I’m always curious around what strategies and techniques are my clients finding the most helpful.

  • Which changes are they the most excited about? 
  • How has their quality of life improved? 

But I also want to know what isn’t working.

  • What stumbling blocks have they run into since we last worked together? 
  • What old habits have they fallen back into?  (Backsliding is common when creating change!)

Some of the areas Berry was most excited about was her ability to create and follow routines, delegate household responsibilities, and create (and hold) some boundaries.  Today, I’m going to talk about her success with routines.

Whenever we are trying to implement a new habit – creating a routine can be helpful.  Sometimes grouping a number of tasks together is supportive, other times linking the new task to an existing task is beneficial. In Berry’s case, she grouped a number of tasks together and created an AM and a PM routine.

Her AM routine included personal hygiene tasks and spiritual time, and then she added exercise, quality time with her spouse, and managing her medications.  By grouping all of these together  she was able to consider this time as 1 activity, 1 block of time.  After a few weeks – her morning has become pretty standard – she’s enjoying her relaxed start to her day and is thrilled with the fact that she’s able to spend time in the areas she prioritized high on her value list (self-care and family).  The other benefit of an AM routine is she doesn’t feel “rushed” each morning.  She knows how long it takes to complete her routine and plans what time to wake up accordingly.

She shared that she’s having similar results with her PM routine, allowing her to wind down at the end of the day and get enough rest.  She knows how long her PM routine takes, and thus knows what time to begin the routine based on what time she would like to be asleep.

Routines and linking activities can be helpful in many areas of your life.  Here are a few ideas . . .

  • I encourage business owners to create a “going to work routine”.  Get dressed (full make-up & hair), drive the car around the block, play motivating music, and then hit the high priority items. Many times when you work from home, your work time blurs. By creating a routine, you are then creating the structure to treat your business as a business.
  • Last week I added a 15 minute “quiet time” to my morning. I eat breakfast at a pretty consistent time each day – so I linked a period of quiet time with the completion of breakfast. The weather is nice, so I eat out on my deck. Then when I finish, I just relax, look at the birds and the flowers, and “be.” I realize this routine will need to be adjusted in a few months (it doesn’t stay “deck weather” forever in Ohio!) but it is working now!
  • A current client swims on a regular basis. He wanted to add reading professional journals to his day – but wasn’t sure how to fit it in. He decided to link swimming with reading. After his swim and his shower, he reads for 15 minutes. It’s working for him. (I would not have ever thought to link those two activities together but the key is to link the NEW activity to a CURRENT activity – they don’t have to make sense!)
  • If making consistent contacts with clients is an area you are trying to improve – try linking phone calls to answering email. Before you open your email, you make 5 phone calls, then open your email.

Is this post resonating with you? Where can you create routines or link a new activity in your life?  What habits have you successfully created using routines?  What areas are you still struggling to change?

If you are trying to reach your next goal and are struggling to create change let’s chat… Apply for a complimentary Discovery Conversation.

(Important!! These appointments are complimentary, but to be really clear, they are limited in number and reserved for people who meet these criteria:
You are willing and ready to improve your current situation
You are ready to invest money in your potential so you can experience different results
You are willing to push your comfort zone (just a little to start!)
If this is you, click below to find your next steps.

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(Image credit David Castillo Dominici)