Change is coming! I feel more energy this week as I’m preparing to send my girls back to school and we are all looking forward to the new schedule and structure that this season brings.
I know school looks different for all of us, but no matter the details of your situation, a new season is a wonderful opportunity to find a new rhythm for life at work and home.
I love structure and feel so misaligned when I don’t have consistency in my life. 2020 has been anything but consistent, and that’s one of the culprits of our deep exhaustion right now. While routine can certainly make us feel grounded and secure, what can easily happen is that we try to force a rhythm or routine that does not align with what is important to us. In no time at all, we feel frustrated, disappointed, burned out, and wonder why we were so eager to get back “normal” because this is the worst and no one in the house is happy. Ever been there?!
Our tendency when thinking about routines is to be very task-oriented without regard to feelings. You are not a doing machine! You are a feeling person. Your morning and evening rhythm has to align with your vision and core values. (I teach this extensively in Peaceful Productivity.)
While you are likely thinking about a new morning, evening, or daytime routines to accompany the new season, here are three questions to ask before committing to a new schedule for yourself or family:
1) What do I want to feel at the beginning of the day and end of the day?
Not what do I want to have accomplished? But – What kind of vibe do I want to create in my home? What do I want my kids and spouse to feel at the start of each day? How do I want to enjoy the end of each day?
2) What is not working for me right now?
For me, having no bedtime for myself or kids is not working. We quit bedtime six months ago and have been feeling our way through life … and that’s not working anymore.
3) Are any of my 2020 goals connected to what happens in one of my daily routines?
For example, if you have a fitness goal, can that be connected to one of your new rhythms? Or a journaling goal or reading or family time or a self-care routine? Loads of possibilities here.
Here are a few other tips to make morning and evening routines work for you:
1) If you have children, post their morning / evening schedule in a visible place (with pictures if they aren’t readers) to help them know what’s coming next. My girls love this. More than I imagined!
2) Use Alexa to automate your mornings or evenings. Listen, Alexa is so much more than a Bluetooth speaker. You can create routines, reminders, and alarms for literally anything. My morning routine in Alexa starts at 7:00 a.m. with two wake-up songs, then she tells us a joke and the weather, then continues playing my favorite tunes and lastly, tells us at 7:45 that it’s time to get in the car. My kids never argue with her. I don’t understand the power that she wields, but I am here for it.
3. Before you attempt to employ a new routine, have a family meeting and make sure everyone knows why this is important and enlist their support.
4. If you are working on goals or incorporating new habits, try to attach them to something that already exists in your daily rhythm. For example, if you have a goal to read to your kids more, use bath time as an anchor and read while they are in the bathtub. You know they are already going to take a bath. Don’t add something else to the schedule. Just tag it onto what’s already there. So much easier!
5. Commit to your routine for a couple of weeks, but be open to making adjustments after that if something isn’t working. Everyone needs time to adjust and cultivate new habits, but after a two or three weeks, you should definitely consider making changes if the new rhythm is not working. Anytime you are feeling resistance, ask that magic question: ‘What is not working for me right now?’ And change it as soon as possible.
I hope this helps you think about routines in a refreshing way. If you have any questions or insight to add, feel free to reach out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
By the way, if you need ongoing support and encouragement as you figure out how to do the next right thing in life or business, I am here for you. My new coaching programs begin September 1 and I would love for you to schedule a call to find out which program is right for you.
Cheering for you always! 💛
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