I’ll admit it: I love an excuse for a fresh start.
A new year, the beginning of a quarter, the changing of seasons…even when things are going well, I take advantage of the opportunity to assess and evaluate.
The arrival of Quarter 2 a few days ago was no exception. Especially when coupled with the closing of a long winter, when my routines often included getting into pajamas at 5pm or shortening my walk due to yet another ice storm!
If you’re looking to shake up your routines for the new season, here are five steps I implement that you may find helpful:
1. Revisit Your Goals
You’ve likely heard the saying about climbing and climbing and climbing the ladder, only to discover the ladder was up against the wrong wall. Before deciding what actions you want to implement regularly, get clear on where you’re headed.
I like to revisit my goals for the year, then establish where I want to be at the end of the quarter. I can then create routines that clearly support my meaningful achievement, which helps avoid ‘busywork’ and reconnects my actions to my overall purpose.
2. Review What’s Already Working
‘Maintaining’ isn’t the most exciting phase of any goal, but it’s definitely one of the most important. Take a look at at what you’re currently doing on a regular basis that’s serving you well, then make plans to continue those routines.
Examples might include starting the day with an intentional morning practice, setting your Daily Top 3, or attending your swim class every Monday and Thursday after work.
3. Brainstorm Possibilities
As you look at your goals, what other routines could help you get from here to there? Brainstorm freely, keeping in mind you are only generating ideas at this point – not committing.
I like to brainstorm these in categories, such as morning routines, evening routines, weekend routines, workday routines, and so on.
4. Create A New Ideal
At this point, I pull out a fresh Ideal Time Map and a pencil (with an eraser!) and start jotting down my ‘in a perfect world’ plan. I choose a small number of my brainstormed ideas from #3 and play with where they might fit regularly in my day or week.
The eraser always comes in handy here, as the first draft rarely matches the final draft.
5. Begin, In Experimental Mode
For whatever reason, my mind continually veers toward all-or-nothing tendencies, which in this case would translate as ‘I must do all these things from now until the end of time.’ Therefore, I have learned to consciously train myself to view this as an experiment.
As such, I build a weekly review into my routine – time set aside where I evaluate and course-correct as needed. This offers the freedom to implement a new routine without forcing myself to keep it all quarter – especially if it’s not serving me.
Just this week, I implemented these 5 steps and have come up with what feels like a refreshing and purposeful set of routines for spring. I’m only a few days in, but so far, so good!
What’s a routine you’re starting or continuing this season?