Is something tripping you up that’s making it hard for you to press on? Think about it for a minute. Maybe you’re able to list a dozen things, but can you single out just one?

What’s the one thing that, if fixed, would offer vast improvement?

Is the house such a wreck that you find it hard to concentrate? Are you having to micromanage every detail with your kids? Are you worried that you’re not doing enough?

There is hope for you today!

The solution may sound underwhelming, but here it is. Habit.

If you focus in on just one new habit to overcome that problem area, you could be on your way to a much better year.

Habit is defined as “a settled or regular tendency.”

Everyone knows what habit is. The best example is brushing your teeth in the morning or fixing your coffee. You don’t think about each step, you just do it – and sometimes with your eyes still closed.

There is power in habit.

The more good habits we can create – the things we can do or teach our children to do without even thinking – the more streamlined and peaceful our days can be.

One habit that worked well for me when our children were young was “4:30 Clean-up Time.” Everyone knew the areas of the house they were responsible for cleaning, and when the word “4:30 Clean-up” went out, the job got done. This created a nice transition from homeschool and “day” time to Dad coming home from work and getting ready for dinner and the evening.

There was no “This isn’t my job!” or “I didn’t make this mess!” Just habit. It was our “settled tendency.”

I love the habit our daughter has created with her four children ages 2-6. When it’s time to leave our house and go home to theirs, they take turns in the bathroom changing into their pajamas and putting their shoes back on so they can walk out to the car. (Even though they prefer to have a grandparent, aunt or uncle carry them to their vehicle!)

There is no fussing, “Wahhhh, I don’t want to leave,” blah blah blah. She hands them their pajamas and off they go.

The power of habit. That wonderful settled tendency where even young children find their calm in knowing what to do and doing it.

It is not easy to create a new habit, or everyone would.

Creating a habit requires effort. But as I have learned over the years, not nearly as much effort as haggling with my children over every little thing that really should just happen without my intervention.

I am not feeling overwhelmed so much anymore, not as I did at times during my homeschool years. But these days, I have started to worry. It seems my mind can always find something to worry about.

My habit this January is to breathe. Maybe you need to breathe too. In the overwhelm or worry of the day, we can take a moment to just breathe. Inhaling to me is proof that I am alive, that my body is working, that I am God’s. I can inhale God’s promise for me that he’s got this, and exhale the worry, recommitting myself in that moment to trusting God.

Is there one thing that you can think of today that would be helpful to you? A habit for your own self, or one to work on with one or all of your children?

Jump in today and create that habit! Bring your family along and encourage one another as each new day leads to greater peace and a happier new year!

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