Finding Ideas For Your Life That Stick


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Do you ever feel like you keep trying new ideas that come across your path but most don’t stick?  Ideas for better parenting, marriage, cooking, organizing, exercising or budgeting?  I love new tips and tricks, but most of the time I just let them pass by, giving them a head nod on their way.  I have become a bit skeptical, since the ideas I do try often don’t stick around very long, which feels discouraging.

For example, chores.  We have done “chores” in our home in many different systems.  And for the most part, they have worked for a time.  But then something changes in our lives–summer vacation hits and all prior routine vanishes, or someone starts to feel self-conscious that I have all the chores listed publicly on our chalkboard with checkmarks on who has done what…so I take that down.  Or, I start a new project or job and don’t have time to stay consistent.  That is life. But it can still feel discouraging at times.

What about exercise?  A great new app comes out (NikeTrainingClub) that I download and use for a while, but then I get bored, or it takes up too much room on my phone storage, so I delete it.  Then I get an email about an new website (ToneItUp.com) that has great workouts.  So I join.  And jump up and down in my family room in front of my computer for a while.  Until I’m bored again.

Is this a bad thing?  Not always.  Humans, especially in our day and age, are wired to seek out the next best thing.  And with the ability to receive information so readily, we are constantly hearing about new ideas.  The key is finding the one or two systems in the important areas of your life that accomplish the goal, and hanging on to those until they aren’t working for you anymore.  My guess is that if the chores or the exercise programs aren’t working, it’s because your life has shifted, and it’s time give yourself permission to shift to a new idea.

Each day we sort and filter new ideas that we see on Facebook, TV, from friends, or books. How do we best select and filter all that comes our way?

1. Decide if what you are currently doing/using is working for you.

For example, if you have a system for organizing your closet that may not be perfect but is working for you, don’t feel like you need to head to The Container Store to acquire the best new system you just saw on a Today Show segment.  However, if your closet has been a source of frustration, and watching the segment makes you realize that, use the inspiration to get you off your duff and do something about it.

2. If an idea sounds good, don’t shrug it off because the last three things you have tried haven’t stuck around long term.

In my next post I will share a great new kid-chore tracker that a friend shared with me.  My first instinct was to say, “That’s nice,” and change the subject, knowing it is one more system that may not work long term.  However, I asked a few more questions, and decided to give it a try, even though I just knew one of my children would balk at it because it would feel “kiddish” to her.  Guess what?  It is working amazingly well…for all kids.

3. When you try something new, give it time.

Often, we start something, just to end it a week later.  We make a lot of excuses, “It is not working as fast as I thought it would, I didn’t have the time to learn how to do it well, I have already figured out three reasons why I can’t sustain this…”

Well, all of those things may be true, but if you don’t give things at least THREE WEEKS (21 days to form a habit!) of consistent effort, you will never know the true outcome.

This seems very true with any new organizing system, an effort to speak differently to your spouse, exercise programs, or a new eating routine, etc.!

4.  When you do stumble upon something great, share it!

I have learned some great new tips and tricks for my life that have stuck around because friends have shared what is working for them.  Don’t be shy about letting people know something that has been successful for you.

In my next post, I will share 4 ideas that have simplified my life–and that seem to be sticking!

So, in the spirit of sharing, please like and share this post on FB if you thought it was helpful. Thank you!

Have a great day!

Kids And Chores? 3 Great Ideas!

How motived are your kids to do chores? I wanted to share three parenting ideas that may help solve some of our most common struggles as moms.

Two of these I have done myself, and one I just learned about today from a good friend.

1. This first chore “helper”  is GREAT for little ones, and it actually became something my kids asked for.

It’s called THE CHORE BOX.

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Here’s how this simple tool works.  Make a list of household tasks that you would like your kiddos to help with.  Write them on strips of paper and put in a tissue box.  Gather the kids around when you have a half hour or so, and let them draw a strip of paper from the box.  My kids would giggle or playfully groan when they picked a chore, and then race to complete it.  As soon as the chore is complete they race back to draw the next one.  I would throw in one or two “Pick a piece of candy” in the box to make it really fun.

Caveat:  This won’t work as well with older kids–not quite as enthusiastic…

2. The second chore helper works when the kids get a little older, maybe 3rd grade to middle school:

It’s called CHORES FOR REWARDS

I created this chore motivator a few years back when I felt like the daily expectations for the kids around the house were well, kind of being ignored.  Lights were left on, food not put away, etc.  We needed a tune up!  So, knowing my kids were all motivated to earn money, I tried this system.

~ First, find two small bags.  In one, the “money bag”, put cards with coin amounts written on them–$.25, $.50, or whatever you are comfortable with.  Put several  quarters in the bag also.  In another bag, write the daily chores that need to be “sharpened up.”

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~ Next, gather the kids around in the evening.  Pick a task out of the bag, such as “Made Bed.”  Whoever has completed that task successfully for that day gets to pick out of the money bag.  So, let’s say two out of your three kids made their bed, they get to pick cards out of the coin bag.  And depending on what they draw, they can reach back in and gather that many coins.

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~ I would not do this every night, but maybe two or three times a week.  It was a great way for the younger kids to earn a few extra coins each week! (oh, and I threw in $1.00 cards every once in a while)

~ On one money card, I wrote “PRAISE”, and if the kids picked that one, they received verbal praise from me (usually a tackle hug or something fun too).  Even though this was not quite as fun as money, I wanted to teach them the value of praise and that it could make them feel great too!

 

3.  The final idea for today is for middle and high school kids, shared by my friend Heather this morning.

I don’t know what it’s called, so I’ll make up a name!  PROTECT THE LOOT

With this chore motivator, each of the kids gets X amount of money (whatever you might give them in monthly allowance) at the BEGINNING of the month in one dollar bills.  The bills go in a container in their room.  The goal is for the kids to not lose any money during the month.  “How might they lose their loot?,” you ask?  Well, each time they don’t do a standard, expected chore (in my house this would be something we have told them about, umm, 431 times), they lose a dollar.  Like, putting their wet towel from the shower back on the hook instead of on their bedroom floor.

So, will they choose to protect their loot or not?  I can’t wait to give this one a try!

 

 

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