Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Force of Habit

This morning as I was dressing my son I noticed that when I picked up his pants to put them on him, he lifted up his leg in anticipation of putting it in the leg hole. Not a big deal, I know, but it surprised me because he had never done it before. Later when I grabbed the spray bottle to spritz his frizzy hair into soft curls he closed his eyes and ducked his head down. It made me smile.

When the little guy was brand-spanking new, we were encouraged to develop steady repetition in his routines because his preemieness (if that is a word) would cause him to be sensitive to over-stimulation. To be honest, the repetition also helps with a lot of other issues like putting him to bed at night and keeping him occupied while I get ready in the morning. For instance, he knows without a doubt that when mommy snuggles him up and sings "God Is So Good" that it is bed time, period. The repetition that we provide helps him feel safe, gives him something to rely on, and teaches him about consistency.

I heard once that it takes 28 days of repetition to form a pattern and 90 days to form a habit; it is the reason that many rehab centers offer 28 and 90 day programs. I've been thinking a lot about my habits lately, both the good ones and the bad, and wondering what new habits I could be developing. Believe it or not, I've actually posted a 90 day calendar on my bathroom mirror and have been putting a little gold star up for every day that I work out. Lame, I know, but you won't believe how effective it has been. When I get home after a long day of work, make dinner, pick up the house and put the munchkin to bed, working out is the very last thing I want to do until I see that chart. Knowing you are 65 days in and that skipping that day will cause you to start over breeds a new kind of motivation.

I won't bore you with the details of the new habits I am trying to forge but I will ask, have you considered your habits lately?

Your thoughts?

1 comment:

Eve said...

That's exactly what I need to do-been putting it off too long. Thanks for stopping by my blog today, by the way :)