The power of routine
And what it reveals.
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RETURNING TO ROUTINE
My husband + I have had some pretty amazing weekends lately - filled to the brim with all the things we love. Running. Bike rides. Friends. Family.
We find ourselves at the end of the weekend with our feet up reflecting on the whirlwind of our weekend adventures + inevitably one of us says, “I can’t wait to get back to work so I can relax!”
A few years back, we made the decision to eliminate stress from our work life. It took some doing, but we are both at a place where work is rather routine + stress-free.
We have also integrated + anchored all of our healthy habits into our weekly work schedule. Meals. Exercise. Supplements. Smoothies. Early bedtime. All of these things happen like clockwork throughout the week. Autopilot.
On the weekends, we break away from our routine + shake things up a bit. So, when the weekend comes to an end, we are ALWAYS excited to get back to our routine - especially because we have built so much of our health into that ‘system’. It feels good to get back on track.
If we lived our life every day like we do on the weekends, we would be a mess! Our healthy habits would be hit + miss. There would be nothing to gauge against + nothing to ‘go back to’ to help us stay on track.
THE POWER OF ROUTINE
Routines are powerful because they give you a structure to measure against. A backdrop of sorts. And routines are a great place to stack + anchor your healthy habits because habits are easier to build around things that happen on auto-pilot already.
During the pandemic, I think we all got to experience what happens when routines are removed. All of our ‘normal’ activities - including major events + holidays - disappeared which made 2020 + 2021 sort of blur together. It’s hard to remember timeframes because we didn’t have those markers we are used to measuring against.
It’s a strange sensation losing that sense of routine.
By nature, I am not a routine person. Whereas, my husband is innately routine. Maybe too much so at times. Just like I am probably too ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ at times. We balance each other out, which is great.
But during all our years together, I have come to truly appreciate the power of routine + how you can use routine to enhance your life.
When you can align your routine with your core values, it makes life so much easier + so much more enjoyable. It frees up time + energy. And, when you have routines in place, it gives you so much more power to respond effectively to change when needed.
Here’s one example.
In my job, I help people create skincare routines. Most of us were never taught the basics of a solid skincare routine built around our individual skin type. But, once you learn how to do that + you create a consistent practice of just the basics, it is transformative for your skin.
Using the right products, in the right order, on the right schedule. It’s kind of like learning to eat the perfect foods for your body. You just feel amazing! You finally get those results you’ve been looking for.
That’s the first layer of benefits to a routine. The right thing. At the right time. With enough consistency to see results.
The second layer of benefits is that a good routine saves time + money. You don’t have to buy the ‘latest + greatest’ product because you have exactly what you need + your skin is happy. You don’t spend time + energy shopping around. You just do your routine + order refills when you need them. Easy peasy. Pretty soon it’s auto-pilot. So much energy is saved by building a good routine.
The next layer of benefits is that when you have a consistent routine, you can more effectively make adjustments when needed. You can tell when something is ‘off’ + what probably caused that.
For example, if your skin is suddenly extra dry - rather than just buying another cream, you can easily identify the root cause. If you’ve been consistent in your regular skincare routine, then you can tell what outside components might have caused the dryness. Travel? Diet? Sleep? Hydration? Hormonal cycle? Then, you can address the root cause, rather than just slapping on another product.
Skincare is just one example. I could paint the same framework around other routines like diet. Exercise. Housecleaning. You name it.
Routines are revelatory.
They keep you in line with your values so you get the results you want.
They provide a backdrop to measure results against.
They help you see change + adjust accordingly.
They free up energy + focus so you can give that to other things in your life.
Any self-care or lifestyle enhancement will benefit from routine.
NOTE: Routine is not about being rigid. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, my husband + I are very routine in our healthy habits all week long, but when the weekend rolls around, we shake things up. All routines need that. Disruption. A break in routine is what keeps the routine working. It’s what brings you back. It’s what makes you look forward to it.
The question is - are you using your routines to their greatest advantage? Do your routines deliver the results you want? Do they make you feel good? Do you look forward to them? Do you need a break? A change?
This week, I challenge you to think about your routines through this lens. What are your routines showing you? How are they supporting your goals? Do they need adjusting? Do you need support? What is one routine you would like to improve in your life?
READ: The Secret Benefit of Routines. It won’t surprise you. | Headspace
READ: What you do every day matters: The power of routines | The Conversation
Writing The LIFT is a great example of routine in my life. I take time every week to sit down + collect these thoughts to share with you. It’s become an important part of my weekly routine. Something that I look forward to + that helps me stay healthy because it serves as a creative outlet for me. Turns out - you have to schedule creativity, too!
I have learned a lot about myself in the process of creating this weekly publication. So, thank you for being here to read + share your thoughts with me. I appreciate you so much!
See you next week?