During this course, you’ve reassessed your situation, edified your self-care knowledge, and attained buy-in from self and family. It’s now time to “lean-in” to all you’ve learned. By establishing new routines, you will ensure there is time in your day to implement the changes to Pursue the REAL You successfully.
Finding time for the changes you’re making may seem nearly impossible. If you had time for self-care, you probably wouldn’t be here. Creating a new routine for yourself and your family is integral to making successful shifts. Research has shown that healthy, well-balanced people keep a consistent routine (Arlinghaus & Johnston, 2018).
Follow this 5-step framework for creating an intentional daily routine.
Take 30-60 minutes to evaluate your life and create a daily routine that works for you. Grab a notebook, pen, and favorite drink, and find somewhere with few distractions.
Picture your ideal day. Visualize yourself implementing the boundaries and goals you’ve set throughout this course. You may also want to try identifying why your current routine, or lack thereof, isn’t working. Ask yourself the following questions:
*Think back to the needs, boundaries, and goals you’ve identified throughout this course.
Time is a non-renewable resource, so using it wisely is critical! Reflect on the past few days and write down what you were doing. To help, ask yourself these questions:
List all the responsibilities and commitments you have right now. List everything that takes your time and energy every week. Your list will range considerably, from work and kids activities to social events and household chores. Get detailed and try to think of everything that requires your time. Try listing tasks by area of life:
Print a couple of copies of a weekly calendar template with space for tasks each hour of the day. You can find templates online or download this one.
Add your commitments and responsibilities to your calendar. Some will have set times, but many of the tasks are flexible. Now, let’s begin the magic of daily routines! Try following these steps:
It may take some finagling to fit everything into your schedule, but you’ll feel great once it’s complete.
It does no good to create a plan you won’t use, so find time to consult your calendar regularly to keep on track. Keeping everything on your calendar will give you peace of mind, knowing you have set aside time for everything you need to accomplish.
We’ve mentioned this a few times now, but it’s important enough that we’re going to repeat it: changes take time! You’re probably not going to get your new schedule right the first time. Periodically reassessing how your plan is working for you and your family is critical. On the other hand, it’s also essential to give everyone time to adjust before changing things again. Try your new schedule for at least two weeks before you start making significant changes. This should be enough time to know if things will work as is, with a few minor adjustments, or if a more extensive evaluation is needed.
Though setting and finding a new routine may seem daunting, it will help you experience a more meaningful life. “Life is not only made meaningful through extraordinary experiences but also in its daily living” (Heintzelman & King, 2018).
For many families, the mom is the one who sets and keeps everyone’s schedules. You could start your new routine without much disruption if this is your family. Let everyone in on the plan, whether you think your family wouldn’t notice or know it will be a significant change. Remember, familial buy-in plays a vital role in your success (Koestner, 2008).
Giving your family a heads up that things are changing is vital. Use the conversation techniques from our last lesson to talk it out. Remember to be open to input and make adjustments to your plan as needed; just make sure you hold your ground on taking time for self-care.
Even if the conversation goes perfectly, you may run into resistance when putting things into practice. This is especially true if your new schedule will change drastically from your usual routine or if you have family members, particularly children, who struggle with change. You can help your family adjust in a few ways:
Give your child a warning 5-10 minutes before the next activity. Use a clock to display the time as it counts down visually; you can even use your phone or use other methods of marking the time that makes sense for your child.
While you may be feeling gung-ho about implementing your changes if you have a family member who is resistant to change, introduce small changes and work your way up to larger ones over time. Take things slowly, and your changes will be more likely to stick. Remember, it takes over two months (66 days) for new habits to become routine (Lally et al., 2009). While these changes are mainly about you, it may also take your family time to adjust to these shifts.
Learning how to regulate emotions is essential for everyone, but it may require explicit training for some children. Try a calming routine when emotions start running high. You might teach your child to take a few deep breaths, rub their hands together, or hug their bodies until they feel relaxed.
As always, remember to stay positive. Stay calm and upbeat, as this will send a positive message to your child and help encourage positive responses in the future, too.
Throughout the Pursue the Real You program, you delved deeper into the facets of self-care. You’re now ready to implement what you’ve learned in the continued pursuit of a better and whole you. We’ve created The New You Notebook to help you keep a daily journal with your plans for a month. The New You Notebook allows you to check in with yourself daily and tracks your progress as you implement what you’ve learned in the program.
We know life is perpetually crazy, but we believe beauty is within the chaos. Our vision is for all women to recognize their innate power so they can enjoy purposeful, prosperous, and beautiful relationships with themselves and their loved ones. In Pursue the Real You, we’ve guided you in making that vision your reality. As you find and learn to love your authentic self, you will bring a new light into your life and your relationships. While we have provided you with tools, tips, and techniques, the shifts you will make genuinely come from you. And that’s what has staying power.
As previously mentioned, this program is in conjunction with an upper-division course in the Marriage and Family Studies major at Brigham Young University-Idaho, titled: Teaching Family Life Education. As part of our learning, we would love to hear how to improve our teaching methods. Your feedback would mean a lot to us. Thank you!