Friday, November 8, 2013

Building habits

Welcome to everyone who's stopped by from Rhonda's blog at Down to Earth! Thanks for visiting. I hope you enjoy some of my ramblings about trying to live a simpler, slower life whilst working in the hubbub of European policymaking in Brussels, Belgium.


Do you know what's weird? 

A year ago, doing the washing up was a HUGE hassle. I'd set up my laptop on a nearby surface to have something on in the background - an old period drama on youtube or a music playlist. I'd put it off until the last minute, which meant going to bed really really late. It always seemed such a bummer and it would take me thirty, sometimes forty minutes.

Now? Washing up takes me ten minutes, fifteen tops, and I barely notice it. It feels more like two. I don't even need to think, I just do the washing up and then I can cuddle up on the sofa under a blanket and unwind from the day. No distractions, no (or less!) procrastination.

When something is habitual, it doesn't take willpower to do it. This is why my kitchen surfaces are always beautifully clean - I wipe down surfaces every evening after I do the washing up - but my bathroom isn't - I rarely push myself to scrub the bath-tub.

So this month I've set about learning a habit. I really like Leo Babauta's guide. Don't be too ambitious, make it impossible to fail. My new habit is to wipe down the bathroom surfaces every morning just after I have brushed and pinned my hair. It's super easy, three minutes. And guess what, it gets easier - if I wiped a surface yesterday, it doesn't often acquire major grime over a 24-hour period, and it's super easy to wipe it today. So easy that I end up wiping down some nearby tiles or the edge of the bathtub or the mirrors most mornings. Weirdly, by telling myself I only have to wipe the sink, in reality I'm cleaning half the bathroom daily, whereas if I tell myself to clean half the bathroom, realistically I won't even wipe the sink.

So I'm looking forward to the point when the habit is so ingrained and the bathroom so clean that it will always be sparkly and, like the washing up, I'll barely notice cleaning it.


  1. Just visiting from Rhoda's blog, but you are now on my favourites list! I love your idea of "Anne of Green Gables" thinking when it comes to decluttering-inspired! I'm looking forward to reading through your archives, but must force myself to get on with something now as the sun has just come out after heavy rain, and cleaning the bathrooms is calling!(I'm going to use your motivation tip on that this week too!) Have a lovely weekend! Love Penny L in Dorsetxx

    1. Hi - thanks for stopping by. Glad you've found my ramblings interesting - good luck with the bathrooms! Have a great weekend too



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...