Which of the 3 scenarios best describes your situation of why you’re having a hard time building up or sticking to a routine or plan?
Scenario #1: Routines get whipped into shreds when unexpected things are coming at you from different directions. Your “good intentions” get thrown out the window when you keep allowing the unexpected things to dictate your day. Not that you are allowing it on purpose, but somehow, you’ve got to make a shift to take back some control of the direction of your day. One shift is all it takes to get the momentum going in the direction you want to go. And, once you make that shift, don’t let go of it. That one thing of the day that you are going to take back control of, and I don’t care if it’s simply getting the dishwasher unloaded, it becomes your non-negotiable. You will not get pulled away from accomplishing that one thing you’ve chosen. After it’s completed, then let the world have at you.
Scenario #2: Or perhaps you’ve never really had one ounce of a routine in place, yet desperately desire some structure because you know your life would function so much better. When you’re ready, claim your one non-negotiable accomplishment that you’ll start your day off with.
Unless things are coming at you like torpedoes, or you are going thru some massive, intense emotional or BIG life changes, then maybe a routine isn’t right for you at this time. Just go with the flow. You may be able to relate to scenario #3.
Scenario #3: Or if you’ve been in a situation like I recently landed myself in, then you’ll recognize this similar story: in the past you’ve developed the capacity to self-direct yourself and create a routine, structure, and plans that you absolutely LOVED and stuck to, BUT…you went thru some hell AND some major life changes, and in hindsight it was extremely tough to recover and get yourself whipped back into shape. If your world has shifted drastically, then your psychological and physiological aspects of the mind and body have been changing too. You’ve probably felt like you are on a rollercoaster ride or ebbing and flowing with life, and until things start settling down for you, you’ll have to trust the crazy ride will end soon. So, it’s just a matter of time before you really get back to hitting your stride again. Pssst…you’re gonna come back stronger than ever. Just keep doing your best day to day – surviving and thanking God you’re moving – and wait for things to happen that will give you sparks of inspiration to get your life back together again. In the mean time, while you’re going through this life altering process, I highly recommend you speed up the process by using the trick below to start doing what you can to build the momentum and practice getting yourself back into a routine.
No matter which scenario best describes your situation, the trick to building up a routine or plan is to get consistent and efficient at ONE core task at a time. Even if that’s a micro task. Find something that is a non-negotiable for making your life better from day to day.
Micro task examples:
Just clean the counters. Don’t try to clean the whole kitchen.
Just tidy your desk. Don’t try to complete every to-do pile you’ve created when tidying.
Just write the blog post (bang it out). Don’t try to add SEO, sound CEO, or add photos.
The goal is to get better and better at repeating ONE core action that is the crucial starting point or foundation for whatever you want to improve upon or accomplish next.
Your mind and energy are going to get splintered from each other if you add too much extra stuff to-do than you can handle. Push yourself when you need to, and pull back as needed.
Be gentle on yourself while you build up your focus, consistency, and confidence muscles. It’s not always as easy as others make it look, however, your attitude is going to be a huge part of the battle.
Give yourself some time to adjust to changes, and time to begin implementing some parts of a plan you KNOW you want in place. And, if you can only handle repeating ONE piece of the routine or plan at a time that you deeply desire to stick to, then stick to just accomplishing that one thing!
You’ll begin to notice that the one micro-task you choose to focus on gets easier, and most likely, you’ll end up doing more than you thought you could handle. Why? Because it will feel good. And, when you feel good it’s easier to be more productive. If you fall off the wagon and stop doing your one micro-task, then that’s okay, simply get back on track as soon as you become aware of what happened.
I’d love, love, love to hear from you in the comment section! When one thing gets better, other things get better. What’s one foundational thing that you can do consistently that you know will immediately make something else in your life easier and better?