This week the Tranquility by Tuesday Challenge is focusing on Rule #4: Three times a week is a habit. Things don’t have to happen daily, or at the same time every day, in order to count in our lives. Aiming for 3x a week tends to be doable, but is frequent enough to become part of our identities.
I haven’t posted a TBT Scorecard in a while (this challenge is filling all available blog spots!) but when I was, I had three activities that I was tracking as part of this rule. I wanted to run three times a week, eat family meals three times a week, and practice the piano three times a week.
Since I keep a weekly time log, I can easily see how many times these things have happened (well, since I started labeling whether something was a “family dinner” as opposed to just eating).
Some are easier than others. I’m almost always running three times a week but family meals are challenging with kid activities and their social lives. Even on weekends we’ve had a kid gone at a tournament or off at a party pretty much every day lately. My husband is doing a bit more traveling — not the fly to Europe for the whole week version but taking the train to NY or DC. What this rule tends to do is it nudges me to seize on any place where a family meal might be a possibility. I can loop everyone in for a simultaneous weekend lunch, or hold dinner for slightly later if we are all going to be around at 7 but not at 6:30. That sort of thing.
I’m playing the piano quite frequently now because I’m accompanying my eldest as he practices for his voice lessons, though I can also seize 10 minutes during the workday to play sometimes too.
With the new year, I decided to add singing and couple time (as in spending time just with each other, no kids) to the 3x a week list. The couple time one is going reasonably as we usually eat lunch together 1-2x a week while both working from home. I’d say we’re doing a date night (or at least a date walk or trip to the gym) at least every other week. I’m not doing quite as well with singing as I’d intended. I sing in choir, which is 2x a week right there (Thursday rehearsals and Sunday morning) and I do practice once before rehearsal but I was thinking I would do more warm ups and vocal exercises and such. Something to work on…
I am realizing that five different activities might be a lot to focus on. The goal is for three times to happen so automatically that I don’t have to think about it. Running is (mostly) there. I could probably designate one particular singing time and then that would be more automatic. In Tranquility by Tuesday I suggest people focus on one particular activity they would like to see happen more frequently, as that’s an easier goal to get one’s head around!
In other news: I was a guest on Chris Bailey’s podcast, Time and Attention, this week. Please check it out!
Photo: Where family dinners used to happen (old house)