The new morning and night routine has been a great addition to our home and home school already! There are definitely some adjustments that need to be made but the advantages I already see make the effort necessary worth it!
Habits are powerful because they reduce they make behavior automatic, reducing the need for decision-making. This frees up our brain and willpower, so we can use it for more important things. In her book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, Gretchen Rubin says:
When possible, the brain makes a behavior into a habit, which saves effort and therefore gives us more capacity to deal with complex, novel, or urgent matters. Habits mean we don’t strain ourselves to make decisions, weigh choices, dole out rewards, or prod ourselves to begin. Life becomes simpler, and many daily hassles vanish.
Another FAVORITE recommended book on this topic is The Power of Habit. This book is FASCINATING. It explains the science behind habit formation, giving you control over forming GOOD ones and helping you be more intention.
So far this week I can see how helping my children develop routines and habits helps them AND me!
The advantages I have notices so far:
Increased focus on the task at hand.
It has kept the kids more focused in the morning I’ve noticed they wander less. My nine year old got did get a bit distracted because of his brother.
Visually seeing progress was motivating.
This is not surprising. Even in my own tracking methods during the day, I LOVE checking off the items as I complete them! It is a great way to stimulate the brain as it is a form of rewarding the behavior we want to instill. The kids look forward to writing their checks and even have “special pencils” to do it with LOL. It also helped them to see the end point of their morning routine. We also have gave small reward once the list was complete. This week they look forward to some play time outside. Rewards are a powerful tool to use when forming habits!
There is less need to fuss and nag.
When they lose focus or get distracted, instead of my usual nagging and frustration, I can just direct them to their list when necessary. Much less stressful for both of us!
As I evaluate these routines to increase the chance of success I also notice some things we can do differently moving forward:
- Tightening up the time frame. Giving them a specific time frame to complete the list, 45 minutes – 1 hour, would help them stay more focused.
- Starting off a bit earlier. I currently wake up at 5:45a with the older boys to do our morning routine. I CAN’T WAIT to share with you how that one looks! AMAZING the results we have seen from our routines! Getting important things done early empowers us for the rest of the day. I definitely don’t want to start the younger kids off that early, but if I did it a bit earlier than I have so far it may work a bit better.
Lastly, I notice that efficiency and productivity is contagious! My 4 year old daughter does not have her “morning routine” yet, but when she saw her brothers working through it she decided to start her own! She even surprised me and wrote/spelled a word all by herself! She also started a reading program this week and is excited about learning! Watching her brothers productivity is rubbing off LOL
I am so excited about this journey of “habit formation”! There is little more important and more empowering in the raising of future leaders!
When we change our habits, we change our lives. We can use decision making to choose the habits we want to form, we can use willpower to get the habit started; then — and this is the best part — we can allow the extraordinary power of habit to take over. We take our hands off the wheel of decision, our foot off the gas of willpower, and rely on the cruise control of habits.
That’s the promise of habit.
Being intentional in WHAT habits we form is essential. As we move forward, we will discuss and explore what habits are MOST empowering for a life of purpose, for them and US!