A few weeks ago, I decided to make a New Year's Resolution of doing one small task a night after work in order to break the inertia of housework. I started out like gangbusters and then predictably, it all fell flat. It is easy to write this off as the standard resolution failure, but I wasn't ready to give up yet.
I thought for a few days about what had changed, why had I lost momentum, and then I realized that at the beginning of the year, I had made a long list of small tasks that needed done. I was not physically using that list to decide which nightly task to complete, but I was mentally working off the list! I don't know why it did not immediately occur to me to make another list when the first one was complete, but it didn't. Probably because I didn't quite realize I was working off the list.
So. I have now created a new list. The new list has a variety of tasks, some of which are quite small and others of which will be multi-day adventures. I am a little dubious that some these listed tasks will actually rise to the status of having been done, but they are there just in case I have some extra time. Or something.
Another new habit I am trying to develop is reading out of my Magnificat magazine every morning. Back when I was pumping--thank God I'm not doing that anymore--I had a nice routine of reading morning prayer during my first pump session. When I stopped pumping, that habit fell right away. I intended to get to it during the work day. I have time for it, goodness knows, but somehow it just never happened. It has been several months of randomly reading through a day and then not again for most of the week and then flipping past the pages of shame.
I decided that leaving it to the vague time of "at some point today" just wasn't working so I fixed it to the time I am most likely to actually do it: right when my behind first hits my seat in the morning. I open my email to make sure nothing is on fire and then open Magnificat for the day's morning prayer. I like this routine and it has been working for the last week or so. What's odd is almost everyday I feel the strain of wanting to jump ahead, to procrastinate until later in the morning, and to boot up all my normal processes. I have to resist this urge every morning. I am always glad to have prayed it, but in the decisive moment of doing it, I always feel the slightest "ugh" about it. I take this as a good sign that I have picked the right battle.