Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." What kind of habits do we have? Are they leading us toward excellence or mediocrity?

In Noah Websters 1828 Dictionary, habit is defined as "a disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act. Habit is that which is held or retained, the effect of custom or frequent repetition."

I take heart in this definition since the "condition of the mind or body" are faculties over which we have control. We do not have to become victims to our default habits. We have power to create habits that will lead us to success.

How do you know which habits to make? That may seem like a simple question, but LEMI offers a whole conference call on "Forms". A form is a model, system or pattern. Simply stated a form is the way we do things. Once I learned about forms, all of a sudden they started to pop up all over the place.

We see different ways to govern, ways we handle the preparation of food, ways we get up in the morning, ways we clean the house, etc. The reason this is so crucial is because seeing forms allows us to proactively create success-leading habits. First we need to define what kind of form we are operating under. For example, how do we govern our homes and family? If we find ourselves yelling and ordering everyone around, then we can zoom out and realize the form of government we are following is akin to a dictatorship. Once recognized we can align our behavior with the form of government we desire in our home.

Since I'm in love with Fly Lady's system, I will use that as an example. What she does in essence is give those willing to be mentored a system or form for cleaning our homes. She has created a Morning Routine (to which I added some of my own) that I follow everyday (or almost everyday ; )

Morning Routine:
Read Scriptures & Pray
Exercise for Well Being
Get Dressed from head to toe, including make-up and brushing teeth
Swish & Swipe (1-2 minute wipe down of bathroom)
Check Calendar
Unload Dishwasher
Reboot Laundry (sort, wash, dry, fold, put away one load)

After following this routine for 4 months, it has started to become my own. I realized this morning that these habits I am creating help set the proper tone for my entire day. They are habits that lead me to success.

As I develop these success-promoting habits, I naturally turn to my children to help them establish good habits of their own. Then it hit me! That is really the Core (yes as in Core Phase : ) of a Thomas Jefferson Education. We are not trying to fill their minds with all sorts of facts, we are teaching them excellent habits that help to create the inspiring environment that will ignite their fire of curiosity and learning.

If you don't like the way your morning goes or how you handle the dinner hour, simply zoom out and recognize what form you follow. Then choose which form you would like and begin making the habits that lead to success! I'm off to practice what I preach : )

1 comment:

  1. What do you do when you "plan" for your morning routine? and how long does it take?