The place where this really shows up is in my housework. It's atrocious! And a routine or schedule? Yeah, there is none. Unless you count watching TV and staying online a routine. Then, yeah, I have one of those.
I have tried schedules. I have tried lists. And guess what? None of them work for me. My perfectionism kicks in, and because I haven't done it just right, I freak out. I give up. And I let it go. Again.
I obviously have a problem with keeping up with a long, detailed schedule. I see this enormous mountain in front of me, and I have no clue how to scale it. So instead I plop back down on the couch, run around a couple of days a week trying to do a few things, and leave lots undone.
Or I'll start with a plan, keep it up for about a week, congratulate myself on a job well done, and then return to the couch for a day. But that day? It ends up being a week. A month. And I'm back where I started.
Enter the 3 in 30 Challenge.
Apparently others have the same trouble: staying focused on goals and lists, eventually laying them by the wayside. What do they do? Break down lofty goals into three little goals per month. Bite-sized, easy to chew, doable goals!
So, instead of me saying, "I'm going to work on keeping the kitchen spotless every day, keeping the laundry cleared, and making sure that Abby has a bedtime schedule," I can say instead, "For this month, I'm going to work on keeping the dishes washed after each meal, giving Abby a bath every night, and reading my Bible in the morning." See how much easier that is? And guess what. If I don't "master" a goal this month, I can work on it next month too! No, I don't see this as a license to perpetually mess up but as a way of not beating myself up over it. (Being a procrastinating perfectionist, I can have some mean self-talk if I don't watch it! This gives me enough slack that I can shut myself up easily.)
I love the fact that I won't be alone in this. There's a Facebook group, a Twitter handle, a weekly blog linkup...there's definitely accountability! So even if I don't feel like doing it, the fact that there are hundreds of others behind me, encouraging me to keep pressing forward, will (hopefully!) help keep me motivated.
This month, for the rest of the month, and next month if needed, I'll be working on these three goals:
- Reading my Bible daily~attitude change
- Filling out my gift list daily~attitude change
- Giving Abby a bath every night~working on a schedule
3 in 30. 36 in 365. I can do that.