Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sunday Fresh Take: The Inner Voice

Hi all!

I'm doing our Sunday Fresh Take on Saturday because tomorrow's Easter and I won't be home then.

I wanted to do a post relating to our blog challenge: change three things for three months.  Why do a challenge like this?  Because of the inner voice in all of us.  Whether you think it's your conscience, the devil and the angel on your shoulder, or you just assume your going crazy, we've all dealt with the inner voice.  But how many of us actually listen to it?  You may think you're an upstanding citizen who does everything you're supposed to do, but I bet if you spent a day noting how many times you ignore your inner voice, you'd be shocked at your findings!

"I should wipe up that dirt spot."  "I should call my old high school friend."  "I shouldn't eat this."  "I should stop yelling at my kids so much."  "I should go for a walk."  "I should take care of this stack of papers on my counter."  Sound familiar?

Let's create an example: my living room.  Mike and I generally try to have our kids clean up their toys when they're done playing, especially when it's nap time or bedtime.  But on occasion, we decide that getting them down for a nap this second is more important than having them clean up since there's not that big of a mess.  Harmless, right?  Well, this one little mess at nap time isn't so bad, as long as you tend to it immediately after the nap.  However, today we had a hectic day and bedtime is seeming more important than cleaning up their toys.  Okay, so it's not too bad...maybe 15 minutes of cleaning a little later.  Now Mike and I are getting ready for bed and since we had such a chaotic day, we're too pooped to deal with the little trouble of cleaning their toys.  So the kids come down in the morning and create more mess before we ever get downstairs.  One thing rolls into another and before you know it, it's dinner time of day two and we still haven't cleaned up the living we have to get it done and now it's going to take a significant chunk of time.  If we had listened to that inner voice that told us "clean this mess up now," we never would have had to spend an hour cleaning the living room, pulling toys out from beneath the couch, sorting toys that got intermingled during play, and crawling around on our knees chasing toys down across the first floor.  The kids probably wouldn't have gotten so cranky, the day wouldn't have felt so chaotic, and we would have actually had time to sit and relax at the day's end, instead of feeling tired and overwhelmed.

Procrastination may have the benefit of the adrenaline rush to help push us to our deadline, but wouldn't it be better if we just got used to dividing up our time and delegating our responsibilities when possible?  If I always stayed on top of housework, meal planning, my own eating and sleep habits, and so many other menial daily tasks, my days might not be easy, but at least I'd be able to take a calm approach to parenting and other responsibilities (or emergencies!) that crop up.

When you decide to finally make a change, it can be a very freeing feeling.  It can be hard to achieve new goals, especially when it's something you've continually struggled with.  I suggest choosing manageable goals that challenge you without making you feel frustrated.  This is why we chose three months for our 3x3 challenge:  New Year's resolutions fail because you're setting life-long goals that can feel impossible to reach, but limiting yourself to 1 month gives you too much of a "finish line" feel and won't necessarily help you permanently change/create a habit.

So whether or not you decide to challenge yourself to change three things, I do challenge you to start listening to your inner voice.  The results will be tremendous!

Happy Easter!


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