How to Create a Daily Routine and Stick to ItOct 24, 2023
I used to basically wing my days. I'd get up when my little ones woke me up, unless I had somewhere to be. I'd try to figure out what was for breakfast, slowly get ready for the day, and maybe clean something if it was looking especially gross. I didn't have a plan, so I didn't get much accomplished. I often felt like I was busy all day, but didn't really do that much. I knew things had to change, so I did some research. I learned how to create a daily routine and stick to it.
It certainly wasn't easy to develop a daily routine for my family, but it was so worth it. Once we got into the swing of things, our days and weeks flowed so much more peacefully. As a result, there was much less chaos in our home. Let's talk about some other benefits of a daily routine.
Benefits of a Daily Routine
All people benefit from routine, not just our children. Generally speaking, a consistent routine will lower stress levels, promote better sleep, and keep us healthier. You will get more accomplished in less time and still have time to relax. A daily routine for kids will help with these as well as a few other added benefits.
Establishing routines for children can help them know what to expect and when. This will help eliminate power struggles because they know what comes next. Routines also help children become more independent. They learn to do what is expected each day and just do it. Becoming independent will in turn help them become more confident in themselves and their abilities.
Another benefit of daily routines is that you will save time. For example, with everyone knowing what to do, there's not wasted time playing since no one knew it was time to brush their teeth. Everyone gets their tasks finished, and then they have plenty of time to play or do an activity together. Sounds amazing, right?
How do I Create a Daily Routine?
Developing routines can take a bit of thought as well as some trial and error, but since we've already talked about the benefits of a daily routine, you know it will be worth it! Now, how do you make a daily routine or schedule? Grab a sheet of paper, and let's get started!
- Make a list of things that need to be done daily. At this point, don't worry about order or anything. Just get it down on paper. Include things such as meals, naps, daily chores, and clean-up times. Once you have this finished, move onto the next step.
- Write down some anchors in your day. Anchors would be things such as what time you usually start your day, meal times, nap times, and bedtime. These things need to happen, and they need to happen on a general schedule. Children thrive on routine, so try to keep these few things about the same time each day. You will work on other things that need to be done daily around this loose schedule. For example, wake up at 7 am (kids), breakfast at 8 am, lunch at 12 pm, naps at 1 pm, supper at 5:30 pm, and bedtime at 8 pm.
- Now, fill in the rest of your daily items. Try to work in high-energy tasks into your morning, lower energy and more boring tasks for the afternoon, and save your evening for dinner and cleanup. The evening is also for prep for the next day. Chores, cleaning, errands, and homeschool work would probably be morning tasks. The afternoon could be for paying bills, working on your shopping list, and folding laundry.
- Each evening, prepare for the next day. This is especially important if you need to be out the door early in the morning. However, it still helps to prepare some things the evening before. Have clothes laid out for each child and lunches and backpacks as ready to go as possible. Maybe you can make your breakfast ahead (overnight oatmeal or casserole).
- Be flexible! Your day will not always go smoothly, but having a routine will help more often than not. Some days you won't get everything finished, but that's okay! Let it go, and know that tomorrow is a new day.
Establishing a Daily Routine
Why is it so hard to stick to a routine? Establishing routines can be challenging when you're just getting started. It takes time to develop any new thing into a habit, so know in advance that it will take a bit of work. I have some great tips for getting you started with establishing your daily routine.
- Know your why. Why do you want to have a daily routine? What will it help with? If you've been following me or read any of my other stuff, you know that I feel routine is so important in simplifying mom life. However, me telling you it's so isn't going to be enough. You need to decide for yourself.
- Be consistent. Now that you have created your daily routine, you need to work your way through it . . . every day. This is not a hit-or-miss thing. You need to do the best you can to be consistent with your schedule. A daily routine for kids is so helpful for them, so if something gets messed up, jump back into your routine at the next big anchor in your day.
- Make it fun. Your children will cooperate much more easily if you make the changes fun for them. You could make up a fun cleaning-up game or add a short storytime before the dreaded nap. Maybe you could have an incentive treat to celebrate one week of your new routine.
- Test for a couple of weeks. After two or three weeks of your routine, re-evaluate. Is it working for you? Does something seem to rushed or not work well? Maybe you need to switch the order of a few things so the timing works out better. Take the time to adjust if needed and then test out the new routine. Does it work out better now?
- CELEBRATE! After you've tweaked your routine and you're happy with how your days are flowing, it's time to celebrate! Ice cream? Movie night? Yes, some days will still be rough with unexpected hiccups, but in general, your days will flow much more smoothly.
As we've seen, there are benefits to developing routines in our lives. Within our daily routine there can be smaller routines such as a morning routine and an evening routine. It will also be helpful to eventually build a weekly routine as well. Routines establish consistency in our lives and help streamline our days. If you don't already have a daily routine, definitely start the process today!
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