There is research that suggests that it takes 21 days of consistency to form a habit and have it stick. I am not a big fan of cleaning, I feel that it’s an exercise in futility, the living room is just going to get cluttered again, clothes will just get dirty again, etc. So when I found out about the 21 day habit change, I decided to try it with my least favorite chore: dish washing.
I do have a dishwasher, but I had a tendency to leave pots and pans on the stove for a day or two before washing them again. I would let the hand-washing items stack up in the sink and move them around as necessary.
The first few days were pretty tough, it meant I had to consistently get the dishes washed and keep them that way. So after dinner, when everyone else went off to do their own thing, I stayed in the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher, took care of the leftovers, and washed the pots and pans. I resented it, I didn’t want to do it, and my attitude was in the dumps those first few days.
But after about a week, I began to realize that I LIKED having the kitchen clean. I LIKED that the pots and pans were always available, ready to use. And I especially liked that I didn’t have to be embarrassed by my messy dishes when company unexpectedly stopped by.
I am at the end of my 21 days and I can say that it was a huge success for me. Now I get the dishes done pretty quickly and can be thinking of other things while I’m washing.
I have the satisfaction of knowing that my work is done for the day and its no longer a chore that I detest. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a particular chore that they resent or can’t stand doing. Next up for me is my living room; wish me luck!