January Habit #30 My Perfectionist Inner Child/Brat

Hello my lovely ladies in FLY central!

I am so thankful to my college newspaper for citing your advice to wear shoes everyday and leading me to your site back in 2008. Of course then I crashed and burned doing all the steps within 10 days. I have tried again and again to implement your system (I actually have your shine your sink steps memorized lol), but every time I got stuck and hated myself. However, I KNEW your system would work if I could make it (I love your products and buy them for my family). I loved December’s habit of pampering, a habit I never got to, and I’m really good at that, so deciding again that it was time for this to work, all I did this past busy December was shine my sink, read your emails, and focus on me through pampering. I mentally and spiritually pampered myself into the new year with a shiny sink!

And it was as I was shining my sink on New Year’s Day thinking about one of your emails concerning the GOOD book that I bumped into Rachel, my perfectionist inner child/brat. We had a long hard talk until I found out exactly what hadn’t worked, why, and how to fix it. And for the first time, I am getting to the end of a month still FLYing. I’d like to share my excuses of why I wasn’t FLYing and the adjustments I’ve made as to how I now am.

ROUTINES!!! Your routines were a hold up because, well, they’re yours. I’m not sure why it took so long for me to figure out that it was ok to change your routines to fit my post-college three-payrolls SHE lifestyle. For example, I am in the bathroom in the mornings, but I have discovered putting the daily Swish and Swipe in my evening routine before I shower makes it more likely that I will do it, and I stop beating myself up in the mornings when I’m still having problems waking up in time to get much more than dressed, animal care, and a quick breakfast. All month I have been decorating my calendar daily with one sticker for doing my morning routine and another sticker for my evening routine. This month I held myself accountable for very very basic routine plans. Next month, I will add one more thing to the routines to incorporate and practice. Of course my routines get quicker as the clutter disappears. Just implementing morning and evening routines that work in my specific situation has done wonders for my attitude and home.

THE TIMER!!!! I really wanted the timer to be my friend (especially in 2010) but a timer always seems to stress me out and makes me give up. At the start of January I realized that I have become Flywashed enough over the years of sporadically reading emails that I know tasks don’t take long and this wasn’t my problem with cleaning as I had been assuming. My problem was I was creating a mental to-do list of everything I wanted to get done and then getting overwhelmed by this list before I started. To fix this, I decide to do JUST ONE task without thinking about what my next task should be. I know you talk about this, but it just hit me while I was shining my sink. This changes my thinking from “I need to sweep the bathroom floor, wash the rugs, clean the tub, and mop” to “Let’s sweep the floor.” After that is completely done, I decide on the next task. I make sure I don’t burn out because I also decide on a resting activity every few tasks and drink water in between. I use a Podcast (usually one of FlyLady’s friends) to turn off my planning brain and ensure I don’t make a to-do list while I’m cleaning. Just by making myself focus on one small task that really does take 10 minutes or less around the house I can focus, clean, and fling as well as enjoy relaxation. In addition, I found that a timer cannot get me off the couch after my resting time is up, but doing something I’m not going to whine about will. So if I decide to sweep and Rachel starts whining about sweeping, I re-think which blessing she would like to do instead. Then I start with that blessing and use the kinetic (moving) energy to transition to something that I didn’t necessarily feel like doing 5 minutes ago while I was still sitting on my couch. The best part is that since January started, the number of blessings I was whining about has dwindled significantly.

MY CONTROL JOURNAL!!!!!! I have perfectionism issues with a paper control journal. A paper control journal, even on Post-it notes or note cards, seems so final it stressed me out and made me feel guilty if I didn’t get something done. I know, I know. Somehow “perfectionism is shelved in 2012” never really sunk in, but I truly am letting it go more and more now that I found the source. Therefore, I have restarted a control journal using the free app Springpad on my iPad. This has been the third and final game changer to FLYing. For instance, it’s sunk in that that the order in which I clean generally doesn’t matter (shocking!), so I have created a master checklist of ways to bless my house each week keeping it out of my head and off paper. Somehow the electronic checklist keeps the guilt away better than the paper versions, and I am on my iPad everyday. So far, I make menus, create a grocery list, have my routines, track my budget, and created daily focus plans all on my iPad. I also didn’t stress about my daily focus plans this month – again this was a morning and evening routine with whatever blessings I could do on whichever days I could month. My mantra was “housework done incorrectly, and on the wrong day, still blesses my family” I never allowed myself to feel that freedom with a paper control journal and was one of the reasons I kept biting off more than I could chew. All of the important paper documents will go in my control journal binder as I get to that habit, but right now this is where I am.

FLYing has extended past the material. As I find myself more picky about what goes in my house, I’ve also found myself more picky about what goes in my mind and body. I’ve been slowly flinging mean thoughts both about myself and others, and I’ve been able to let go of a relationship that was not good for me. So thank you thank you thank you for such a flexible system, all the support to fling the clutter I’ve been carrying around with me, and that hug I feel every morning when I see my shiny sink and the growing number of decluttered areas of my house.

After 7 years, this Flybaby is FINALLY making FLYing work in Florida. YEAH!!!! GO ME!!!!

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