I hate routine.
The idea of schedules and structure makes my skin crawl. I assume this is a side effect of having been educated in the public school system.
And yet it is within a structure that I flourish and within routine that my creativity comes alive. This can make staying emotionally and mentally healthy…well…tricky. I don’t want the exact thing I need and because I don’t like it I have never taken the time to build the skills required to keep it up.
And yet I teach routine and structure building to my clients. I support them in sticking with the routines that are working for them and restructuring the ones that aren’t without chucking the entire thing out of the window.
I preach and preach, but I do not always practice.
It is time for a reset. It is time to create a structure to my days that gives me what I need to thrive. That is where you start – with your goal in mind.
What are the things that I need every day in order to thrive?
- spiritual practice
- physical movement
- time to write
- time alone
That was the list I came up with. It probably isn’t comprehensive, but it doesn’t need to be. I’m not trying to be perfect at self-care or to create a schedule that will work for every day for the rest of my life. I’m trying to take care of the person that I am right now.
What do I need every week?
- completion of business tasks
- cleaning/organizing the house
Again – not a perfect list. Again – not the point.
So how do you take your imperfect lists of needs and turn that into a way to get those needs met? This is where Google comes in. We have a family Google calendar. The days and times that the kids are in preschool and daycare are listed on it, my coaching clients, Adam’s game nights, our appointments, deadlines, and plans are all on this calendar.
I started with one day. Today, actually. The calendar was miraculously clear of “extras”. This is a base day and a great day to test out my new schedule. There are five things that I need to work into the plan for each day. This is what mine looks like:
- 6am – wake up/WATER/set intentions/spiritual practice
- 6:30 am – kids up/dressed/EAT
- 7:30 – shower/dress
- 8 am – writing
- 9 am – business tasks
- 10 am – check social media business pages/groups
- 10:30 – pick up Boogie from daycare/play/snack
- 11:30 – She naps! YAY! clean/organize one part of home
- noon – lunch/social media to connect with friends
- 1 pm – Boogie awake, snack, outside time or inside physical activity
- 1: 30 – outside time or inside physical activity
- 2:30 pm – laundry, speech, read, creative play
- 3:30 pm – Pick up Buddy from preschool
- 4:00 pm – time with kiddos
- 5:00 pm – make dinner
- 6:30 pm – bath/bedtime routines
- 7:00 pm – time with Adam
- 8:30 pm – ME (silence, alone, or possibly business if necessary)
- 9:30 pm – my bedtime routine
- 10 pm – end of day
Will this work for you? Probably not. Will it work for me? Who knows! So far it is. It isn’t perfect. I would love more time to work, to write, to spend with Adam. But this is my life as a work at home mom of a 4.5-year-old and a 2-year-old. This is what will get me closest to my ideal balance today.
And here’s the thing – you can do this too. You truly can put yourself back into your schedule and onto your calendar.
Start with what you need every day in order to thrive.
Add in what you need every week.
Look at your calendar to see what challenges and extras you have coming your way.
Plan each day.
That last part is the trick. This schedule won’t work at all for me on Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday. On days when I have multiple client meetings it won’t work. On days when I business deadlines it won’t work. That means that I will have to set a new schedule each night for the next day.
Things have been rough lately – but that seems to be the norm in our world these days. And as I’ve been wondering about why I wasn’t bouncing back as well as I used to and blaming myself for losing focus and faith. It took me a few weeks to remember how much I need this and a few days to actually make myself do it. But the actual schedule took me fifteen minutes to write out. It’s 8:58 on Friday morning and I feel better than I have in so long.
I’m no longer a hypocrite (for now) and the healing has begun.
If you’d like help setting your priorities and creating a routine that works for you I would love to help you do that. You can reach me right here.
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