Whether it’s working out, eating well, reading regularly or leaning into personal development, we’ve all had those times when we’ve just gotten out of the groove. It might have been a change of season or things that changed in your day-to-day life, schedule or relationships but sometimes things happen that throw off the balance and your routine. So, you’ve realized that you are out of the groove and you aren’t doing those things that you want to do… the things that you know make you feel better… and because you aren’t doing those things you are feeling in a funk. You might be feeling exhausted, overwhelmed or just out of sorts. If a really good friend asked you how you are doing you might say.. I’m not sure, I just feel like I’m in a funk and I’m not sure how to get out of this rut.
Today’s Episode is full of strategies to help you infuse energy, rejuvenate your routines and create rituals that are going to recharge your day instead of those same snooze-worthy and soul-sucking things you’ve been doing instead. If you are ready for an infusion of uplifting advice, fun jokes and tactile tips, this episode is for you!
- Shake it up… It’s time to re-evaluate what you’ve always done. The first thing to do when you are trying to re-establish a ritual or routine that was previously a part of your regularly scheduled programming is to ask yourself… does this still work for me?
If you’ve always been an early morning person – that’s when you did your reading, your peaceful coffee drinking and your exercise – and you are now chasing a toddler and battling the sleep deprivation of having a newborn… does that early morning schedule still work for you? If it does, great! If you decide that during this season it’s not a time when you are willing to give up even 7 minutes of sleep… then it’s time to adapt and pivot. Don’t throw the routine out all together – if those activities will still serve to help you and uplift your day, keep them, but determine when they can fit into your current schedule during this season.
Alternatively – if the timing of the routine is still working for you, let’s say that early morning time before the rest of the house wakes up – but the activities or the content of what you are doing isn’t working for you anymore… think about how you can change what you are doing and what might invigorate you instead.
- Define your desired outcome.
This comes down to getting clear on why you are bothering to establish this routine or set of habits in the first place. Is it to help you be healthy enough to chase your kids? Is it a bedtime routine to get you some quality rest so that you wake up feeling refreshed? Is it a morning routine to help you maintain a firm grasp on reality and your sanity before juggling all the things your day is throwing at you? Is it the habit of dating and investing in your spouse so that your marriage stays healthy and vibrant? Is it reading fiction books because they fill your soul and transport you to a different place entirely?
Once you get clear on your desired outcome.. The feeling or situation that you are looking to achieve… it gives you the reason that it’s worthwhile to expend the energy to set yourself up for success.
- Set an attainable goal.
Listen, you’ve been in a funk or off the bandwagon and you are trying to get back in the habit of doing something… it’s going to take energy and effort to get from where you are to where you want to be. This can be a discouraging undertaking and can seem daunting, especially at the very beginning. Set yourself an attainable goal to help cut down on this feeling of overwhelm.
Maybe it’s getting up 15 minutes early for the next 7 days. It might be turning off your phone overnight to improve the quality of your sleep for 10 days straight. It could be as simple as putting on your workout clothing to get in the habit of doing that for the next month, even if you never workout!
Make your goal specific – quantifiable and for a certain amount of days – and write it down and commit to it in the coming days!
- Celebrate your successes
Whether you reach that goal in the next 7 days and knock it out of the park or you miss a few days, give yourself some grace, my friend and make a point to celebrate the success that you did have! Treat yourself! Do something that you enjoy. Make that purchase you’ve been thinking of and note the time and dedication it took to re-establish that commitment.
Focus on progress over perfection and do not see this benchmark as an opportunity to cut yourself down or point out the areas where you weren’t perfect… focus on how much more you’ve done this week than last and truly be proud of that. Progress is moving forward, one tiny step at at time and not worrying about it being 100% or exactly right because… you are a human being. By definition you are imperfect. Stop aiming for an impossible standard and start loving on yourself for the success you did have!
- Create a check-in plan
Decide when you are going to check in and evaluate your progress over the course of time. Don’t quit after one slip up – look at the last 7-10-14 days and see all the wins. It’s the average and again… if currently you’re not doing a darn thing, everything you are doing is a step in the right direction!
- Add one piece of the routine at a time (stack your habits)
Also known as habit stacking, this is a way to take your established habits, those things you do everyday without fail, and add new habits right after them. You take a habit that is established and you stack a new on right after it… the existing habit triggers or prompts you to do the new habit.
You might remember coaches Jenna Lockhardt and Lauren Mayer who shared about habit stacking back on Episode 20 – they talked about stacking the habit of drinking a glass of water immediately following brushing your teeth.
These stacked habits can serve as building blocks for changing your routine – cementing one at a time until you’ve added an entire routine that is like dominoes… first you brush your teeth, then you drink your water, then you go to the bathroom and in the bathroom you change into your workout clothes… you walk to the coffee maker and you stretch while you are brewing your coffee… you read your self-development book while you are drinking your coffee and you say your affirmations while you are walking to your workout area, etc.
Before you know it your entire routine is habits stacked on top of each other!
- Make it fun (choose activities you enjoy)
Let’s be honest… if the routine includes habits that you despise, you aren’t going to stick to it. If your sister does soul cycle but you cannot stand the loud music and the stationary bike, no matter what you spend or how you commit to doing it, you aren’t going to be consistent long term with that habit. Choose something that brings you joy and makes you smile. Maybe it’s dancing, walking, or yoga. Whatever it is, choose things that you enjoy and build those into your routine.
This doesn’t mean that you take the “easy way” but absolutely when you are just getting back into the groove – stack the deck in your favor by choosing things that you aren’t dreading! Once you’ve got those under your belt, stretch your wings and add other activities.
- Write is down
Writing down your specific plan – the timing and the items that you will do during that time – helps to make the plan concrete and exist outside your mind. There is something about the act of writing it down that changes the way you feel about getting it done.
Consider creating a little goal or habit tracker sheet – there are tons available online that you can download for free – it can be elaborate and beautifully designed or it can be scrawled on a post it note with check boxes that you can check off. Writing down your plan makes it concrete and if you’re anything like me you LOVE love love the feeling of checking those boxes.
- Give yourself grace.
Grace on grace on grace. Don’t worry about how consistent you were when things were going great. If you commit to doing 7 days of waking up 15 minutes early and in 1 week you’ve done it two days…. YAY! You’ve done it two whole days. That’s 2 more days than you did before you committed and started making progress. Aim for 3 to 4 days next week. Extend yourself the grace you’d give to one of your kids or a dear friend. You would commend them on what they did and celebrate that with them!
Sometimes I think that we are moved to teach what we most need to learn and this episode was just that for me. I’m the biggest fan of starting your day on the right foot and creating a morning routine that works for you, brightens you and fills you up before you take on your day and there was a season where I was so consistent with my own morning routine… but for me during these past few months I have been majorly off my morning routine game. I’ve been snoozing my alarm, skipping workouts, dodging my journal and pretending that non-fiction reading and self-development didn’t exist. I have been like a toddler playing hide and seek… hiding behind their hands because… if I can’t see it it must not exist. If that’s you, you are NOT alone. I’m there right along with you. I’m working to extend grace to myself, to create a plan and to commit to focusing on progress over protection as I take one step at a time to re-establish a morning routine that leaves me feeling like the best version of myself to tackle the day! I hope these tips meet you where you are at and give you some tools to break down your misconceptions and preconceived notions about what you can or can’t do and to build routines that work with you, not against you.