Lent begins tomorrow. Are you ready? In some ways I feel Lent is overdue this year. I started some practical resolutions last week to get my days in order, knowing I could not begin to make spiritual progress without such simple rules. Last week, I strived to:
- wake up at 6AM every morning, shower and pray by 7AM whether the baby is asleep or not
- begin school at 9AM on school days
- give my children only one warning before a consequence (stop nagging)
- pray the Angelus before lunch daily
- take my children outside at least 30 minutes each day
- get out my old chore lists and check them off
- write a meal plan for all 3 meals for the week and mostly stick to it
- use fewer words to communicate more clearly, especially with my children
- engage my children in preparing for and beginning Lenten practices
- spend 30 minutes a day writing
This has been very helpful! It is a relief to know there is someone else out there struggling with self-discipline like I am. One benefit of homeschooling is that you make all the decisions and are entirely in charge - no school bell to beat, any teaching philosophy you choose. But, one challenge of homeschooling is that you make all the decisions and are entirely in charge - sleep in late, no paycheck to earn for a job well done. Plus, just the discipline of writing these things down and having to evaluate myself has been motivating.
2. Inspired by The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, I have created a chart to check off my goals daily. (more thoughts on the book later) My chart for Lent can be printed from my Scribd account here if you want a copy. Across the top, I simply wrote each goal, and I check them off each day I am successful. I have used a handwritten chart for the past two weeks, but I look forward to using the simple typed chart for the 40 days of Lent.
Having a chart like this has required me to be honest with whether or not I am fulfilling the basic responsibilities of my days and my weekly goals. I have tied some things to simple rewards, such as unless I do x, I cannot get on the computer. But, mostly, the chart merely brings to mind daily (several times a day, actually) my goals and has helped me to stay focused and motivated.
These two simple things have unstuck me from my deer in headlights indecisiveness about what to do each day or what personal changes to make first. I have a long way to go on my path to holiness, but these little helps might just make it a little easier for me to get a little closer a little sooner.
May this Lent be life-giving to you!