Establishing routines doesn’t need to be daunting. With these easy steps, you can make the perfect routine! The reality is that you already have a routine! WHAT?!?!?! Now it’s time to make it the PERFECT routine.
When my kids were young, they had a movie that they watched over and over that had a line that I think is very appropriate to share! It is a figure skating movie in which the skating partners would meet each other at the center of the rink, look each other in the eyes and say “routine” in unison.
How can one little word have so much impact!
For them, it meant that they had done these moves so many times that muscle memory kicked in and they just “did it”. They didn’t even have to think about it.
That’s how routines are supposed to be. A routine is “a regular course of procedure” or “habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/routine).
You might be starting to say to yourself —
I’ve tried to make a routine …
Routines don’t work for me …
I just can’t find the perfect routine …
The reality is that you already have a routine!
WHAT?!?!?! Yes, you already have a routine. Now it’s time to make it the PERFECT routine.
When do you think your morning routine begins?
Your husband and kids are out the door?
Breakfast is done and you start homeschooling?
With your shower?
Your morning routine actually begins as soon as your feel hit the floor. Yep you heard me correctly!
Think about what you do first thing — go to the rest room, brush your teeth, wash your face, make coffee, — or something like that.
Let’s say that you want to add unloading the dishwasher to that routine.
What do you do while the coffee is brewing? You have time to unload the dishwasher then.
Without doing a complete makeover to your life, you can add activities to your already in place routine.
Here’s how you do that —
Write down what you currently do:
You’re probably not completely convinced that you already have a routine but, please, do this. You’ll be surprised at what you do without even thinking about it!
Don’t limit yourself to just what you do first thing in the morning.
- What is the process to get breakfast ready? Or lunches made? Or dinner on the table?
- When do you do housework? Laundry?
- When do you grocery shop? (i.e. after ads come out? Payday?
- When do you volunteer at your child’s school? Or anywhere?
- When do you home school?
These are things that are already part of your routine … whether daily, weekly or even monthly.
If these things are done at a certain time or day, make sure you write that as part of this.
Do you volunteer each Tuesday morning? Write that time frame down. Do you have kids activities on certain afternoons and/or evenings?
This might be where a weekly or monthly calendar comes in handy to get a good visual of what your days, weeks, or months already look like.
When you have things going on AND time that isn’t already assigned become apparent quickly.
Take a minute to look at these routines and see if there are things that can be tweaked or disregarded altogether. Sometimes as we enter different stages of our lives, routines can change … even need to change. Example, now that it’s just my husband and I (and not 4 kids in the house), I don’t necessarily need to do laundry as often. Yes there are things that I do regularly (bedding and towels, as an example) but I can actually go 2 weeks without doing clothes if I need to (yes we have that many clothes). I don’t skip a week all the time but when I have a deadline or many other things that have come up, I can … if I need to.
Make a list of what you would like to ADD to your routine:
This can be ANYTHING!
Weighing yourself, meal prep, bible study, exercise, taking a class, volunteering, reading, napping, sewing/crafting, starting a business, writing a book or whatever you want to add.
It can also be organizing what you need to do … housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping, homework, etc.
Now that you have a visual of what you are currently doing and a list of what you want to do,
it’s time to combine it all.
Place your calendar and the list of what you want to add, side by side. Now start plugging in the things that you want to add into the already established calendar/routine.
This can be very detailed (adding weighing yourself first thing in the morning before you even leave the bathroom to make coffee) to something very broad (adding an hour 2 days a week to work on that quilting project or volunteering at the school/church).
You may not have an entire day to clean house BUT you may have an hour a day. Divide your home up into sections and clean a section a day. This gets things done without you feeling overwhelmed by not have the time to do it all at once. Who said it needed to be done all at once anyway?
Do you prefer detailed scheduling or block planning? HERE is a post that may be helpful about now.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T over schedule yourself! Don’t have every minute of every day planned … for a many reasons but here are 2 biggies, in my book.
- You’ll burn out FAST!
- You may begin to have feelings of inadequacy when things don’t get accomplished … which also leads to burn out and possibly depression.
NOBODY can live up to the standard of having everything done! If you see someone who appears to “have it all together”, trust me they don’t. Somewhere where you can’t see, they are feeling just as much pressure as you are because something is left undone or unfinished.
Take that kind of pressure off of yourself RIGHT NOW!
What do your routines look like now? Have you added some things that you wanted to add? Are you getting the priorities done that need to get done? Do you have time to just “be”?
So add in time for yourself … time where things can just happen … time when you can pick up that book or spend more time doing another project that needs to get done … time to go off and spend time with someone who needs some company … the options are endless.
The point here is that you can build on the routines that you already have in place … the things that you do without thinking. They are already habits so take advantage of those habits.
You’ll find that finding the perfect routine isn’t as difficult as you think it is!
Blessings as you discover your perfect routine!
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