Every year I make a new year’s resolution like I'm sure all of you do. I want to spend lots of time with Jesus, the kids, the hubby, make stuff, exercise, get enough sleep, eat right.... you get the idea. But the purpose of my yearly resolution is to push to make a change in an area I struggle with.
SO this year's resolution is keeping the house clean and joyfully doing so.
As I was thinking about 2015, the number one thing that stressed me out was our messy house. I don't know why, I wish it didn't, but it does. It puts me in a bad mood and I always feel unable to do anything else unless the house is clean. A clean, uncluttered, tidy home. I'm not expecting it to look like a crew of cleaners came in every week, because let’s face it, I have kids. And I get it, kids are a great excuse for a messy cluttered house but I want our home to be tidy enough [most of the time] that it is acceptable for visitors.
I've learned that in order to tackle a resolution you MUST track and you must plan. Here is what I came up with and you can apply these steps to your own resolution.
Assess the Mess
What is your starting point?
I assessed my house last year and decided that we have too much stuff, which equals cluttered. Too many toys, too many books, too many kitchen items, too many clothes. All the stuff everywhere cramped in every nook. If it hasn't been used in 6 months to a year it has been going to donations. Letting go of the.... one day I will use it. I've cut down the kids toys and books to half the amount in the last few months and they haven't even noticed. This week with my sissys help we put together a nice work space for the kids and I [more on this Ikea inspired space another time.]
What will you keep track of to help you accomplish your goal?
One big lesson I learned from The Compound Effect is that successful people are trackers. I always feel like I spend all day cleaning, which leads to complaining. Since the year has started I have calculated the amount of time I spend cleaning and it isn't all day. It is about 1-2 hours a day and 3-4 hours on Saturday. Woah! Reality check! Realizing that I wasn't spending all day cleaning has really put a stop to the complaining. How can I complain about a messy house that I am not cleaning?
I did the math too. Last month, our in laws were so awesome to hire cleaning ladies to come tidy up after they left [talk about the best gift ever] and I calculated it. It took them 8 hours uninterrupted to make our home sparkle. Add in 3 to 4 hours it takes me to do laundry and in order to have a tidy home I need to clock in 11-12 hours a week cleaning. Not unreasonable, especially if I have help.
I've also started tracking what gets done thanks to this printout I found online. Laminated it so I can use it every day. Kids have chore sheets right?! Why not us?
Tracking also means calculating who is contributing. Everyone lives in the house so everyone should help clean it. Tracking is essential to successfully accomplishing a goal.
Have a Plan
Write out step by step what you will do.
You can't accomplish a goal without a plan. My plan is pretty simple. Clean 1-2 hours a day [12-13 hours a week], do one load of laundry a day, and on the weekends get help from the hubby. I'm going to keep tracking and hopefully in the next few months create a habit and a system. Hopefully.
RECAP THREE STEPS
So this three step plan to Assess, Track it, Have a Plan will work on almost any resolution. Here are some of my past resolutions....
Want to get healthy? Assess your eating, workout routine, habits. Track what you are doing. Make a plan to improve eating, when you will work out, what you will stop doing!
Want to spend time doing a devotional? Assess what time of day is best, what kind of devotional, how much time do you have? Track when your quiet moments are in the day. Write out the time and day you plan on doing your devotionals. Will you wake up before everyone else?
Want to stay in touch with friends? Assess what friends do you want to stay in contact with? How often will you be in contact with them? Track how often you talk to them a week/a month and how. Plan when you will make this happen. Write out the date and time in your planner to call or write.
I know that keeping a clean house sounds like a silly resolution, but it's the one thing I really struggled keeping up with last year. I know having a tidy home makes me feel better, it makes my husband happy, and yup even the kids. They play with their toys more and don't have to deal with a mom in a bad mood.
Maybe next year I'll make it my resolution to not let a messy house bother me. HA! What's your resolution this year?