Easy Way To Create Routines for Moms
You probably know by now that I love lists. I also love good routines, accountability and tracking progress. I love to see where I can improve. You get where this is going lol. All of these things keep me motivated and progressive, not to mention happy.
But my husband is the complete opposite.
With a good push he’s amazing! What I noticed about him is that he does enough to get to a place of comfort and relaxes. That’s great once in a while. But we’re not where we are today by being too comfortable and not progressing to the next level. Together, we accomplish one goal and that’s not it! We enjoy realising and living the goal and then move on to the next. What has worked for us relies heavily on me. I take a dream we’ve shared, create goals, plan and establish routines and we form habits that align with achieving our goals and dreams.
But he has LOTS of personal dreams, many of which have remained as dreams or fantasies because he has no plan in place to achieve them. I realized that instead of spearheading our “dream to reality” projects, I should try to teach him how I do it so that he could live his dreams.
We decided to work on one of his dreams and created goals, some routines, and accountability together. Having him go through the process from start to finish not only allowed him the benefit of understanding his dream better but it allowed him to work through exactly what needed to be done in order for him to achieve it. More than that, he was able to appreciate his efforts and achieving his dream meant more to him than anything we accomplished previously.
We followed the process I’ve outlined below.
Understand the Importance of Routines
We started at the beginning. I was determined to break the preconceived notions he had about having and following a routine.
Very simply, routines are actions we perform at certain times to complete certain tasks. They are relatively fixed but we can make changes and improvements along the way.
10 Ways Routines Benefit Your Family
When you drive to the grocery or take take a bus to the library, chances are you go pretty much the same way every time. This is a routine – it’s the path you take to achieve your goals.
By creating and sticking to routines in your daily life you’ll be able to:
- Form habits
Following a routine seamlessly evolves into a habit. For instance, if part of your night time routine or post dinner routine is to wash the wares or load the dishwasher, once you do it consistently over a period of time, it eventually becomes habitual – so much so that you may be preparing for bed and not remember that you did the dishes!
These habits are essential in leading you to achieving your goals.
- Free up time
Because you already spent the time to carve out your routine and prioritize certain events, you would no longer need to spend time wondering what to do next or if you forgot something. It may not sound like a lot of time can be saved here but as you start with your routines, you will be amazed with the increased efficiency and time saving benefits. This goes a long way to improve your productivity as you’re able to move to the next task easier and quicker.
Sometimes you don’t even realize how much time you‘re spending on details that don’t matter that much and leaving less time for things that mean more to you. For instance, maybe you’re spending too much time checking your emails or browsing on social media and that’s preventing you from doing something you say you have no time for (e.g. starting an exercise program).
Google and Smarter time are FABULOUS tools for you to track and see where your time is going.
- Foster accountability & discipline
When you create your goals and fall short, you know that you are responsible. Of course everything is NOT in your control and you’re going to have off times and days. Apart from that though, on a regular day, you have to take stock of your actions, understand what went wrong and then make necessary adjustments.
- Develop good habits (and break bad habits)
By creating a routine it allows you to recognize the habits that you want to eliminate or those that you want to improve upon. For instance, if your car is always filled with toys after a family trip – creating a routine where the kids (if they are old enough) pick up their toy(s) to take back to their playroom once you’re back at home will create good habits – they will eventually automatically pick up the toys when they’re coming out of the car.
When you consider the steps you take to create a routine, prioritization is a big one.
Creating a routine forces you to see exactly what you do during the day and plan for what you would like to include (instead of something else or in addition). It could help you see how much more or less you could do of any particular action. It helps you get a good idea of where you can add in, for example, a hobby or exercise program.
- Rely less on willpower
Honestly, some days you just don’t have the motivation to do certain things – for me, it’s incorporating exercise.
If I make it a routine however, after some time of following that routine, it’s part of my day. I don’t think about it because that period has already been carved out for my exercise routine. This can work for you in the same way.
- Build self confidence
You increase your self confidence with the sense of pride that comes along with simply creating the routine – you’ve put your priorities in order and you’re going to have a better handle on your life. From that your confidence only gets stronger as you stick to your routine and experience all the benefits that come along with it.
- Achieve goals
Once you build your routines with your goals in mind, this is your result. By creating routines which turn into habits you arm yourself with everything you need to continue working towards that goal.
- Increase efficiency & productivity
Due to the very nature of a routine, it enables you to do certain tasks repeatedly.
We’ve all heard the saying – practice makes perfect. By consistently performing the actions or tasks you are able to strengthen your abilities.
- Reduce stress
Having to remember all the things you need to do or perhaps worrying about having enough time to complete a task can be very stressful. The stress in turn can create anxiety in some of us.
With a good routine in place you give your life the necessary structure to reduce and even eliminate tasks or “to do lists” which in turn reduces stress and anxiety.
What are the Types of Routines?
Routines can be implemented for just about any part of your lives. From babies to the elderly, everyone can benefit from implementing routines. Some examples:
- Morning routines
- Night time routines
- Weekend routines
- Baby/Kid routine
- Healthy routine
- Cleaning routine
How to create a Routine that You Will Love and Stick to?
Before we get started, I want to emphasise that the most important aspects are to be realistic and flexible. You need to KNOW and accept that things will not always go according to plan and you should definitely take this into consideration (and when it happens, take a step back and regroup).
You’re more likely to be successful with a routine when you start small and keep it simple. Break up your large or ultimate goals into smaller goals. For instance – if your goal is to exercise daily, then start with a 7-minute workout program instead of reaching for an hour long, everyday program.
Being realistic with yourself is key to improvement. Once you have formed a habit, increase the amount you do until you reach your ultimate goal.
PRO TIP : start with mini routines. If for instance, your goal is to reduce screen time and replace with other activities throughout the day, start with reducing screen time in your morning routine.
Once you have been successful, congratulate yourself! Give yourself credit for what you have accomplished and let that be your motivation to take it to the next step.
Okay, so let’s start creating your routines! I’m going to walk you through the four steps I take when creating routines for my family.
- Be specific about the goal
After setting your goals, choose the goal you’re going to be creating the routine to achieve. Specificity brings much needed clarity to routine creation and the best way to do this is to write it down somewhere that you can reference often.
- List activities
Make a list of everything you currently do and everything that needs to get done. This is similar to brainstorming – don’t worry about the order right now. Write down what comes to mind.
- Log your current times
This is such a useful step. Sometimes we think we have to get up earlier because we’re just not getting out the door in time to beat the traffic. But if we start by tracking our time before we leave the house, I’m sure we can find ways to reduce certain things (e.g. time spent on the phone or in the shower).
- Create your routine
Using the information from steps 2 & 3, you’re now ready to actually put your activities in order and make sense of it all.
Don’t try to do too much too soon. If it’s too overwhelming, adjust one part of your current routine – e.g. for a morning routine, instead of changing the way you do everything, change the length of time you take to shower, for instance.
You can also get specific if you want here and add in times for each part of your routine. This can help to ensure that you’re allowing yourself enough time for everything.
How to stick to Your Routine?
Creating a routine is one part of the equation. Another equally, or possibly more important part is to stick to the routines. These are my best tips:
Develop self awareness and be realistic
Remember this is for YOUR benefit. You create it with YOUR priorities and goals in mind. It’s not a competition – it’s ok that the clothes are left unfolded if that is not high on your priority list – maybe spending time with your spouse is (this is actually one of ours).
The ability to understand what you need and why you’re doing this will ensure that you are successful.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else
No two people have the same personality and lifestyle. Comparing therefore, only fuels frustration. On this note, also don’t download someone’s sample routine and try to stick to that. Use the sample purely as a guide – change one thing or change all things – it’s totally up to you!
This is a step you’re taking to improve your life. It’s important to know your limitations AND when you can push yourself.
Apps – calendar with reminders & log time app
We all need reminders, especially moms. With trying to juggle kids, house, career, marriage, self development etc, we simply don’t remember everything. I understand that not everyone is wired to love lists but it helps to get into the swing of things and soon enough you won’t need lists any more.
One routine at a time
Again, don’t try to do it all at once. If you want to implement more than one routine (e.g. kids’ morning and evening routine) start with the morning, perfect it and then incorporate the evening routine.
Give it time & don’t give up
We don’t expect a baby to come out running. We expect them to learn skills, get stronger, crawl, walk and then run.
Similarly, getting into a routine and eventually turning activities into habits will take time but you will get there.
Consistency is also key. Most of us will struggle when we start – we may even fail. That’s okay! What’s not okay is quitting. Keep at it and you WILL see results.
Tweak short comings
If you’re consistently not getting into the routine, tweak it. Identify why it’s not working and change it.
Allow off days and mistakes
This is one that gets me! Having kids (especially young kids) means going with the flow sometimes. Sometimes you’re just too tired. Sometimes you get sick. It’s ok! Jump back in when you can.
Celebrate your wins
When you’ve accomplished something – congratulate yourself and celebrate! It was hard work and you didn’t give up – recognize it.
Remember this is for you! You’ve got this!
Have you had trouble creating routines that help you achieve your goals? Or have you found your own steps to create and stick to routines? I would love to hear from you guys, leave a comment below about your experiences.