*This post is a sister post to my thoughts On Being Interrupted.

There is a construction zone near my house, and I have no idea what’s being built. At first, all I could see was that there were big pieces of equipment coming every day, muddying an empty lot. Then digging began, big pipes were laid and covered, and the big pit looked like it would eventually be a pond. Now when I drive by, the bottom of the pit is divided into two sections, one shallower than the other, and once again, I have no idea what they are making.

Isn’t life a little like that sometimes? In the last couple weeks, I have found that sticking to my guns every day and working a little on some of my smaller goal hasn’t really helped me see the big picture – what’s next when the kids get a little older? However, one of my goals this year is to build the habit of consistency. This is not one of my strong suits. I’m more like a firecracker – I get really excited and passionate about something, but then I burn out fast. Yet just like that construction zone, I’m certain that having a habit of consistency will help me get to the final product.

For the first half of January I have been really motivated to this 2017 goal of consistency. I love the motivation and momentum I have already gotten from successes in this area. But can I just be real for a minute? It has been SO hard! Especially because I got slammed with extras this week, from adding a second set of homework because of a missed day before the holidays, taking on a 5-day fitness and health food challenge, to having to finish a book by this morning.

This week would have been the easiest one in which to give up and say that I will work on being consistent when I’m less swamped. Instead, I washed and dried my big girl pants, put them back on, and set my alarm for 5 a.m. instead of 5:30 so I could get my workout in and still have enough time for everything else. Today I am tired but I feel successful, and it’s a good reminder of two lessons I am always learning:

1) take better care of yourself (for me: go to bed earlier!), but also

2) take a step back and examine the situation before I give up (do I feel that finishing this task is impossible because I just didn’t get enough sleep? Or is it actually impossible?).

Here are some of the ways I try to take better care of myself and find joy every day:

Thanks to One Seriously Beautiful Life for this graphic.
Thanks to Everyday Small Things for this graphic and to Sinope for the original post (which has more than just 10 questions – check it out!)

When I stop to consider the ideas above from One Seriously Beautiful Life and Everyday Small Things, I realize that the tasks at hand aren’t nearly as difficult as I am making them out to be. I just need to adjust my attitude, practice a little self care, and keep on working hard.

This leads me to the third lesson, the point of this whole post:

3) building habits doesn’t happen overnight – it takes hard work and consistency.

When this blogging challenge birthed the idea of trying to be more consistent in 2017, I thought it was only a matter of being very purposeful and scheduling time for projects and activities. But just like that pond (or whatever it will be) by my house, building habits happens over time and you can’t always see the summit before you get there.

What are some of your goals for 2017?

What steps can you take as a parent to take care of yourself so that you are able to put in the hard work required for your 2017 goals?