Routines. You may hear the word routines and think, “Tired. Monotonous. Boring!”
We all have routines, whether or not we call them routines.
We have breakfast every morning before we start school. We prayer together as a family every evening. These are some of our family’s routines.
A routine is not something we do once in a while. It is something we do on a regular basis. Its effects are compounded over time, to our detriment or to our benefit.
For example, if I had a routine to eat three scoops of ice cream every day, my waistline would show the negative effect of that action.
If I had a routine of walking three miles a day, my body and mind would show the positive effect of that action.
It is not a matter of do I want to have routines? but rather: what routines do I want to have?
Do I want to make changes in my life?
This is the first place I start. Are there things in my life that I want to change or improve?
If so, I need to ask myself some important questions:
1. What effects do I want to see compounded over time?
Make a list of what you want to do. Here are some examples:
I want to have a slimmer waistline.
I want to see improvement in my attitude to others.
I want our home to be neater.
I want to work on a project that I never seem to have the time for.
2. What actions do I need to take to see the results I desire?
To have a slimmer waistline I need to lay off the ice cream and exercise more.
To improve my attitude to others I can read my Bible to learn how to exemplify Jesus and then put what I learn into daily practice.
To have a neater home I can spend more time each day in the morning and evening (even just 10 minutes) putting things away. I can also put things away when I finish using them instead of letting them sit out.
To work on a project that I have been wanting to work on, I can spend an hour each weekend or maybe get up thirty minutes early (once a week or several times a week) to work on it.
3. What do I need to do to start?
I need to just start, to make that decision today to begin. To make that decision tomorrow to do it again. The next day, make the decision to do it again.
I need to just begin and then continue and continue and continue. Repeated actions over time will cause the desired effects. When I am persistent and consistent, change will happen.
Whenever I think of the effect of repeated action over time, I think of the Grand Canyon. It was not created in a day. The repeated, persistent, constant action of water flowing over the rocks and then through the rocks created the beautiful canyon that we enjoy today.
We can carve a new life for ourselves through repeated, persistent, and constant action.
It is a very powerful realization when we understand that we can sculpt and create our own lives. We have the power to not eat that bowl of ice cream, to take a walk, to watch our words and be kinder and more loving to others. We have that power to carve out our own lives. Routines are the water we use to carve and create the changes and results we desire in our own lives.
Why wait another day to begin?
For a post detailing how to set up routines, see “Seven Steps to Sanity Saving Routines.”
I’d love to hear what routine you will begin.