People often ask me how I do it all and I have to say first of all that I don’t do everything. There are many things I ask for help with and there are many areas in my life that are simply not up to 100% perfection and that is perfectly okay. But, with a special needs child, a farm, a full time job as a teacher, a home to maintain, and my life coaching work, it is routine that keeps me centered and peaceful most of the time.
Routine also allows other people in my life to step in and help out. More on this later.
Right, so I am finishing up my daily wipeable routine right now. I have a summer routine on the fridge but as soon as that first day of school comes around, I’ll be posting our school-time routine to the fridge and our routine will be ready to go. Some things won't be changing but other things will change drastically.
Routines are simply habits that follow one another in a series.
What is the benefit? The benefit is that you don’t have to think about them, they just happen. For reals. You save time and mental energy plus, if you are proactive, your routines can set you up for a more healthy and successful life.
Everyone has routines. Think about it. You have things you do right now at certain times of the day without having to think about it. You might come home and put your purse or bag down at the same spot and then go straight to the refrigerator for a snack. In the evening you might go to the same chair and turn on the TV before you begin to scroll on your phone. In the morning you make your way to the coffee pot then check your phone again. See, you already have routines, but today we are talking about leveling up our routine game.
To do this, I am breaking it up into beginners, intermediate, and advanced levels, because if you have never worked on your routines, then we need to start with an expectation that you can follow through on. However, some of you might have done work on your routines in the past and you simply need a fresh infusion of idea and a couple good tips to get you ready for the school year.
Lets jump in.
I like to divide my routines into six areas. Don’t worry, they’re not that complicated. Wake up, get ready to leave, land at work, prep to leave work, arrive at home, get ready for bed.
Wake up: This is the very first part of your day. It might happen before the rest of the house wakes up or it might be you handling it all the moment your feet touch the ground. Either way, this is the order of events and what you do to set you and your family up at the beginning of the day. A key question you want to ask yourself is how you want to feel after your wake up routine.
Get ready to leave: This part includes making sure you did chores and that you and your family have everything they need to leave your home and go to school and/or work.
Land at work: For me this is checking my email and getting things out for my students before they come into my classroom. For you it will be anything you need to do to get yourself set up for the work tasks on your plate. This also helps you make a key mental shift from home to work.
Prep to leave work: I like to leave work after checking my email one more time, taking anything home that needs to be done, and having a plan for what I need to tackle when I get to work the next day. This is also a mental shift time. I’m shutting my work brain down so that I can come home as a wife and mother without the niggling feeling that I might have forgot something.
Arrive at home: This routine is key to my mental health and where I find I need to plug in my exercise and some decompression before we get started on homework, etc.
Get ready for bed: In order to rest well, I know there are certain things that work really well for me. I do them here.
Okay, don’t turn this off. Like I said, you already have a routine for each of these areas. I have a whole routine building toolkit that you can sign up for and it is entirely free. But, before you dig in, I want to talk about deciding first if you are a routine beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
Beginner: You would know you are a beginner if you feel like you have no healthy routines at all. Perhaps you feel like your life is completely chaotic and utterly unpredictable.
Intermediate: You are an intermediate routine enforcer if you feel like you have some healthy routines or habits in place in a couple areas I mentioned before but feel like those routines need some work and feel like you could use some routines in more areas of your life.
Advanced: An advanced routine enforcer has routines built into most areas I mentioned. You will enjoy revisiting these routines and making changes as needed throughout the year.
Okay. We’ll be spending the next three weeks on routines. For now, I want you to simply look at your routines. You can grab a notebook or use the resource from my website that I’ll link in the show notes. Think about what you do currently, or if you are like me, think about what you were doing during the school year last year. Write it all down. Decide if you feel like you are at the level of beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
This is the first step and it is crucial. Evaluating current and past routines allows you to become curious about your life and what is working and what it isn’t. You can work through the routine toolkit from there. If you are a beginner, I will want you to only pick one or two habits in each area to put in place. More than this will overwhelm and you won’t follow through.
Let’s recap today’s episode.
Today we defined healthy routines as a series of habits that make you more efficient. I went over six areas that most ladies benefit from having proactive routines: Wake up, get ready to leave, land at work, prep to leave work, arrive at home, get ready for bed. Lastly, I left you a task of evaluating your current routines and deciding if you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced.
Okay, now, I promised you a fun hack, right? Okay. Use a laminator or a document protector and start checking off your routine as you do it throughout the week. This will make things fun and also help you solidify your routines into place. After a while doing it will become automatic. No check marks required.
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by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.