For over a year and a half, I was committed to posting blogs on a regular basis. I made sure that I maintained a posting schedule. I wrote extra blogs so that I would have a few blogs stockpiled. These blogs made it easier to manage weeks when I was out-of-town or busy with other matters. It also helped to relieve the stress associated with writer’s block. Sometimes my ideas did not flow freely or my thoughts didn’t come together in an organized way. The extra blogs were a lifesaver during those times.
The process of downsizing, putting my home on the market, and getting ready for a move shattered my daily routines. I was overwhelmed by everything that I needed to do. Instead of remaining focused on my routine, I disregarded what I had been following for over a year. The situation was compounded when I temporarily lost the use of my dominant arm. Bursitis and a sore rotator cuff limited my movement for several months. Not only did I find excuses for not exercising, but I also struggled with setting aside ample time to read, write, and maintain my social media presence.
Downsizing and moving monopolized my time. As my routines fell by the wayside, I lost control. I had forgotten about the importance of having a routine.
Now that I have recognized the culprits that caused my inactivity and anxieties, I need to reestablish my routines. Accepting responsibility for my shortcoming is the first step toward changing my undesirable behavior.
Routines are essential for productivity. Early on children learn to follow daily home and school routines. This structure reduces anxiety and apprehension since routines help kids understand what will happen each day. As a result, they can plan accordingly. This consistency is reassuring.
Adults likewise follow daily home and work routines, but have more freedom to opt out whenever they choose. The situation becomes more challenging when an individual works at home. It is much easier to deviate from a planned schedule since no one is visibly overseeing one’s work product.
When I fail to remember the importance of having a routine, my motivation decreases. Invariably, I fall short of what I would like to accomplish. I become easily frustrated. It is harder to concentrate. I fall farther behind. I start to eat chocolate. I become more aggravated and sometimes eat more chocolate.
In order to reorganize my life, I have to reestablish my daily routine by setting specific times for the 7 priorities in my life.
- Sleeping. Without a sufficient amount of sleep, I cannot function. I am miserable. Establishing a consistent bedtime and wake up time will make it easier for me to follow the rest of my daily plan.
- Eating. Consuming nutritional foods and drinking sufficient amounts of water will keep me more alert and less likely to overindulge in chocolate or empty calories.
- Planning. A list of what I hope to accomplish each day will take the mystery out of each day. Knowing that I need to do A, B, & C allows me to set my priorities and then follow through.
- Reading & Writing. In order to maintain my blog and my social media presence as well as research my next book, I have to devote a certain amount of time to reading and writing. When I don’t set aside this time, I lose my momentum as a writer, educator, and lifetime learner.
- Exercising. The benefits of exercise are enormous. Not only does exercise help to maintain a proper weight and keep me physically fit, it fuels my creativity. Many of my best writing ideas germinate when I am skiing, hiking, or swimming.
- Family and Friends. Downtime with family and friends rounds off the day. Having quality time with my husband is essential. Touching base with my adult children is something that cannot be neglected. It is not possible to spend the whole day without communicating with others. Occasionally, I set aside time to volunteer my time.
- Me Time. I usually spend this time relaxing. Topping the list are activities such as listening to music, baking, enjoying nature or doing something spiritually orientated. Taking a few moments to appreciate life is vital.
Are you struggling to accomplish your daily goals?
If the answer is yes, find time to reevaluate your daily schedule.
Ask yourself- 4 important questions:
- What are your top priorities?
- Have you created a daily or weekly routine?
- Are you motivated and consistent?
- Are you content with your daily life?
Set aside a few moments to respond to these questions. Plan your individualized daily routine and start to follow it. While it may not be possible to adhere to the schedule every day, it is imperative that you don’t stray too far away. Some flexibility is essential. However, if you don’t follow your routine for long stretches of time, it will become increasingly harder to return.
Daily routines are not a panacea for all of life’s challenges, but they are an excellent way to stay motivated and remain on task.
Letting Go of the Past (Momster blog on Family Circle Website)
Living Without Regrets (Momster blog on Family Circle Website)
Sandra’s memoir highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She is a licensed Colorado teacher who has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses. Sandra is married and has four adult sons.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.