Routines are good. They help you feel normal. Routines help establish some semblance of control in your life. But a life changing moment can wreck your routine. It can be good or bad – birth of a child or death of a family member; planned vacation or unexpected layoff; a new relationship or a bad breakup.
So when these moments happen, how do we un-wreck our routine?
Four minutes past the second hour last Wednesday, my life changed forever. My son Henry emerged from Erica’s womb, thus kickstarting a whole new world for us to navigate. Everything changed: how I spend my free time, when I get to shower, and most importantly, what I do for my daily routine.
There are times in life, however, when our daily routine derails. It can be difficult to get back to “normal” life. We struggle to navigate back to our day-to-day life, but feel like we aren’t making any progress.
For me, the past week has had its ups and downs. I’m super pumped to be a new dad, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been left wondering when life will feel normal again. Each day has been different than the previous, and to me this can be unnerving. I like having everything planned and predicted.
Settling back into a routine is a priority for me, and I’ve noticed some progress by following these five easy steps:
- Keep it simple – Focus on the easy old habits or simple new ones. Instead of jumping back into my writing routine, I picked something simpler: taking a shower (you have no idea how amazing a shower feels after 3 days in the hospital).
- Start small – Only focus on a few routines at a time. There’s no need to take back your whole day, start somewhere small like your morning routine. Each day try to work on a new area of your day.
- Eliminate the distractions – Doing the easy, like parking in front of the TV, is always tempting. Get rid of any distractions that are in the way of your routine.
- Schedule – Sometimes writing things down allows you to take action. Make sure you carve out margin in your life to include one new (or old) aspect of your routine. Take time the night before to pick 3 things you hope to attempt the next day (how do you think I motivated myself to write this post? I wrote it down).
- Allow room to grow – Give yourself some grace and understand that establishing a new or reestablishing an old routine takes time. It’s okay to fail.
Sh*t happens. I read that somewhere. And when it does, your life changes. To help cope with the change, (re)establishing a routine is sometimes all you need to help feel normal again.
My life changed forever last week, but I’m not letting that stop me from doing the things I love and living the life I want. My routine may be wrecked, but my life sure ain’t.
What routine do you hope to (re)establish? What tips do you have to un-wreck your routine?