Updated: Sep 27, 2021
New projects, new schedules and new challenges.
Fall gives us the perfect oportunity to ,start new habits and new routines. A few weeks back I had a moment of inspiration and decided I wanted to do a complete overhaul of my routines. I even downloaded an app for it! Setting up what I wanted my mornings and evenings to be like and setting reminders for each task...suffice it to say I ended up feeling completely bombarded with all the notices saying that I was overdue and hadn't done this and that and I deleted the app from my phone in a bit of a huff.
Setting new routines and habits is a great way to start moving your life in a direction you want...however sometimes we need to start with one step rather than trying to cram an entire marathon into 6 feet of track and ending up a flailing heap of arms and legs in the process. I mean I know this ...you know this...but it's so tempting to just say "this is the new me!... now!" Change is a process and there are some things we need to take a look at when we decide it's time for it.
In previous blogs and podcasts we've talked about deciding on and planning new goals in a few different ways. SMART goals being one of them and being specific and realistic are part of that. But today I kind of want to look into the how and the why a bit closer.
Did I completely fall flat on my face with the new routine ideas? yes...and I failed splendidly. But to quote Samuel Beckett "Ever Tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better"
And it's true. When we've tried something and we know that that sure didn't work then we know at least theoretically that we should probably try something different next time.
So look back, what didn't work and why? how can we improve it?
I am noooot a morning person, so why on earth did I think it would be a good idea to throw in a jam packed schedule of 6-8 steps first thing at 6am in the morning? go figure lol.
And to me that's the key! I'm NOT a morning person!
I do however like staying up late, so looking at what kind of person I am and when I am the most productive it makes sense to do things when I am NATURALLY the most productive. Some stuff needs to happen when it needs to happen, like taking the dog out or eating breakfast. But as for the steps leading up to it (for me at least) automation is the bomb. So let's do a walkthrough.
One of the things that takes the most time in the mornings is choices. What am I wearing ? What are the kids wearing? what are we having for breakfast? And we've already established that this girl is not on her A-game in the AM's so let's prep in the PM's. For you it might be at a different time of day but for me the best time is in the evenings when it's time for the kids to go to bed. Check with the kids what they want for breakfast and check my own list of planned meals so it's not up for debate in the morning. Let the kids make their Burrito Rolls. Wait...What? you're cooking at 10pm!? ....No...no I'm not , we call them burrito rolls cus it's more fun and it got the kids engaged when they were younger. The burrito rolls are their clothes for tomorrow rolled up like a burrito and placed next to the bed for easy visibility and access in the morning. And to avoid the crazy running around looking for things like homework assignments or things that you are planning on bringing to work, pack your bags the night before and place by the door to signify that it's prepared and ready to go.
Pre Morning Prep the night before:
- Burrito Rolls
- Set table for breakfast
- Pack and prepare bags for tomorrow
The more you can do in advance the better. Something that I love doing that helps on so many levels is meal prep. It doesn't need to take a long time and it helps to make things FAST, EASY, HEALTHY and CHEAPER.
I mean you can't really go wrong with those right?
All you need is an hour or two on Saturday or Sunday (or whatever day you choose) and some food containers. Planning out your Lunches and/or Dinners in advance saves you several hours a week of time in the kitchen as well as calories and cash that you might be wasting making impromptu decisions on the fly when you're hungry. Here is how I do it.
Plan your lunches. Ideally you want to make lunches for maybe 5 days and to not eat the same thing every day. I usually pick 2 sources of protein and 2 sources of carbs for example: Chicken breast and Salmon or pork for protein, and rice, potatos, pasta or quinoa for carbs. Then a bag of wok veggies and some fresh salad mix that is usually pre rinsed and cherry tomatos cus let's face it ...I lazy.
Kickass Music. No I'm not kidding start by picking some music that is going to get you in an awesome mood. This by the way is the best way to start any housework in my humble opinion. Something you can hum along to, and possibly enjoy a glass of wine while you cook will make it all the more fun.
start with what is going to take the longest, be creative in your seasonings for variation. Just because you're doing chicken breast doesnt mean it all has to taste the same, if you're making it in the oven you can always split it up and do the right side with curry spices and the left side with rosmary etc.
Put the food that is to be heated into the containers and fresh salad in a seperate ones or in little baggies.
Now you're ready to grab your lunch each day an go without having to prepare in the morning!
Generally speaking Sundays are my planning days. It's when I prepare for the week to come and look over everyones schedules, decoracte my planner and do meal prep.
All of these things are great tools for getting things done, and things do need to get done daily. But it's so easy to just get lost in productivity and things that need to happen and forget that in the midst of all the prep work we're not "Human Doings" we're "Human Beings" and it's important to pause and take time for ourselves on a daily basis. Yeah I said DAILY! I love going to get a massage or date nights out, going to the movies with my girl friends etc. But those aren't things we do every day and considering the effort that goes into just getting through the day in regards to family and work we need to make sure that we don't just fill up on energy once a month. There needs to be balance to avoid burnout.
This can look a hundred different ways depending on who you are and what you love.
Don't think it has to be huge or expensive, since we're talking daily think about mixing stuff that might take more time like doing a home facial or mani pedi with things like lighting a candle and having a cup of tea snuggled up in your favorite blanket or enjoying nature on a forest walk or going for adrive in the country. It's about setting aside specific time for YOU, enjoying the moment and being present in it.
So make this "Self Care September" Make a small note in your journal to yourself or on social media if you want stating "today self care looked like:" and fill in the blank.
Routines and plans are amazing ways too help us get things done and structure our lives. But they are here to help us, we are not there to live up to them. Taking care of you is what matters so make sure that when you plan your life and set your routines, you are setting them to take care of you and make your life easier not to be Stepford perfect but rather to be your own brilliant and special you.
Here is a video I made a few years back about self care that if you want to check it out.
See you next time!