As I have mentioned before, my little family took a few months off for vacation this year. 🙂 We’ve basically been gone for the better part of 2 1/2 months, so getting back in the swing of things was my number one goal this past week. I took a day off to recuperate from the long drive home, and then took another day finishing my work I neglected to do on vacation (my client told me it was okay). But after that I slowly started to make a dent in the work that needed to be done.
As mentioned before, I struggle with the “homemaker” aspect of my responsibilities. When I started the Improving Me Challenge I fully intended to start living up to my goals, and follow through with my plan, but then I went on vacation. I gave myself a few days to recuperate after the long summer, and then I dove in.
One of the best things for me was having an incentive to get things started. I love having a clean house, but when your entire house is trashed, the kids have brought toys out EVERYWHERE, you have piles and piles of laundry, etc. it is very hard to want to even start. So I gave myself a few goals and then a few incentives.
Goal #1: Work on cleaning 1 area really well a day.
I started with the kitchen since that is my husband’s favorite area and he is his happiest when he comes home and finds that cleaned. The next day I cleaned the dining room + kitchen. The next day was the dining room + kitchen + living room & halls. You get the point. By the time I had made it to the bathroom/bedrooms it was the weekend, so the entire family spent a few hours cleaning the kids rooms and both bathrooms, and then the next day I finally cleaned up our bedroom. Whew.
Goal #2: Pick-up before bedtime.
We did really good on this one. Usually, by the time bedtime rolls around we are exhausted and just want to get it over with. This week, however, we made sure we cleaned the dishes when dinner was done, we had the kids pick up the front room and put all the toys away in their rooms, and I had the dishwasher going every night before I headed to bed. It is so much easier to keep on top of work when there aren’t dishes, clutter and toys everywhere!
Goal #3: If I keep the house picked up for __ amount of days, I get something.
I know that having an incentive helps me a lot, especially when its something I don’t want to do – like exercising, cleaning, or cooking. I have NEVER been able to keep our house clean for long amount of periods, especially when I am working. So I set little incentives to help me push myself a little more. I read somewhere that it takes anywhere from 21 – 30 days to form a habit, so that is my ultimate goal with my house cleaning. I’d love if I made cleaning a habit so it isn’t so hard for me to do.
So what is my incentive? For every week (7 days) I get to choose a project from around the house to work on (with Jim’s help) with no complaints. 🙂 I have to be realistic in my choice (we have a budget), but it is something that is really fun for me to decide on and think about. It is hard for me to set aside money for home projects because we are working hard to get out debt, so actually working for it makes me feel a little less guilty about it. haha. The first week will be something small, and then the next week something a little bigger, and finally if I’m able to keep up with it all month I’m hoping to get something really fun that I’ve wanted for a while – like getting rid of our lame dresser and getting a better one, or getting a new bed set, or doing something fun for the boys or Lena’s room. I am definitely excited!
But if I didn’t have any $ I am sure I would be happy to have other incentives, like a nice long back massage from the hubby, or not having to deal with diaper duty all day, or not having to put kids to bed that night. Obviously I’d need to work it out with Jim to make sure, but I have done these before with exercise goals and they are terrific as well.
Goal #4: Once I have cleaned the house I am going to start organizing. (We had friends in town this weekend so I haven’t started this yet, but our house is all clean now so I’m going to start organizing this week!)
So how well am I doing???
I have now officially kept my house clean for 7 days! I never thought it would be possible while I was working, and yet I did it! If you saw how messy our house was to begin with you would agree this was a miracle as well. If I can do it, you can do it! I promise.
How are you guys doing on your cleaning goals? How about your other goals? I’m focusing on cleaning this month, but I’m hoping once I get that under control and a habit I’ll start working on the other ones I hope. 🙂