How to create a routine, execute daily, and develop a pattern of success

In Central New York, we have finally said our goodbyes to summer and a new school year has begun. As a work at home professional, never has the idea of a quiet house excited me so much.

But with a new school year upon us, it’s also a time for change and to create some new habits. For some of us, that means getting back into a routine, but for others that could mean creating something new, or setting some new schedules in place to make sure nothing gets through the cracks. Which got me thinking, how do we best change our routines to meet our goals in life?

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In our household, this isn’t the “get back to a schedule” sort of change, as The Princess is now a middle schooler. That means she now has to get on the school bus at 7:05am, however at some point this summer she became a preteen who likes to sleep past 9am. This could have been somewhat problematic, but surprisingly we all adjusted pretty quickly (knock on wood!)

I think a major factor to our success can be found in 3 actions that we took leading up to today. But at the same time, I’m not sure my day was quite the success it could have been, and we’ll look at that as well.

1. Plan for the change

Ideally the easiest way to adapt to any change is to allow it to gradually happen. In our household, and we do this every year, we have somewhat of a delusional belief that we are going to have a restful Labor Day, have some downtime before bed, and get an early nights rest. HA! Fat chance of THAT happening!

Seriously, every year we say that, and every year we fail to do it. BUT, thank GOD for The Queen being smarter and in certain areas more organized than I am. She at least had the forethought to have the kids lay out their first day of school threads, has their school bags packed with all of their supplies, and even had a jump on some of the lunch stuff. So that was good.

She planned for the change. And it’s something you can do too.

In a previous post, I wrote about waking up early and how it’s sometimes best implemented by taking five minutes a day off the alarm clock. The same principle applies here, and is illustrated in creating time in the morning for tasks that can be done the night before.

After all, a routine isn’t so much a schedule, nor is it fully a habit. It’s a hybrid of the two, like a scheduled habit.

So start by making small changes that make it easier to adjust to the change. That way, things don’t fall through the cracks.

2.Prioritize the big stuff

After you’ve made the little changes, focus on the big stuff that has to happen. The things that, if they don’t get done, the proverbially stuff hits the fan.

For us, that was making sure that lunches were made, the right clothes were washed and ready, the paperwork was ready to go, and all the stuff that had to make it to school was ready and by the door.

Again, gotta gives props to the Queen for organizing that. Don’t get me wrong, I did my part, but she had it down.

For you, think about what I call the HVT’s (High Value Tasks). What are the 3-5 things that MUST get done today. Make sure that it not only gets done, but gets done early. Success loves speed, so get it done and out of the way. After that, it’s all gravy.

3.Find the good in the bad

Lastly, none of us REALLY like change. We can say we do, but when it blows up in our face (which who knows, tomorrow it may) we have a tendency to slip back into old patterns.

So instead, it helps to look for the positive in the changes that you’re making. For the Princess, it was the excitement of being in a new building, changing classes every period, eating lunch in a really cool cafeteria, getting out an hour earlier, and seeing some of her friends that she hadn’t seen all summer. Silver linings.

So when it comes to establishing new routines for you, think about the positive benefits you’ll get from exercising your new scheduled habits.

If your goal is to wake up early to exercise, think about how you’ll feel with a healthier cardiovascular system. If it’s waking up early to have some quiet time before your day, imagine how relaxed you’ll feel instead of rushing headlong into your day.

There’s always something to be gained, it’s just a matter of finding it. But once you do, it’ll make all the changes easier and more worth it.

As for me….

Yeah, honestly I slipped into some old bad habits. First, instead of taking the free hour I had from 8-9 am to work on a few things that I wanted to get done (ahem…this post for one!) I looked at everyone’s first day of school pictures of their kids on Facebook .

And instead of finishing a few projects that have been hanging out on the back burner, I went swimming with the kids after school.

And lastly, instead of intentionally getting things done and prioritizing achieving my goals, well that I did. So maybe I didn’t do as bad as I thought. And there’s always tomorrow to start again, and make it better than today.

Question: What changes to your routine do you need to make, but haven’t yet taken action?

It’s All In The Routine

2 thoughts on “It’s All In The Routine

  • September 9, 2015 at 10:02 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this, Kevin. This is something that has been on my mind lately. I have very little experience with positive routines, and when I get a fit of ambition to change everything at once, I get overwhelmed and fade back to the comfort of all I’ve ever known (which is getting less comfortable the more I’m aware of it.)
    I appreciate you breaking it down to simple and relatable suggestions.

    Reply
    • September 10, 2015 at 9:18 am
      Permalink

      You’re very welcome Peter! Glad it was helpful.
      I think a big key to success in establishing a routine is intent. Why is important, and what do you gain in being successful. I have to admit that even I am not perfect at following the routine, but I know that when I do I accomplish more, with less stress, and feel better at the end of the day.
      So start something, and follow through with action!
      And Thank You for joining us on this journey!

      Reply

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