Summer habits

IMG_0958I have been feeling like I am in a bit of a lull right now. Partly it is that the baby is not sleeping well. He has been going to bed late, waking up early, and he is coming off a streak of waking up in the middle of the night nightly. This combination means I am not operating at peak energy status. Also, I am figuring out what my next big project will be. But as I do, I am using the extra time to start a few new habits.

Write 1000 words a day. I am revising my NaNoWriMo novel, Juliet’s School for the Domestic Arts. I am having a lot of fun doing free writing as I figure out who the characters are, and each of their back stories. I set a target of writing 1000 words a day of these explanations and side scenes. It is very doable, but more importantly, it feels like I have been doing something. Some days I double up if I am feeling inspired. In 6 weeks of this (30,000 words), I should have enough to go in an do a full re-write of the current 55,000 word manuscript.

Do plank poses. I run most days but I have never been as good about strength training as I could be. I’ve realized I will probably not go to the gym to lift weights, but I can do a 60-second plank pose daily to build abdominal strength (I suspect carrying around a toddler who weighs 26 lbs does wonders for my arms already).

Read with the kids. I read one book to/with kids per day. I might do more (I do have four kids), but that is the minimum. Lately the 6-year-old and I have been trading off reading stories together, each doing a page or so. I am probably going to start a posted-on-the-kitchen-wall reading log for the three older children, hoping that will nudge them to spend a bit more time reading and a bit less time playing games on their Kindles.

What habits are you adopting this summer?

In other news: Speaking of habits, I’ll be writing an article next week on people who’ve managed to kick the snooze button habit. If you have given your snooze button the heave-ho, or have at least cut down your snooze time, I would love to interview you about what worked. As always, you can email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.

Photo: I love the rump-in-the-air sleeping pose. Now if only he would adopt that pose from 7:30 P.M. to 6:30 A.M…

9 thoughts on “Summer habits

  1. We had to wake the boys up this morning, and they both headed straight to the couch and assumed that pose, they were so tired (at night they sleep all sprawled out, half falling off the bed). It was too cute, I never thought I’d see that again.
    Planks are my nemesis. Fiery hate. (which means its worth doing, I guess).
    Summer habits…hmmm….wine on the patio every evening? Summer is the same as any other time at work for me, and school’s still not out, so its hard to think “summer” yet!

  2. I’ve been getting up at 6 and heading to the Starbucks to write for a couple of hours before the kids get up in the morning. The baby still wakes me up at night to nurse, so a daytime nap is absolutely necessary!

    1. @Carrie – that sounds like a nice morning routine! I’m trying to go to bed early. I like to stay up and read, but I can kind of read magazines while the baby plays in the morning, and if I go to bed early, I won’t be (as) tired.

  3. I have my summer lists for improvement for myself, but I also spend this time teaching my children specific habits. Last summer, I taught my oldest, then 12, to cook spaghetti, meatloaf, baked chicken and about 3 other simple meals. He became responsible for dinner 1 night a week. He has learned to do his own laundry this summer. My daughter, 11, is learning how to scramble eggs and cook simple snacks. Even my 8 year old is learning how to make toast, microwave Mac and cheese, and things of that nature. These are activities they need to learn to help them be self reliant. It gets messy, and it’s not always easy to take the back seat, but they have gained so much. I start every summer with a short list of activities to teach them and usually by the end they have mastered them.

    1. @Amy- oh, I know! Hard to press snooze on a toddler who is out of his crib and yelling “Mama!” I have been thinking, lately, that it would be nice to have the sort of life where a snooze button might be relevant. As it is, I haven’t set an alarm in a long time.

  4. Good luck with the writing- I am really looking forward to reading that in the future. Just the title has me enticed!

    I am similarly working to strengthen my core and arms, I do a few planks after every run, but I don’t always get to run as often as I would like, so I have added the new goal of trying to do 1 push up. I can not do one full push up the correct way, and I am trying to work on this daily. I am hoping to get there and add on a few more, but just doing one would be satisfying! My 5 yr old daughter tells me ‘they’re easy, watch me’ : )
    ah, yes the snooze button, I am trying to kick that habit!

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