As I made my coffee this morning, a thought occurred to me: habits are like honey. Sticky, smooth, sweet. Comforting or infuriating. Changing habits, and adopting new habits, is tough unless you’ve got something hot enough to melt all the sticky away.
Sometimes a shift in the environment creates the change.
Sometimes a desire is hot enough to melt away the sticky bits.
Both work wonders.
Throughout the last year plus, everyone developed coping mechanisms. Our normal routines got disrupted to say the least; good habits, out the window. All impacted by the pandemic to varying degrees, we sought comfort. Add that background anxiety to the myriad demands on your mental and physical energy, and doing even the simplest things felt like running through honey.
The start of the school year invites a review of habits and routines. Fall always feels like an opportunity to check in and consciously decide what to keep, adopt, or let go.
Throughout the summer, I found myself caught between two personas. The carefree mom who relaxed the rules because 1) it’s summer, and 2) my kids didn’t have a lot of ways to be independent. She showed up enough to make it really frustrating for my second persona. She’s the anxious mom who signed her kids up for a math class; the one who couldn’t handle the attachment to screens, and wanted her kids to go outside without cajoling. (Could you imagine? The gall.)
I’m all for freedom, but not a fan of watching YouTube and gaming forever and ever.
But these are the default habits my boys have now, and I’ve developed the habit of micromanaging. (Let’s be honest, that’s not new.) Micromanaging is some thick honey that got even stickier throughout the pandemic. It not only impacts my boys negatively, it’s also a roadblock to my own work. And sanity. It once again reminded me:
What you say to your children reflects what you need yourself.
In other words, check in with yourself to see where you’re not meeting your own needs, goals, and desires. I know when I weild my micro-manager wand, it’s because I’m avoiding something myself. It’s kind of annoying (probably to everyone, even me), but it’s a signal I need to check in with me. Have you noticed that at your house too?
Addressing our own needs, through habits and actions and beliefs, creates healthier patterns for everyone. Simple, not easy. Everything seems SO important! Really though, you matter most.
How to shift those habits? Start here:
- What do you need (and want) to feel safe & thrive?
- How do you want to feel everyday? When you wake up? As you tuck into bed?
- What small actions will address those desires, needs, and feelings?
- Start doing those small actions.
- Start again when needed. Revise. Try something new. No judgement.
It’s best to start with little changes. I’m the queen of the 30 daily habits that get so overwhelming you quit before you start — those don’t work. I’ve tried many, many times. Create a big vision of how you want things to go, how you want to feel, and BE SPECIFIC. Once you can visualize it, choose a couple small actions first. Once you build momentum, it’s easier to keep going. The small stuff snowballs into the big stuff, and you start shifting more than you realized was possible.
Be gentle with yourself, and the people around you. Everyone’s carrying a lot right now, and being critical and judgy doesn’t help anyone. Least of all, you. This work is tough to do on your own. If it wasn’t everyone would be rockin’ their dreams, and that lightness of mind everyone craves. That’s not what’s happening in the world. I’m sure you’ve noticed. That’s why I’m here. Checking in with your default habits and actions is part of the coaching process. It helps to have someone on your side that only wants the best for you without needing you to be a certain way. #noexpectations #nojudgement
If you’ve been saying you want to do something for years, but it still hasn’t happened…
If you’ve tried different challenges or habits only to go back to old patterns…
If you’ve never asked for help before because it feels like it means you’re a failure…
If you’ve been focusing solely on your kids and know you need more too…
Book a free call with me.
Listen, moms keep this world going. We’re supposed to hold it all, manage it all, and make it work with little to no support. Add the fact that much of what we carry is invisible, and that keeps you overwhelmed and exhausted.
It’s time to revisit what works for you!
Because what works for you, works for your family too.
Hi, I'm Cara Maclean and I want to see you thrive. I coach (former) rule-following moms who've realized the rules don't work. You're smart (gifted even), maybe with neurodiverse kids, and simply too good at making life work for everyone else. Let's make it work well for you too. Fabulously well. Oh, and I've also got a book coming soon, through GHF Press! 🥳
If you're ready thrive on your terms, sign up for a free 30 minute consult call here!