I’ve been talking to my audience and one thing that keeps coming up is the struggle with adjusting to a new routine. It’s September, so that means back to school. That means getting up earlier, rushing out of the house and having to be on your kids about getting dressed and doing anything to get them out the door. If you struggle with this, you are not alone. Here are several strategies to adjust to or create a new routine that your family will love. If they don’t love the new routine, it will be at least tolerable. Maybe even enjoyable.
The Purpose of Your Routine
First, look at your why. Why does this new routine need to happen? It being September, the most obvious reason would be the kids going back to school, but there may be other reasons to start a new routine such as a new baby, a move, the start of a new job etc. Looking at the reasons behind any new routine will help you stay clear and focused.
Planning Your New Routine
To begin creating your new plan, ask the following questions. Write out the answers and share them with family if necessary.
- What needs to happen in the morning?
- What needs to happen at night?
- Who needs to get up when?
- What could you do to speed up your morning routine?
- Who will do which tasks?
Routine Tweaks and or Suggestions
- Create a schedule for use of the bathroom if you have to.
- Maybe kids need baths at night instead.
- Create a chore chart for the kids.
- Set out clothes the night before.
- Pack lunches the night before.
- Start the routine a couple weeks before the actual change needs to happen.
In order for change to be welcome and to stick, you have to find some benefit in it. It can take at least 21 days for new habits to stick, so don’t get discouraged if anyone in the family slips back to their old ways of doing things.
- What are the benefits of the new routine?
- What are you grateful for?
- Will it give you more time to yourself.
- Will it give your kids more structure?
- Will you get more work done?
Relieve Your Anxiety
Is there any anxiety around your new routine? Change can be scary if it is a large change. Humans are creatures of habit so even small changes can be bothersome. If you find yourself resisting, it’s time to look at any anxiety you have around the new routine. Here’s a list of some examples, but you may have some that are different.
- I’ll be late for work.
- We won’t get enough sleep.
- I’ll have to get up earlier and I’m not a morning person.
- I won’t have enough time to myself.
- I’ll be yelling at my kids.
- I’ll feel rushed.
- My kids can’t do enough for themselves yet and I’ll have to do everything.
- I’ll be busy looking for things. The keys, a pair of shoes, the child’s homework etc.
One way to beat some of this anxiety is to get organized. Find places to keep things and make sure they are kept there. A basket by the door, a place for the backpack, a hanger for keys, Organize drawers so that clothing or personal items can easily be found.
Have a morning routine you love.
Do you feel stressed and hurried in the morning? If so, you will want to create some nonnegotiable rituals. Some examples may be Meditation, exercise, journaling, a cup of tea or coffee, watching the news, watching cat videos etc. Whatever gives you a boost, relieves some stress and can be done in a short amount of time, do it! Even if you have to get up a few minutes earlier. You may have to delegate some tasks or do them the night before. Doing something for yourself in the morning is so worth it. It starts your day on a more positive note and it may only take a few minutes depending on your rituals. If possible, do this before the kids are out of bed. This way you have some quiet time to yourself.
To summarize, get clear on why your routine needs to happen if it isn’t obvious. Then create a plan. Who does what tasks and when? Figure out what makes you anxious about the change and then get organized. Decide what you can let go of and what are your non negotiables. Through this process you will create a new routine that you love. If it’s not something you love, it will be a routine you can tolerate. Did I miss anything? What helps you get adjusted to a new routine? Tell me in the comments!