Do you want to make the most of your day, but you struggle to stick to a routine or schedule?
As soon as you get into a good rhythm, something happens that throws everything off. These unforeseen changes in the plan throw you for a loop and you are left feeling stressed TO THE MAX.
Or maybe, you’re distracted by all of the things that need to get done. After all, there’s never enough time in the day!
You want to find joy in your day-to-day life, but it’s just hard. You never have enough time for the things you want to do. And, you find yourself constantly running from one activity to the next, with no breaks in between.
You long for a sense of joy, calm, and order.
Why should I have a routine?
A good routine has the ability to help you stress less and take better care of yourself.
Routines help you put up boundaries so that you are not taking on too much and prioritizing your time well.
A flexible routine helps you handle the unforeseen changes that are bound to happen.
And, having a routine helps you make the most of your day!
When you stick to a routine, you are able to be productive without feeling overwhelmed. That’s because a good routine ensures you are making time for the people and things that are important to YOU.
Most of the time, we feel overwhelmed when having too much that we don’t want to do on our plate.
What should be a part of my routine?
The way your routine should look depends on what you most need right now, as well as your current lifestyle. It’s about finding ways to make the most of your day and life. When you take steps to simplify your life, you are able to focus on building the kind of life you really want.
Are you stressed to the max? Or are you busier than you would like to be?
First, determine if you have too much on your plate and find ways to take some of it off. Decide if there is something on your plate that you can delegate to someone else. If you’ve taken on more than you can handle, make a decision on what you are ready to give up.
Second, find ways to make your life easier. This is what you should focus on creating routines around. You can also think of ways to make your obligations more bearable. Find ways to experience more joy in your everyday tasks by mixing it with something you love.
Third, find ways to take better care of yourself. Prioritizing self-care is key, especially when you are overwhelmed or stressed.
You can make the most of your time right now by taking good care of yourself and by learning how to be more efficient with everyday tasks!
How do I create a routine?
Now that you’ve decided what you most need right now, it’s time to create a routine. Here’s what you need to do:
- Determine which times of day are the most stressful and create a routine around that. OR, determine what you most need right now and create a routine around that.
- Decide what would make that area or time of day better.
- Build those things into your routine.
Creating a routine around what you actually need to make your life better increases your chances of sticking to a routine. That’s because you will see EXACTLY the results you were longing for!
Morning Routine Examples
For example, let’s say that the most stressful time of day for you is the morning when you have to get yourself ready and get your kids out the door on time for school.
One thing that would make this time better is if you weren’t so rushed. You probably have to shower, eat breakfast, put on makeup, and do whatever else you do to get ready. On top of that, you have to make sure your kids are getting ready for school. They need to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush their hair and teeth, pack lunches, and pack their backpacks. 😰
To make it less rushed in the morning, you could make packing lunches and picking out clothing a part of your evening routine. You could also get up earlier to shower before the kids wake up. And, you could eat breakfast or get ready at the same time as them.
More than that, you can teach your children to get themselves ready for school independently over time. At first, you would only need to supervise. Then, you would only need to check in on them to make sure they are staying on task.
Maybe for you, it’s not that you are rushed but that you are groggy in the morning so you aren’t in the right mindset to start your day off well. What would help you in your morning routine so that you were more awake and ready to tackle the day?
You might want to allow yourself to slowly wake up by praying or meditating first thing. Or maybe, you want to wake up a few minutes earlier to read a book, plan your day, or exercise. (Or a combination of a few of these!)
Maybe what you REALLY need to make part of your routine is getting up right away when your alarm goes off! There are so many reasons why this is important, but that’s a topic for another day. 😉
How do I stick to a routine?
So, now that you’ve created a routine, the question is how to stick to it.
I’ve found that there are 5 keys to being able to stick to a routine:
1. Know Your Priorities
When you know your priorities, you are able to keep unimportant things from stealing your time. In order to have this benefit, however, you need to keep your priorities at the forefront of your mind.
Think about your priorities often. Write them down. Post pictures. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself of your true priorities so it’s easier for you to stay focused.
Knowing your priorities inside and out will help you stick to a routine because you will be able to say “no” to everything else a little easier.
2. Keep It Simple
A plan that is overcomplicated is bound to fail. If you want to stick to a routine, keep it simple! Start small. Don’t expect huge changes overnight.
Even taking tiny steps every day towards our goals will allow us to achieve them.
3. Include Flexibility and Space
In order to stick to a routine, but still be flexible when the unforeseen happens, you have to leave space in your schedule.
Don’t over-schedule yourself. Leave buffer time in there, because the unexpected WILL happen. You can expect that!
For example, leave extra time between activities to allow for driving time or time getting ready. If you have kids, plan on interruptions. (But teach your kids what is worthy of interrupting you.)
If you don’t leave space in your day, you will never be able to stick to your routine. That’s because it’s simply unrealistic!
4. Stay Present and Minimize Distractions
It’s pretty common for us to have the best of intentions with how we will spend our time, only to get pulled away or sucked into something else.
As frustrating as this is, there are ways that we can minimize the chances of this happening.
First, we need to stay present. Practice mindfulness so that you are better able to live in the present. It’s a skill that must be honed, especially in our technology-driven society!
Second, we need to minimize the distractions in our lives. Literally move things out of the room that distracts you, or remove yourself. I often have to move my phone to another level of the house just to get myself to stop looking at it. Distractions are, well, distracting!
See distractions for what they are. They are distracting you from what is BEST. Know what YOUR best is right now, and unapologetically remove everything that threatens to take you away from that.
5. Make It a Habit
You can more easily stick to a routine once it becomes a habit. Creating healthy habits takes determination and consistency!
Don’t give up on a routine that isn’t working after only a few days. Give it at least a week, because there are many factors that contribute to the appearance of success.
After at least a week, begin making small changes to your routine over time until you find one that works for you.
You can rock your day and make the most of your time by creating routines around what you really need right now and by using these proven strategies to help you stick to them.
My hope for you is that you would begin making any necessary changes today so that you can live a life you love every day!