Good Habits Are Like Rockets

I need to take some time to clarify my goals.  As you know, I struggle with ADHD, and keeping my life organized is a challenge, but I think I can overcome some of my struggles by establishing better habits.  The first three months of this project will focus on personal habits.  Hopefully, I’ll be done by May. 

My goals are as follows:

Goal 1:   Establish the following four habits 

  • Spend thirty minutes every day to spiritually recharge
  • Plan daily and weekly and keep my planning system (including my phone) with me at all times
  • Get better sleep by going to be earlier and getting up earlier

However I only work on one habit at a time.  A good habit takes 21 days to form.  Starting a good habit is difficult.  Steven Covey, in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says it best:

Those of us who watched the lunar voyage of Apollo 11 were transfixed as we saw the first men walk on the moon and return to earth. . . . But to get there, those astronauts literally had to break out of the tremendous gravity pull of the earth.  More energy was spen in the first few minutes of lift-off, in the first few miles of travel, then was used over the next several days to travel half a million miles. 

Habits, too, have tremendous gravity pull–more than most people realize or would admit.  Breaking deeply imbedded habitual tendencies such as procrastination, impatience, criticalness, or selfishness that violate basic principles of human effectiveness involves more than a little willpower and a few minor changes in our lives.  “Lift off” takes a tremendous effort, but once we break out of the gravity pull, our freedom takes on a whole new dimension.  p. 46-47.  Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  

 It is very difficult to establish a habit.  It feels like everything is conspiring against you the first week.  That’s how I felt.   However, I just finished my 21st day of taking 30 minutes a day to spiritually recharge, and now it is not hard to maintain.  I feel a renewed energy, more direction and purpose, and more at peace.  I believe much of my failure in the past is that I try to establish too many good habits at once.  I have to remember that I am launching a rocket, and I’ve got my hands full launching one at a time.  If I have to troubleshoot some of these “rockets,”  21 days may not be long enough. 

 Goal 2:  Read the following books (images courtesy of Barnes and Noble)

  • The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People (His web-site)
  • The Autobiography of Ben Franklin (Can be read online)
  • How to Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems (for me–I’ve got sleep problems)

Goal 3:  Establish my values and write a personal mission statement

Goal 4:  Organize these things in my life

  • My cellphone (add all numbers I need in my directory)
  • My planner (I’ve got to buy one)
  • My purse
  • My make-up
  • My wardrobe
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7 comments

  1. I love the 7 Habits book: you’ve inspired me to dig mine out and read it again.
    Have you heard of flylady.net? The aim is to achieve one small goal a day for a while, and then tackle to big stuff in small chunks. She has lessons each day, and sends out emails to keep you on track. So far, it’s been fun reclaiming my life -sound like you’re motivated too. 🙂

  2. For me, it’s helping with the completion of things. It’s been hugely motivating to ‘aim to underachieve’ I haven’t burned out or become depressed trying to catch up on everything all at once. But if it doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t work for you…

  3. I looked at it again–it actually looks like the kind of thing I’m doing–doing one thing one day at a time. When I get to working on household in a few months, I’m going to give it a try. Thanks for the tip!

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