Schedule, yes. Routine, no

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I spent years (Yes, YEARS..upwards of 10-15 YEARS) trying to establish a “Routine”. I blame flylady. I found her in my early twenties and spent way too much time trying to make my life look nice. I made  daily routines, weekly routines, monthly routines, morning routines, night routines, routines for the gym, routines for cleaning house, routines for pets. The idea was that I would do the same things every day, working toward…something…  A cleaner house, a better body, a happier family, etc etc etc. I quit trying to do the flylady system about the time FlyLady wrote a diet book. Makes as much sense as Oprah and Dr. Phil writing diet books. Just saying. But it made me realize that so called “experts” just aren’t, sometimes.

I got better at it over the years. My routines were tied to actual, specific goals. “Gain 3 pounds of muscle this month” “Deep clean the entire house every  month”. My routines got bigger and bigger until they were taking all my time, and all my energy. I watched youtube videos for motivation to go to the gym, or clean the stupid bathroom. I made goals based on what others were doing. Motivation was difficult because some of these goals I really didn’t care about. I REALLY don’t care about some of them. Routines went out the window, goals were foggy ,and depression set in. There’s nothing more depressing than spinning your wheels toward goals that you aren’t truly passionate about.

So I narrowed down my goals, made tasks to actually fit those goals and my routine became mine. I was spending 2 hours in the gym, 2 hours cleaning, an hour journaling and planning. I wasn’t getting “everything” done, but at least I was headed toward goals I cared about, and I was motivated. My life improved. My business grew.

Then my schedule filled up with work. I no longer had 5 hours a day to work on my goals. I’m trying to make a living! So what happened to all those routines? They went completely out the window! I dont “routinely” have 2 hours in the morning to clean, 2 hours to exercise and and hour to journal and plan. It would be nice if I did, but I don’t. So I felt like I was failing. Constantly.

So I made a decision to quit failing.

I still have goals. I still have lists of things that need to get done to meet those goals.  I have weekly and monthly lists (NOT daily lists like before).

I only have one “routine” thing I do now….

Every night I sit down with my calendar, and write out my schedule for the next day. It’s similar to a “bullet journal” style plan. I start with work stuff. That has to be #1. If Fido needs to be fed at 6:30am and 6pm, Fifi needs to be walked at noon and Spot has an overnight scheduled from 8pm to 6am, those things are first. I’ve committed to them, and they will get done. Sometimes I have a “light” work schedule. Sometimes it’s heavier. It doesn’t bother me either way, now.

Then I fit my personal goals in between. I actually “book” things I’m doing to reach my goals. I might wash the cars from 7:30-8am and go to the gym from 10-11 so those things get scheduled in between work.  If someone is coming to the house at 2pm, I’m likely to schedule cleaning from 1pm-2pm. Then I check my task lists, to see what else needs to be done weekly or monthly that can “fit” in tomorrows schedule.

Doing things this way keeps me sane. It keeps me on track, and I don’t feel like I’m constantly failing to “finish” the day.

I might book clients 6 months ahead, but I’ve learned to take life one day at a time. How do you plan? Why do you plan? Do you have a routine that works for you?

Until next time. STAY STRONG!

~April

 

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