So what's the old adage? About how it takes 21 days to form a new habit? I'd say it's pretty accurate. I've been in my new apartment for three weeks now. And before I'd even moved in, I had made one decision about my new place. It was going to be kept clean.
My last situation was less than tidy. The burden of cleaning was not split equally between the three people living there (one of which was living rent-free, two of which were unemployed) and if I didn't do things, they often went undone. I hated it. I grew up in a meticulous household. My mother kept a clean, tidy, orderly home. And even though I don't always like to admit it, I am slowly turning into my mother. After having lived in a messy apartment for two years, I was done.
So. I decided to become a Clean Person, the kind of person who doesn't panic at the idea of someone stopping by unannounced or who waits to call Maintenance on a problem until she's had a chance to clean everything up. But I'm lazy. And I knew it was something that wasn't going to happen overnight, so I made a small goal: to clean the kitchen every night. By "clean the kitchen" I meant to wash the dinner dishes (though I don't worry too much about putting them away until the morning), wipe down the counter tops, stove & table and sweep the floor. Every night. And I have.
But tonight I started bargaining. I'd been lazy all day, aside from a 5-mile run, and the breakfast dishes were still sitting (rinsed!) in the sink. And this little voice in my brain started wheedling me. "You can just do them in the morning. You don't have to do them right away. Go and have some ice cream and come back later to do it." But I know myself. And I know that if I walked out of the kitchen without cleaning it, I likely wouldn't get around to doing it. So I did it. That's something the old me might not have done. So I gave myself a little pat on the back after I put the broom away, came into the living room to type this up, and now I'm going to go have that ice cream. It's pretty awesome being a grown up.