For this Saturday, the most important habit I can think of is this one:
15 Minute Reflection before bedtime.
A nightly Examen is an old Ignatian bit of advice, of course. In fact, St Ignatius recommended several daily examens if you are trying hard to work on some particular fault or progress in some particular good habit. It would be a bonus if I could reflect on my progress several times a day, but if I don't get to it all day, still, evening is the key. Then a brief reminder in the morning gets the day started off right.
In Flylady's routine examples., she suggests a "cool down time" in the evening and this has been useful for me. Athletes spend time warming up and cooling down before and after working out. When I do something like that, it does help me not to get blindsided by events that seem to just occur. Since I'm a visual/intuitive person, it helps me to try to visualize myself going through the key moments of the next day and also to try to -- hard to explain -- but wake up my imagination and ponder the significance of those events, what I want them to be about.
Hard to explain! maybe I'll try to blog about that some other time. But if I don't do this thing that I find hard to explain, often the day slips by in a rattling film-strip sequence. I may get a lot done, but it feels like just making the moves. I think of our Blessed Mother, or St Joseph, working through the day and being conscious as they work of the significance of their ordinary, everyday hidden actions. They were affecting history through cooking, and carpentry, and companionship with their Son.
Some questions that Flylady suggests:
- What is on my list for tomorrow?
- What can I do this evening to make tomorrow go more smoothly?
- What did I accomplish today?
- What am I grateful for today?
After you do that is a good time to read, write, draw and/or pray. As often as not I fall right to sleep though.
While I was searching the blog for the 15 minute reflection post, I found this Habit of Improvement
one which seemed to fit in with the topic. Remember that if you are a global thinker like me, having some kind of big picture view to go with your specific habit can be really helpful.
So far I've gone over and above my last week's "making bed and swishing toilet" habit. In addition, I've been successfully keeping toys, extra coffee cups and food out of my room. This keeps maintenance down considerably, and my husband is very happy not to step on crumbs when he comes into his room. Hurray!