A few years back I became persuaded that goals/subgoals/steps toward subgoals was not actually the best arrangement for time management and moving toward those goals. Instead, I learned, we should set our goals and then make sure we develop the habits that move us toward the goals. Habits, I discovered, are more powerful than willpower.
Since then I’ve worked to develop and rely on those habits and routines, and I can say honestly that this has made a difference in my life. I’ve lost nearly one hundred pounds. My business is successful and manageable. My home is less chaotic and more peaceful, though I still need to work on that.
I have a good morning routine: rise, brush teeth, evacuate, take allergy pills, weigh myself and exercise for thirty minutes, eat a health breakfast and enjoy a cup of tea while checking the headlines, dress like a grownup, spend a little time with my husband, and get to work by 8:00.
I work steadily all day and end my work day promptly at 6:00. Then I start cooking dinner, do a ten minute strength training, eat a healthy dinner, clean up, do my daily chore (clean the bathrooms, for example, or change the sheets), and move on to my evening activities. I go to bed at 9:00 or as close to as possible, and read until my light automatically goes off a 10:00.
This orderly life suits me well. Friday night is Me Time. My husband goes to work and I do absolutely whatever I please.
Saturday is usually a day of chores and errands, family time, and needlework or other projects. Ideally, it continues the feeling of freedom from Friday night. I wake with the knowledge that the whole day is mine to do with as I please.
But then there is Sunday. I go to Sunday School, choir practice, and church. Sometimes I go to afternoon performances. Today, for example, I’ll be seeing A Little Night Music with a group of friends. I spend time on projects, garden in season, and settle in for an evening of knitting and Britbox.
But this is not the best way to prepare for the upcoming week.
Instead, I let this be the end of the week. It’s the Sabbath, and it should be a day of rest. That’s a pleasure. I like getting up when I feel like it and starting the day slowly. Sometimes I make a cup of tea and take it back to bed with my Kindle. Sometimes I make pastry or French toast for breakfast and sometimes I don’t get dressed until it’s almost time to go. I exercise or not depending on how I feel. It’s the last unconstructed time before the beginning of the new week. Except that it isn’t really. I rarely skip church. I don’t decide on the spur of the moment whether or not to attend a play or concert. If I have family lunch, then I have responsibilities related to that meal.
And Monday goes better if I make time for planning. I should plan my meals, make sure all my clothes have been put away ready to wear, clean the kitchen and tidy my living room and office so that the week begins with serenity.
Sunday is a day of worship, a day to enjoy the world God has made, a day to spend with people. I’ve written the next paragraph over several times now. I am not finding it persuasive. I guess I don’t want any more routine on Sunday than I already have. I’ll leave this post to remind myself of that.
In fact, I enjoyed the show very much. I came home and vacuumed, changed the sheets, put away the laundry, talked with my husband, and cut out a dress for the baby. I’ll knit now, and enjoy the balmy evening.