Does anyone else feel like they take their routines a bit for granted once they switch up? Even if you didn’t necessarily like your last routine, there was a comforting sense of familiarity. Once it shifts for whatever reason—whether by choice or not—it’s like our whole balance is off. And it’s not so much about getting used to your new routine as it is about establishing it, sometimes seemingly from scratch. Let’s be honest: it takes effort and time to get into a new grove! No matter your circumstances, or whether you made the choice to change up your routine, you’re the one who is in control of your new situation.
That’s right. I’ll even go so far to say there’s no ifs, ands, or buts. So, what are you going to do to make this a fulfilling, nurturing, impactful new routine?
I’m right there with you in the midst of figuring that out.
See, I recently moved and changed jobs, switching from a marketing agency to in-house marketing. That’s its own topic for a different time, but it feels like my entire routine is so off—primarily because I swear these boxes to unpack are multiplying and, more importantly, I now work from 7am to 4pm. But that’s not a bad thing! Aside from waking up an hour early (COFFEE), I’m arriving home 2 or 3 hours earlier than I’ve been used to for years
Like, what is this thing called a late afternoon? (No, but seriously.) I accidentally cooked and ate dinner by 5:30pm every night my first week on the new job—once, I couldn’t understand how there was so much food left over until I realized the rest of the household wasn’t even home yet. My old routine of come back from work, hurriedly make dinner, relax in front of the TV, work on computer in bed and go to sleep doesn’t work anymore—I maintained that routine my first few days (ya know, before the move and life became consumed by boxes) and found myself tucked in bed by 8pm. I like to go to bed early, but maybe when it’s dark outside? Add moving to a new house that’s twice the size of our old one (!!), it’s as if I’ve pressed a “Restart” button on how I go about… well, everything. I feel accomplished simply for getting my butt out of the door on time to head to the new job!
We hardly notice our day-to-day routines, but the moment they’re shaken, oh man it’s like our worlds turn upside down. From adjustments like a new job’s different commute, to getting ready in the morning after a move, or integrating healthier food into your diet, to bigger I’m-relearning-how-to-live-my-life changes such as an out-of-state move, new baby, or starting your own business, it all begins with how we establish our routine. We make the most of it when there are elements we don’t like, and continue adapting to keep on improving. Because ultimately, that’s what starts with a better lifestyle (however your #badass self defines that).
Like I mentioned, June and July are turning out to be quite a transition period over in my neck of the woods. Between moving (again) and the new job, I have to make necessary changes to my daily routine and it’s causing me to reflect on how to proactively improve my transforming routine so it’s more in line with my goals and passions. Once I started thinking, it was hard to stop!
But despite saying “I want to do this” and “I need to do that,” I tend to follow through only a few times… and that’s that until 2 weeks later when the cycle repeats itself. Remember what they say about getting used to something new: It takes 3 weeks for it to become a habit. In other words: As you establish/improve your routine, it’s going to take some time and a whole lotta repetition.
Before you half-subconsciously settle into another adjusted routine that just “works,” let’s seriously consider how to make this adjustment effective and purposeful. I mean, why not, right?
Embrace your new routine. Love it, nurture it, and find balance in your day-to-day life.
Sprinkle old familiarities in with the new routine to bring back a sense of comfort.
Like listening to a favorite album/audiobook (my go-to is the Harry Potter series), or watching your favorite classic movie. Something that brings balance, warmth and happiness into your life and fills you with all the fuzzies amidst the hecticness. You know, so you don’t pull your hair out in complete frustration or plop down on the floor and burst into tears.
I used to plug in earphones and listen to the same Pandora station all the time at my old workplace, so I made sure to stream my productivity music (Lindsey Sterling, if you’re curious) at the new spot. It instantly brought me more within my element—and every bit of comfort at a new job is appreciated!
Consider what you enjoyed, appreciated, and loved about past routines.
Especially your most recent one. When were you most productive? Happiest? Relaxed? What made you feel refreshed and ready to kick ass? How did you effectively get through obstacles and challenges? What triggered stress and frustration, and how did you manage it? Ask yourself these questions to match actions to emotions and find patterns in what attributed to successful outcomes (no matter how small the task).
Simply recognizing what has worked well in the past helps you become more aware and intuitive of how you want to move forward. We do so much on autopilot, that stopping to wonder and reflect is essential to extracting the golden nuggets!
Define your goals.
Are you trying to incorporate something into your schedule (or get rid of) that you feel “should” be there, but in all honesty you’re not too enthused about it? It doesn’t actually align with your goals?
Umm… then why are you wasting energy on trying to make it work?
(Adulting things aside—obviously we still need to pay our bills, clean the house, and all that crap.)
For instance, as I build out my new routine, I’m focusing on two additions and integrating them into my daily schedule:
- Exercise and;
(The latter is because, if you haven’t heard, Sweet Success Society is going NEXT LEVEL baby, with Erin’s big announcement here.) I’m taking advantage of my newly discovered late afternoons to attend a 5pm yoga class and spending most lunch breaks at a nearby coffee shop where I dedicate 50 minutes to 1 blogging related task. Let me tell you, it feels fantastic and these daily achievements (small as they may seem) are cause for a pat on the back each evening as I reflect on the day and prep for the next.
Remember that success is earned through consistency, and consistency is found via habit-forming. What do you want to be successful in? I’m not talking just career—this is much broader and can apply to any aspect of life. Once you define your go-getter goals, what methods of consistency must be applied to achieve these goals? How are you able to make that happen? How will you integrate that into your regular routine?
Figure out what will best help you achieve these goals and make it happen.
Remember, you’re in control and can cater to even the most ridiculous new schedules by making that routine work. Seek out resources to aid you in following through with your new routine. When you pinpoint what you want to incorporate into your new routine, sometimes it requires a little help or extra push to actually get there. (I’ve been talking about taking yoga classes for more than a year, but never did because they were “too expensive” and I “never had the time.” So when I saw the opportunity with my additional time, I sought out cheap yoga classes. Gotta love Groupon!)
Why not take a peek at Pinterest life hacks while you’re already making considerable changes to your routine? Or ask friends and family for recommendations? Find an accountability buddy?
Write down your goals and map out what your ideal day looks like.
You know you’ll be more committed, motivated, and encouraged if it’s tangible in some way, shape, or form. You’re literally teaching yourself new habits, which naturally take time and a lot of reminders—so let’s not act like we can do it by just saying we will in our heads. Come on, we all know we’re a hell of a lot more likely to consistently follow through and be 100% both feet in by writing down our goals and visually articulating how we’re going to accomplish them on a day-to-day basis.
Here’s a few ideas to consider:
- Write on post-its and stick ‘em on your fridge
- Write on your bedroom or bathroom mirror
- Set reminders on your phone
- Utilize a planner
Sure, every day will vary and some days you’d rather do this than that. I’m talking about, loosely, the things that are on your day-to-day agenda. Or hey, maybe you want to be more specific with a time of day and zone in on that (like your morning or evening routine). Whatever you choose, the importance element is to visually see it, recognize it, apply it, live by it.
Keep an open mind and remember to be flexible.
Ultimately, establishing your new routine is going to be a trial-and-error process. What may seem to work well originally turns out not to be so beneficial—and that’s okay! Learn from those bumps in the road to make your routine better, brighter, and best fitted exactly for you and your success. Especially in the beginning, awareness is key. You’re not on autopilot yet, so you’ll already be more conscious of what you’re doing, where you’re doing, how you’re making it happen, and what you’re thinking/feeling.
Like anything, it’ll take time to adjust to this new routine as the kinks continually get worked out, new and improved methods get sprinkled throughout, and we learn more about ourselves and what best works to achieve success—from a #bossbabe career to doing the dishes. Ultimately, the goal at the end of any and every day is to be prepared for an even better next day as we combine learning from our experiences balanced with new knowledge.
What changes (purposeful or accidental) have you seen in your routine lately? How do you recommend continually improving your day-to-day routine? What are your favorite life hacks that assist you in achieving daily success?