develop routines which support your priorities, lifestyle, energy level, and desires can become fast habits in as little as three weeks! Remember the first time you drive to an unfamiliar place, and the uneasy feeling you have until you have gone a couple of times? New routines and habits can invoke that same feeling at first, but after a month or a few months, you move to step two:

You will learn to LOVE yourself! Last month, when my family and I were all sick, I noted that I did better "keeping up" on laundry and dishes than I ever used to before establishing my ways. I worked hard, but got better rest than I did when I was sick and everything was a disaster. More recently, my son was ill again, and I was up all night with him. The next morning, as exhausted as I was, I found myself at my clean shiny kitchen sink shouting, "I LOVE myself!" What a relief it was to not wake up to a mess after such a long hard night! I almost cried. If you stick with your routines, you WILL find yourself standing in front of the mirror saying to yourself, "Thank you, Jane! I have such a tough day ahead! I don't know how I would make it if you hadn't finished all these things for me ahead of time!

You will get a Maven Mindset! One definition of "maven" is "one who is experienced or knowledgable." So many busy moms are Mom Mavens and don't even realize it. How often do we say to each other, "I know EXACTLY what you are talking about (insert late night feeding, teething, milk leaks at work, and any awkward mommy moment here)! The trick is to let those mommy skills and that tenacity put power behind your routine adoption efforts. You WILL get to step two if you do. Then, at some point on your Established Way, you will realize that you have reached a "point of no return," and even if you "fall of the bandwagon," it will occur to you that you don't need the proverbial bandwagon! After all, you are still on THE PATH, right? When in doubt, retrace your route, starting at step number one!

So, what's stopping you? Let me know!

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