Friday, September 21, 2012

Can simple everyday rules at home change your LIFE?

Every family has a set of rules within their home
Whether or not they are explicit or implicit, they exist
Whether or not you like them, they exist
Whether you follow or not, they exist
Whether or not you agree / disagree, you end up following them

And by rules I refer to those guidelines which translate to a basic code of conduct within the four walls..

So let me explain what I mean by rules of a home - Some of these are rules in the homes of friends / family and some are from my own home..
* Pray everyday
* Meditate everyday
* Exercise everyday
* Eat at the dining table
* Have a shower everyday
* Go to bed by 10 PM every day
* Have your breakfast everyday
* Eating out is only once a month
* Grocery Shopping is once a week
* Have a family meal thrice a week
* Watch TV for only 1 hour everyday
* Talk politely to each other at home
* Do your laundry at least once a week
* Eat a salad / fruit as one meal everyday
* Wake up early every day - say by 5 AM
* Brush your teeth before you eat anything (Morning)
* Brush your teeth twice a day - Morning and Evening
* Internet time at home is at most 1 hour for a weekday
* Eating is only at the dining table - Not on sofa or beds
* When you are at the dining table, you focus only on food and people you are eating with!
* Clean the mess in your room / immediate living environment before you retire for the day
* Keep things where they belong / where they are meant to be / from where you picked them up
* Pick up your plate / glass / bowls from the dining table and keep them at the kitchen sink after every meal
* Shopping of clothes is only during a sale / restricted to specific occasions like Birthdays, Festivals, etc

I've always wondered why parents (especially mothers) emphasize so much on these ground rules at home. I don't think I truly understood why they are so important till I became a mother..

Fundamentally, I think that a rule at home is really laid down as a guideline for you to cultivate a habit..Not just any habit..
But a good habit, a positive habit and one that can help you in your journey through life…
To the extent that they can transform your thoughts, your actions, your behavior, your perspectives, your priorities, your values….
And all these determine your character and personality
Which in turn determine the course of your life!

What is the relation between an everyday Rule at Home and the Journey of Life you may ask?
Well.. They are completely related simply because the habits you cultivate, develop and enhance on a daily basis (by virtue of your rules at home) influence, affect, impact, govern, control and determine the quality of your everyday life..

Let me make my point with a few examples..
Example 1: "Internet time at home is at most 1 hour for a weekday"
The best thing about the internet is the free access to unlimited information. This provides everyone ample opportunities to read, learn, connect, engage and express. Furthermore, the explosive proliferation of digital devices, the affordable costs of internet connectivity, increasing disposable incomes, access to the internet through multiple devices / channels (mobile, computer, etc.) and the all-pervasiveness of "internet related banter" in our everyday lives makes it a necessity to be part of the virtual / online world. And the reality is once you're on the internet, there's so much you can do that it’s very easy to lose track of time.

But the fact is that the internet is the "virual world”; and there is a "real world" out there which has real people, real conversations, real activities, real games, real entertainment, real food, real flowers, real ....

And the other fact is that there are only 24 hours in a day.. So you need to be judicious in how you apportion your time between these two worlds. If you are too much into the virtual world, then you miss out the pleasures and joys of the real world and vice-versa. So if you decide to "time-box" your presence in the virtual world, you will have time for other aspects of real life!

Example 2: "Have a family meal thrice a week"
We all lead busy lives. Right from kids who are rushing to school to working professionals who are stuck in the rat-race to get to the top. And somehow somewhere, we forget to bond, communicate and connect to the people who matter the most in our lives - Family for instance.

The whole ritual of enforcing a family meal thrice a week provides an opportunity to bond as a family - To (re-)discover each other, accept changes, make decisions, support, share, express - And this family time can have a deep impact on one's state of emotional and well-being. Just knowing that you have someone in your life with whom you can just be yourself is a huge emotional anchor for anyone in today’s day and age!

Example 3: "Go to bed by 10 PM every day"
There's a reason why Benjanim Franklin said "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise". And from my experience, I can definitely say that if you sleep early, there is a better chance of you waking up early. And a good night' sleep has definite short term and long term benefits in your life. Not only are you well rested to take on a new day with renewed zeal and enthusiasm, but also are mentally more alert and energetic, are able to concentrate and think better, have time for a breakfast, reach on time for your morning appointments and also get to see the sunrise and sunshine (which is very important for Vitamin D production in your body). All this is simply because you sleep early and at a fixed time every day. Why then would anyone resist going to bed early?

So Pause of Reflect..
What are the rules at your home?
What rules do you want to follow more regularly?
Why are these rules important to you and your family?
What rules do you want to enforce within your home?
What are the rules set by your parents that have contributed to what you've become in life? Did you ever acknowledge how this made a difference in your life?

Leave a comment to let me know your views..

1 comment:

  1. While raising our kids, we had an implicit rule that we would have dinner together every night from Sunday through Thursday. Usually it was at home, but sometimes it was at a restaurant, or sometimes we had takeout, depending on our schedules. Of course there were nights that we missed, but we all looked forward to those family dinners, and we still do - even when the conversations were difficult, upsetting, or combative - we were together. It's a great ritual for any family.

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