Are you enjoying your summer? Do you love vacation time? Or even just like long weekends or a day off?
But then you feel like, “Ah, how do I get back to my regular routine when my routine has been so thrown off by summer/vacation?” This is also true after being sick, surgery, supporting someone else and being busy.”
This was a question that was asked in my Dynamic Women community.
You could list a billion ways that your routine gets thrown off. The key thing is you know you want to get back to things, but how?
Follow my 3 Phases to Bring Back Routines After Summer!!!
For many of us, now is the time that kids go back to school. Or at least if you're not a parent, you're thinking that summer is winding down, and you’ll need to get focused back on your life, on your business and back to routines.
Phase 1: What is your routine?
First, I invite you to think about your routine. What is your routine? What are the things that, when you're off of routine, you want to get back to?
I'm going to list some of the things that I've heard from my clients as we're ending summer. A lot of them have said to me,
For the moms, dads, parents, or caregivers out there, you're probably thinking, “As soon as the kids get back to school, I'm going to get myself back into my routine.”
Ask yourself, what are the parts I want in my routine? It could be:
Soccer is my hobby and passion and it starts up again in the fall, so exercising is part of my routine that needs to come back in. Maybe you have a hobby of painting, playing the piano, or rock climbing. Whatever it may be, you want to get back into the swing of things.
How do you do this? The first questions should be, “How do you prefer to do it? What's your style?”
Phase 2: Find Your Best Approach
Approach #1: All at Once
You can go all in and bring back all your routines at once. Does that feel good for you?
Let’s look at the pros and cons or the costs and the joys of that style.
Now, you might already be thinking, “I don't want to do them all at the same time.” The cost here could be that by doing all of them at the same time, it feels overwhelming. If you are a highly sensitive person, anxious, or someone who has trouble with change, then this might not be the best option for you.
But the joy of this approach is that when you tell yourself, “I'm all in. I'm doing this. I'm committed.” The joy of being committed and going all in is that you can habit stack. One habit will trigger another positive habit.
For example, going to bed early is going to support you getting up early and going to the gym. But if you decide to get up early to go to the gym, and you don't to go to bed early, the night you is screwing over the morning you. Think of it that way.
Approach #2: Piece by Piece
The other approach, as you can probably guess by now is piece by piece. Think, “What's the first habit that I need to bring in”. This could be the first habit that's the easiest to bring in. It could be that habit that is the fastest to bring in. It could be the habit that you are looking forward to the most.
It might be something like a walk in the morning. If a walk in the morning is the first habit that you want to bring in, then you get up and go for your walk. Maybe you spend the first three days making the walk 1st thing in the morning. Then after you have a little bit of time getting that walk in, you bring in the second routine or habit. That could be, “I want to have my healthy green smoothie” so then you start making the smoothie.
The cost of this approach is that it's going to take you a long time to really get it all going. Because if it's bigger habits, I would say you only do one habit and you don't learn anything else until you're actually doing it, and you're sticking to it. Look to the Five Stages of Change, to help you to move through this process a little bit easier. If you don't know what the five stages of change are, it’s in my Dynamic You book.
Plus, you miss out on the opportunity of one habit supporting another habit. Some things might be harder to do because you haven't done the other habit that really goes well with it.
Then the joys of this are that if you’re a person who has trouble bringing on new habiys/routines, your willpower is terrible, or you're not able to be committed, then this can be an easier approach.
Approach #3: Bring a whole bunch of habits that support each other
For me, I want to jump in full force to most of the habits and then add a few layers of habits and routines after. Maybe that's the approach you take. You bring in a whole bunch of habits that support each other. Then after that, you add in the other ones.
For example, right now, I'm currently going to bed earlier so that I can wake up earlier. First thing in the morning, I'm reading, doing my daily devotions and I'm eating healthy food. What I'm going to bring in later, is my full morning routine with visualizations, affirmations, exercise, drinking more water, weight training, and journaling.
With these three approaches, ask yourself, “Which feels better?”
Phase 3: Get Started
Now that you know the routine you want and the approach you want to take it’s time to get into action and have success with your routine.
Step 1: Choose a start date:
Decide for yourself, “When is my start date?” If you're doing everything at once, give yourself a day or two to prepare. If you're going to eat healthy and go to bed early, maybe you need to change your schedule. Maybe you need to go shopping to get this ready. If you want to do it piece by piece then choose which part will be first.
Step 2: Prepare
As I mentioned, you have to prepare your schedule and the things or tasks that you need to put in place before the routine can happen. If you want to start exercising again, maybe you have to go and join a gym, or you need to go get better running or walking shoes etc.
To eat better, you need the right groceries. To start reading, you may need to go to the library and pick up a book because you've read all of yours. There are a few options here for how to prepare.
Step 3: Have accountability
You've chosen to do it, you've picked your date, you're preparing, then maybe you need some accountability. Accountability with a friend, with an app on your phone, with your coach, or someone to do it with. If you want to be walking more, you can have a walking buddy or a gym buddy, or you have a friend that you share prepared meals with.
Step 4: Get into action
You've got a bunch of options there for getting into action. That's actually the fourth stage of change.
Start doing what you said you’d do, on the day you said you’d do it. It’s pretty simple. Make sure you don’t put off starting as it will make every day after harder.
Step 5: Check-ins
Congrats! You have a start day, you've prepared, you have some accountability and you got into action. Now you need some kind of milestone or some check ins. Maybe after a few days, you check in by asking yourself, “How is this going? Do I need to change anything?”
Review where you've been. Evaluate and say, “Is this going well for me?” Then know that if it's not, you can just make changes. Maybe you need more accountability. Maybe you need a better plan. Maybe you need to add in another habit to support you. That's okay.
Let me tell you about preventative measures so that this doesn't happen to you. A lot of times we have things that we do in the morning that are part of our routine. But we go on vacation, we just don't have time. Maybe our routine in the morning was an hour and we don't have time, or we're running off to work and we just don't have time anymore.
During that period of busyness or vacation, rather than completely scrapping the routine, could you do 10 minutes of each of those things that you normally do for much longer? 10 minutes of journaling. 10 minutes of reading. 10 minutes of running. 10 minutes of visualization. Whatever it may be.
If you feel that's too long, can you do five minutes? How about four minutes? Instead of going for a 30-minute run, could you do a minute of jumping jacks or burpees, and then a minute of journaling, or one healthy meal a day?
If you don't want to get out of your routines, let me encourage you that the next time you go on vacation or it's a busy season, that you still keep your habits in a minimal way. This doesn't mean you have to eat perfectly on vacation or you have to exercise every day on vacation, or during a stressful time, you have to make sure you're doing all of these things.
However, if you do them just a little bit, you’ll remain committed to yourself and your routines. Your body is kind of committed and is remembering that “Oh, I like these things. I want to do these things” so that when you actually have the time, you can just extend or do it more. There are many benefits, and you’ll end up saying things like,
It's so much easier to do a little bit of your routines to stay on track rather than trying to get back into our routines. Now if you're coming back into September and want to get back into your routines and you feel like, “Darn it. I didn't do the preventative measures.” Not a problem just start at Phase 1.
Going through the phases at any time will work for you. It’s ok if you fell out of your routine. Just start again!
If I can support you in any way to make this an easier transition or to support you in answering another question you have, drop them below or reach out to me by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org.
I trust this will help you to get back into the swing of things and back into your routines!
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