Feeling burnt out? Find out how to beat everyday overwhelm by creating routines will take you from surviving to thriving.
Do you ever have the feeling you’re drowning in responsibilities and daily tasks?
It’s no secret that being a mom is hard work. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend every day busy, stressed and anxious to be considered a successful mom.
Because living that way isn’t sustainable. And more stress doesn’t always mean more success.
I want to let you in on a little secret…There IS a way to manage all that’s required of you and still be left with the time and energy to enjoy your life.
In the past, you may have heard about the importance of creating routines and rolled your eyes. After all, do you really need MORE to add to your already overflowing plate?
Of course not!
But here’s the thing. Your responsibilities as a mom aren’t going to go away. And that’s why you need routines.
Rather than constantly feeling weighed down, you’ll feel more in control. And you’ll even start to reclaim some of that long, lost energy.
Let me show you.
Routines vs schedules
Before we jump into why routines are so beneficial for moms, let’s clear something up: Routines are NOT schedules.
What’s the difference?
A schedule is when you do the same things at the same time, every day. It’s exact and can be rigid.
There are times when schedules are appropriate. In fact, they can be wonderful!
But as moms, we need a little more flexibility. You know as much as I do that life with kids isn’t 100% predictable.
Have you ever tried to implement a schedule and found it just wouldn’t stick? Chances are, it didn’t work because it was too exact.
How about giving routines a try instead?
Unlike schedules, routines are more flexible. This is because they’re groups of procedures done regularly rather than the same things done in the same order at the same times.
It’s a bit like exercising. Every workout “routine” might consist of stretching, cardio, and strength. But the exact exercises performed in each of those categories (and sometimes even the order of the categories themselves) might not remain the same day to day.
And just like exercising, it’s the consistency, not perfection, that matters most. Regular exercise, no matter the level, will always be more effective than heavy workouts done sporadically.
It’s also important to note that routines, when done correctly, aren’t something extra you “have” to do. Instead, they help you manage the things you already have to do so you have the time and energy to do to the things you want to do.
What to expect when creating routines
Routines are a bit like habits.
- They begin with simple steps.
- It takes consistency for them to become automatic
- They get easier and require less effort with time
- And they can change with the seasons of your life.
Let’s talk about each of those points. They’re important.
ROUTINES NEED TO REMAIN SIMPLE
The key to creating routines that will stick is to simplify them.
Anything with too many steps or too much detail just won’t be sustainable. No one wants to be micromanaged. Even by themselves!
If you’re new to a particular routine, start with the most basic and important parts of it. You can always build up and out from there.
But don’t forget…the purpose of creating a routine is to make your life easier by automating the parts of your day that
have to be should be done. Not to stress you out with unrealistic standards – which is something moms do to themselves a lot!
ROUTINES NEED CONSISTENCY TO BECOME AUTOMATIC
Because routines are regular procedures, they’re just like habits. And that means they need two things: consistency and time.
Did you know that it can take a few months for a habit to become automatic? According to a study done by University College London, habits can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to become automatic? Wow!
But these researchers also found something interesting in their study. It wasn’t perfection that created habits. It was consistency.
That’s great news because it means that creating a routine is the same way!
It’s not an all-or-nothing deal. Establishing a routine just takes regular, consistent effort. And some time.
ROUTINES GET EASIER AND REQUIRE LESS EFFORT WITH TIME
When routines start to become automatic, they get easier.
Think about when you first started shaving your legs. If you’re anything like me, you probably took forever and still ended up with nicks and cuts. Over time, I got quicker and it got easier.
This is true for anything you do consistently.
Waking up early? Exercising consistently? Reading (or listening to audiobooks)? Cleaning a bathroom?
Anything that becomes routine will get faster and easier with time. (Which is why routines are great for all the “have-to’s” in our lives.)
Here’s why I’m bringing this up…
DON’T give up on a routine too soon! I want to encourage you to give it sufficient time before deciding it’s not working. I promise that if it’s a good routine, it can work for you. And it will get better.
ROUTINES CAN CHANGE!
What about a routine that just isn’t working? Well, maybe it’s time to tweak it.
That’s the beauty of routines. They can change!
Did your baby drop the morning nap and now it’s time to come up with a new morning activity? Or did one of your kids start a new extra-curricular activity and now you need to change how bedtime works? Maybe you joined a running group and now have to wake up super early to meet up with them?
Or did you give in to temptation and over-complicate your well-intentioned routine? (I’ve done this way too many times.)
Whether you change how a particular routine runs or come up with something new altogether, you need to find something that works for you. Whatever your circumstances.
And don’t forget to keep it simple!
Benefits of creating routines
The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. – John C. Maxwell
Moms have a lot on their plates. And I’m a firm believer that routines are crucial. Not just for your kids. For YOU.
MYTH BUSTER: Routines are NOT just for “Type-A” moms.
Every personality type can implement and benefit from routines! From the most structured to the most relaxed.
They’re flexible while still providing a way to organize your day. And having simple systems in place will help you spend the least amount of energy possible doing certain things so that you’re left with the physical and emotional energy to take on the rest.
With parts of the day automated, you’ll spend less time figuring out what to do or how to do it and more time actually doing it. Then you can get around to doing the things you want to do – and even have the energy to actually enjoy it!
Need a little more convincing?
Here are 25 ways creating routines can help you as a mom:
- Create good habits
- Overcome bad habits
- Achieve goals
- Improve physical health
- Improve mental health
- Become better at planning ahead
- Become better at money management
- Increase feelings of accomplishment
- Decrease amounts of decision making
- Simplify managing the household
- Simplify managing the kids
- Automate busy (or mundane) parts of the day
- Keep things from building up
- Stay sane (especially on hard days!)
- Less procrastination
- Less stress
- Less anxiety
- Less chaos
- More time (to do what YOU want)
- More structure (keeps the day from dragging)
- More realistic standards for yourself
- More physical energy
- More emotional energy
- More control over your day
- Live a more intentional life!
If there’s anything about your life you’d like to change…create a routine around it!
But remember to start small. Pick ONE thing, come up with a BASIC idea of how you’d like it to go, and then…EXPERIMENT.
Most routines need tweaking. And that’s ok!
You want your routines to work for you…not the other way around.
GETTING OUT OF SURVIVAL-MODE
We all have seasons where we’re hot mess. But it needs to stay that way. A season. Not a way of life.
Living in survival-mode and constantly playing catch-up is not a good way to live. And if stress and anxiety are your constant companion, you’re going to burn out. No doubt about it.
That’s why I feel so strongly about routines.
But rather than leaving you wondering where to start, I just want you to focus on just one routine. And then wait. Wait until you feel you’ve got a handle on it before adding in more.
From there, you can get creative with the other parts of your life you’d like to automate.
Are you ready to give routines a try?
Motherhood can sometimes leave you feeling like a chicken with its head cut off.
But creating routines will help keep overwhelm at bay. Whether it’s a morning routine for the kids or a cleaning routine for you, you’ll find that when you’ve got systems in place, this is a job you can tackle!
You’ll wake up each day with ownership and purpose and end it feeling accomplished. Even if the only routine you’ve mastered is making your bed that morning. (Which is a great one by the way.)
I’d love to hear about your experiences with creating routines. Also, what parts of your life do you need help automating?
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