This month's review highlighted to me the things I wanted to keep from what I have changed during the stay at home period for COVID-19. Giving some thought to what "normal you want to go back to is important, so you don't unconsciously fall back into habits that weren't serving you well.

Monthly review: knowing the changes I want to keep

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” - Abraham Maslow

When I sit down to write my monthly reviews, I head first to the table below and complete it. It is really a honest self-assessment of my month and many times, like this month which seemed to completely fly by, I had no idea what this monthly review post would be about.

It did however become clear very quickly into the assessment what the theme for this monthly review post would be – what are the changes or new habits I have now that I want to keep once restrictions for COVID-19 are lifted.

It is important to think now ahead of time about the changes you want to keep because once restrictions are eased more and more, the chances of us slipping into autopilot are incredibly high. If we want to keep changes, we need to act consciously to protect them.

Contrary to what most of us would like to believe, decision-making may be a process handled to a large extent by unconscious mental activity. A team of scientists has unraveled how the brain actually unconsciously prepares our decisions. “Many processes in the brain occur automatically and without involvement of our consciousness. This prevents our mind from being overloaded by simple routine tasks. But when it comes to decisions we tend to assume they are made by our conscious mind. This is questioned by our current findings.”

Science Daily – Decision-making May Be Surprisingly Unconscious Activity

So here is a list of things that I want to keep post easing of COVD-19 restrictions:

  • Play cards after dinner 1-2 times a week.
  • Not buy so much stuff.
  • Use the excellent online resources to do other forms of exercise movement to keep greater mobility, flexibility and strength.
  • Keep spending time outside and working inside where the sunshines when I can.
  • Have weekends where we stay at home and keep it super simple.

A pretty simple list and one that should be easy to achieve – I will check in at the end of the year and see how I went!

What did you enjoy about the stay at home restrictions and want to keep when they ease?

May monthly review

HabitConnection to goal - Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friendsQuote - “A simple lifestyle is good for us, helping us to better share with those in need.” ~ Pope FrancisMay Review
Simplify our evening meals (make one meal a week meat free)With five kids, two being older teenagers and one being an adult I need to cook a lot of food. These three also have who casual or part time jobs, so having family meals with everyone eating at the same time is becoming increasingly more difficult.

The types of meals I cook now need to cater more for different sittings of meal times and also larger volumes so they can eat left overs for other meals as needed. This can be time consuming and I want it to take up the minimal amount of time, giving me the greatest chance of eating a family meal with as many kids as possible.

I need to simplify some of the meals I make to make this happen and I also want to reduce meat intake in the house, so want one meal a week to be meat free as well.
"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." ~ Mother Teresa
You can read the changes I have made to this habit in this post here
Simplify our home cleaning routineWe have the kids involved in doing work around the house across the week, but it isn't as streamlined and as simple as I would like it to be. We also have a different system of contributing to the housework once kids leave school, so I need to work on simplifying how we all contribute to keeping the house clean and tidy. "The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment." ~ Marie KondoIt is amazing how much easier cleaning is when you have less clutter! The impact of my decluttering is now being felt.

We have reorganised the kids' household tasks to reflect their ages. Once the kids go to uni, they are on a different household contribution set up and we are transitioning the 19-year-old to this now.
Simplify my exercise routineRunning will be my focus for 2020 but I would still like to keep up strength training and do some yoga. I need to work out a way to fit this into my life without taking up too much time or feeling like I have too much to do.

Both the strength training and the yoga help my running, so I need to find a way to simplify how I can blend them into a routine.
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." ~ Henry David Thoreau
I was super excited to be able to run in small groups again in May. Back to regular workouts on Tuesday and Thursday and loving it!

Through out the time of restrictions for COVID-19, the youngest and I would do PE with Joe each day. It became a staple of our daily routine. Each morning we would look at our respective calendars and work out what time we would do it. Most often it would be 12:15pm just before lunch. While I loved this part of our day as we had active fun together, it was also great for me to do a different range of movements that didn't involve running in a straight line. It was a perfect example to me of how simple and easy it can be to do some form of exercise at home on a regular basis. The key will be for me to hold on to this when the youngest goes back to school mid June.
Declutter one item a day (can be averaged over a week / fortnight)There are cupboards that are too full, bedrooms that look a little messy because they have too much stuff in them. I find I am spending too much time on managing the stuff of the house.

I want to work slowly over the year to really pare back the belongings we have in the house. I feel much calmer with clear surfaces and minimal mess.
“Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity.
From discord find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein
Even the older two children have started on this too. I think spending more time at home they have realised that they have stuff hanging around the don't need, won't use and can let go of.

Most importantly though, there has been less "stuff" coming into the house. It is one thing to declutter, but it is another to really reduce what you bring into the home. I am want to really still focus on this post stay at home restrictions.
Spend an hour outside each dayBeing outside is so good for me in so many ways and good for the kids too. I find the pace of things slows down when I am outdoors.

With my running I do spend time outside everyday, but often in winter this is when it is still dark. I want to spend time outside in daylight hours and also use this time to be with the kids where I can too - who also benefit from more outdoor time.
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao TzuEven when it has been super cold for Melbourne I have been sticking to this and as much as I don't feel like getting outside, if I rug up properly, I always feel better for doing it. It is about not giving myself excuses to step out on this habit. Being stuck at home so much, getting outside made for a great change, so like some of the other habits, it will be important to not let this slip when restrictions ease in June.

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