Fighting the Fizzle (A Family Kitchen Clean Up Report)

In the second week of January, we implemented Family Kitchen Clean Up Time.

It has been a success.

Every night we’ve been home, we’ve cleaned the kitchen together.  My 6yo daughter is officially our Lunch Maker, and my 11yo has improved his dishwasher-filling skills significantly.

Honestly, doing Family Kitchen Clean Up hasn’t been difficult.  You know I have focused on teaching my kids cleaning skills, so there really hasn’t been much instruction needed.

It’s simply a matter of creating a habit.

And that’s where the struggle comes in.

I fear the fizzle.

I fear it because I know it.  I have experienced the fizzle oh-so-many times.

I determine to change.  I make a plan.  I implement the plan, love the plan, declare t0-the-world the loveliness and life-changing-ness of the plan.

And then suddenly, I realize it has been three weeks since I even thought about the plan. 

I didn’t purposely stop.  I didn’t even realize I stopped.  I just got going with life and completely forgot there was a plan.

The plan fizzled.

It’s through this blog that I’ve fought the fizzle on many things.  And most of the time, I’ve won.  The blog has kept me focused, and fizzle is no match for focus. 

But fizzle still scares me.

Last night, my 5th grader was supposed to draw a picture of the moon.  The kids had been playing baseball outside right up until supper time.  As soon as we were done eating, the kids headed straight back out there to continue the fun (now in the dark) and complete the school project.

It was only after they were outside, after Hubby and I had talked a while, and after I stood and began to leave the kitchen that I realized . . . “We didn’t clean the kitchen!”

The newness of Let’s Create a New Habit has worn off.  Now . . . it’s a matter of just doing it.

And not forgetting to do it.  (Which leads back into the habit of NOT doing it.)

So, I said, “That’s an awesome picture of the moon, now let’s clean up the kitchen.”

Pre-blog, the fizzle made me soooo mad.  I was mad that it showed up every single time I tried to develop a new habit.  Every single time I tried to change.

I was mad because I never won against the fizzle, and all those defeats made me assume I couldn’t win.

But now I know it’s not about knocking the fizzle on its hiney, it’s about enduring through the fizzle.  Keeping on with the habit even when I feel my grip begin to slip.

Doing it when I remember instead giving up because I forgot. 

I know from experience that eventually, we’ll grasp that this is how things run around here now, and a day (or week) of fizzle doesn’t mean we need to give up.

I’ll let you know how it goes.




  1. 1

    I so appreciate your blogs, because sometimes (often) it’s like reading about an alternate version of myself, but getting the bonus of wisdom that I don’t seem to come up with on my own. Thanks for the insight and honesty. 🙂

  2. 2

    Endurance! Something I know I lack (along with “get up and go” and “get ‘er done” and “just do it”). I fizzle a lot around here- I’m still trying to understand that it means I need another dose of motivation, not that I should just give up because it’ll never work anyway. Sometimes things that should be motivating are just depressing, though- I’m glad I have you to work through the thoughts percolating in my head 🙂

  3. 3

    Thanks for this post, it felt good to see that I’m not the only one who Fizzles, btw. I love the description. I tend to start with a bang, but in a couple of days I am off my routine. Just done it with my list making……I guess I should start again.

  4. 4

    “Doing it when I remember instead giving up because I forgot.” This idea has become my motto lately, and mostly thanks to you. It is so tempting to give up when you see you haven’t remembered to X, and the routine is “lost”! But I’m learning to keep going, start again if needed, and it is making such a difference in my home and life!
    Thank you, Nony, for sharing your journey with us and sparkling the hope that we (I!) can change.

  5. 5

    Thank you, thank you for this post!! I am exactly the same way, but since I’ve found you I have been able to get back on track and not feel defeated!! I’m not as far as I’d like to be (I mean, if I’m actually trying to clean shouldn’t I immediately have a clean house??? LOL), but if I don’t get the dishes one day I have been able to get right back in there the next day and get it done. Still way easier than the week’s worth (ok, maybe more) than I used to have!!

  6. 6

    In my family we call it the 3 month mania. We’ll start something and do it …and do it well, for about 3 months. The swoosh. It all . goooes. awaaaaay. Like it never happened.
    I hate that too. No matter what you call it. It’s frustrating.
    I love your transparency here– and I love reading your blog and writing my own—for accountability.
    Keep up the great work!

  7. 7

    Ahhh…… The Fizzle. Thank you for giving it a name! I won’t tell you what I was calling it but it had more to do with me. “The Fizzle” separates it from me and makes me think maybe I can get past it.

  8. 8

    Ok, this is pretty freaky…get out of my head! I just left the kitchen, and settled into the bed w/o finishing the kitchen….
    Good word for it.

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