Monday, March 18, 2013

Motivational Monday #81 - Routines Are The Spice Of Life

Some people say variety is the spice of life, but I have to say sometimes variety makes things a little too spicy for me.   I am a person of routine.  I thrive on routine...really, I do.  I like to do my laundry on certain days, and do my chores in a certain order.  I always brush my hair before my teeth, and I wear specific socks to sleep in.  I just like the routine.

I'm afraid I just heard a few of you yawn.  I know routine can seem really boring, and for some people, it is.  For me, routines allow me to check items off my to do list in the most efficient manner, leaving more time for fun.  Routines help me stay on top of things and eliminate as many "emergencies" as possible.

For the record, I am not a fan of emergencies!

If you saw my weekly to do list you would either gasp or laugh.  Either way, you would think I am crazy.  Just because you are right, doesn't mean I don't get a lot done every week.  Let's be realistic, I own a business, I volunteer at the school, I parent one special needs child and another high energy one, I take care of my home, and I even throw in a little time to be a wife to my amazing hubby.  Who wouldn't need a routine to complete their to do list?

The key to having routines is for those routines to help streamline the process instead of complicating it.  A good example is that I schedule grocery shopping trips every two weeks when I will already be out and about at other appointments.  This forces me to plan ahead, figure out a meal plan, buy groceries and cook the food I bought.  This saves me the time of multiple trips to the store, the expense of last minute fast food, and the panic of not knowing what is for dinner.  Overall, making my shopping part of a routine smooths the path of food for two weeks at a time.  To me, that is a bonus.

So what things make it into your routine?  Here are a few of mine:
  1. Laundry - I split it up so that I never feel attached to the laundry room very long.  Knowing what days I wash things keeps the kids from whining about if their favorite shirt is clean yet.  Always a fan of reduced whining!
  2. Shopping - As mentioned, shopping every few weeks saves time, money and daily planning.  The more time I stay out of the store, the less tempted I am to buy myself sweets, and the happier my waistline is. BONUS!
  3. Blogging - I try and blog once a week, on Mondays.  If that doesn't happen, then I cut myself a break and blog when I can.  Having the routine smooths the process, but being flexible keeps away the guilt.
  4. Cleaning - I know what parts of my house I clean on each day.  If I want to be really honest, I know which parts of the house I assign my kids to clean each day.  Knowing what is getting cleaned and when allows me to ignore the items not assigned to that day.  Not feeling the pressure to clean all of the house every day gives me permission to relax every now and then.
  5. Personal Development - Right now I am taking piano lessons for the first time in my life.  By putting practice time into my routine I make sure it is a priority.  I have to admit, I really look forward to each day's practice time as a moment for just myself.  Making "take care of me" time a part of the daily routine keeps my needs met, makes me a happier person, and thus makes my whole life a lot happier.
So what routines do you have?  Do you find they are intentional habits, or just accidentally the way you do things?  Do you find value in your routines? I really am curious, so let me know!

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