Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Long Overdue FlyLady Post

Over a year ago now, I joined something (or someone) called FlyLady. The "Fly" part is actually an acronym that stands for Finally Loving Yourself (I’ve been thinking a lot about that, more on it later). I’ve been meaning to blog about her for quite some time, because she’s helped me so much. The change has been slow at times, but that’s the kind of change that lasts. Perhaps that’s why this blog post was so long in coming. There were other habits that were more important to me than blogging every week. Now I’m beginning to spread non-perfectionism even to blogging. I hope. But I’m getting ahead of my explanation.

What is “FlyLady”? She is Marla Cilley at, “your personal online coach to help you gain control of your house and home.” But, as I suspected when I signed up, she is much more than that. She helps you build new habits and think of things in new ways – tools that can’t help but help in areas besides the home. Since I had always felt like I struggled with many simple disciplines and my time / life organization kept feeling like it was spinning out of control, I very much welcomed the idea. There are a few tools I now wish I had had in college – her website and emails, a book called Getting Things Done, and my Palm Pilot.

Why is she so great? Two huge things: first, she helps you build routines. Some of you think you don’t like routines. I don’t really believe you. Routines are just habits with some kind of trigger attached. Everyone has habits. Almost everyone sits in the same desk in class week after week, etc. Routines can be good or bad, just like habits. For example, every day when you get home from school or work the first thing you do may be to get some chips and sit down in front of the TV. Or maybe there are a few things you always do before you go to bed, like change and set your alarm. With FlyLady, you build onto those routines, so that being consistent about certain things comes naturally – you don’t have to think about it or expend energy trying to get yourself to do it. (You won't realize how much energy it took until you're using that energy on other things.) Learning how to build new habits is such a valuable skill! I rarely miss my devotions anymore – not because I have a stronger will than others, but because it has become a habit.

You think FlyLady wouldn’t work for you because you’re not an organized person? Her system isn’t designed for those who are “born organized”! It’s meant for everyone who isn’t! The amazing thing actually is that it even works for me, someone who does like to organize things. The unorganized (and artistic and creative) are the people who send her thousands of testimonials saying what a difference she’s made in their lives.

Second, she helps you stop being so perfectionistic. As it turns out, I and many others who wouldn’t think of themselves as perfectionistic actually are. Because our lives are so far from perfect, we don't realize that we are. But that’s one of the major symptoms. We don’t have enough time and energy to do things perfectly, so they don’t get done at all. It seems obvious now.

That's FlyLady in a nutshell. I'll post more on the effect that she's had on my life later. I would now, but, well, I've written it already, and believe me, it's a much longer post than you want to read. So later.

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