Morning or night person,
routine-driven or spontaneous person,
melancholy or sanguine person;
we all have a unique blend of characteristics that shape how we live out our days. Whichever of these we are, whatever it is we do, it’s important to take stock and reflect if what we’re doing is working for us.
Every now and then I begin a new habit, sometimes to replace an old one and sometimes to add to my current ones. Being intentional about my habits helps me to spend my days the way I want to spend my life.
The habits we’ve developed for our family’s morning routine are these;
- Open all the blinds and windows to let in new air and the day’s light.
- Step outside and greet the sky, notice the temperature, the breeze, the clouds, listen to the birds and dedicate the day to God.
- Greet each family member with eye contact, physical contact and a ‘Good morning’ before any requests or ‘business’.
- The children follow their pre-school chore list, check our family schedule for non-daily preparations and I drink my tea or coffee whilst guiding them.
- If driving, we listen to our current audio book (We just finished Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks and we recommend it); if walking, we play times tables or ‘we went to the zoo and saw’ ABC game.
The habits I developed for my daily routine while the older two children are at school are these;
- Have a sit-down breakfast/brunch/lunch, usually with a toddler on my lap or beside me, but sitting down and enjoying a healthy large meal at this point is key, for me.
- Spend some time moving, whether this is playing on the playground, climbing a tree, having a stroll, stretching and rolling on the grass or dancing around to music in the house, doesn’t matter.
- Journal at least once a day, I usually exceed this, I am a devout journaller.
- Read at least one thing a day, whether some of my current novel (David Grann’s Lost City of Z atm), current poetry (Charlotte Guest’s Soap), an article I stop scrolling through Facebook for, devotional that my Bible app produces or a page from a magazine laying around my house, doesn’t matter.
The habits we’ve developed for after school are these;
- Once again, greet with eye contact, physical contact and ‘hello’ before any business or requests.
- Outdoor play at school or with neighbours when we get home.
- Our audiobook or talking games or catching up on each other’s day.
- The children work through their after-school chore list.
- We eat the evening meal around the table and ask for highlights, lowlights, mediumlights of the day; we run outside and marvel at the sunset.
- After evening showers, we read together every evening (Currently working through Enid Blyton’s Famous Five – these are fantastic!)
- We talk, pray with, kiss, hug and bless each other.
- Husband and I have daily ‘marriage time’, which is, giving each other attention with no children present and no business/tasks/schedule talk and no technology. This is separate from our getting stuff done beside each other time; we are both uni students so there is a lot of this, which makes the ‘marriage time’ all the more precious and purposefully spent.
- Before getting into bed, I go back outside, greet the moon and sky, reconnect with nature, breathe in the air, the temperature and thank God for the day.
As I write these down it seems like a lot but during my daily living these things are not ‘tasks’, they are natural. They have become second nature because we’ve forged these habits into the fabric of our day. This way, when I reflect on my day I know I have spent my time in a way that reflects my values, my goals and my priorities.
“Watch your thoughts for they become words,
watch your words for they become actions,
watch your actions, for they become habits,
watch your habits for they become your character,
watch your character for it becomes your destiny.” – Source Unknown
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Gabriela Antonini chronicles snapshots of her moments on her Instagram @g_and_tribe, in between racing one of her three lively children, sharing chocolate with her theologian husband, feeding her ever-hungry progeny or singing lyrics wrong with the hubs. She is often found with her nose in a book, at the beach, up a tree or carrying around a teapot. Born in Slovakia, a childhood spent in Melbourne, she now lives in Perth heartily appreciating its exquisitely mild weather.