I always love the beginning of Summer. The open schedule, the opportunities, the promise of lots of time spent outside. Maybe a trip to the lake, lots of trips to the park for fun in the sun.
But as we get farther into Summer, I find myself starting to crave the Fall. Mostly it’s because Fall is my favorite time of the year. Cooler weather, sweaters, boots, and pumpkin everything. But it’s also because as much as I love the thought of open schedules and care free summer days, my soul craves rhythm and routine.
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There needs to be those times and days when nothing is on the schedule, when you can kick off your shoes and relax. I’ve read more books in July than I have in a long time. And we’ve taken several family trips this Summer. I am thankful for this time, thankful for the memories, but my house is starting to be in chaos.
My meal planning is non-existent. I’ve been getting to the end of the day, not sure what I can throw together into a meal. My house has been a wreck for a few weeks. And my Bible reading has been suffering. We will be staying in a cabin by the lake next week, but when we get home…
It’s time for me to re-jump into routines and my heart is craving the rhythm and routine! So today we are going to talk about setting up new Fall routines and how my schedule will be changing this fall.
Schedules Vs. Routines
I used to think that I loved schedules. I thought I was a schedule girl and a planner was my very best friend. Now, I still do maintain that a planner is my very best friend when it comes to running and managing my home, but I’ve found out that schedules are not the key.
I tried hard. I tried for a long time to make schedules work for me. Day after day I would write out a full schedule for my day, with times attached to it. Of course, I would always over schedule myself and I’d end up feeling overwhelmed because I would maybe only do one or two things on that list.
But I kept trying. I thought that if I could just schedule out my time in the perfect way, and account for every minute, then I could really be on my way to success. After all, the night before when I would dream up my schedule for the next day and get it written down, it seemed like the PERFECT schedule.
But we all know the reality of trying to stick to a strict schedule.
The baby wakes up three times during the night, causing you to sleep in later than you wanted, the strict thirty minute breakfast gets derailed when someone breaks a dish and the toddler needs a bath after he played in his food, you try to get dinner in the crockpot at 10am but it takes you an hour and a half to actually turn it on because you keep getting derailed…and the hours go on.
Finally, you fall into bed overwhelmed and burned out and you got approximately 2 things done on your list that day. What’s the end result? You want to give up. You want to throw your hands up in the air and be done because clearly planning isn’t the problem. You had the perfect plan – so what went wrong?
Life is messy sometimes!
Life doesn’t often fit into those neat little boxes of time. Life is messy, and life is creative, and life is all over the place. So after trying way too long and far too hard trying to make my perfect schedule work, I ditched schedules all together.
And started working into routines. You might think they sound like the same thing, but routines give you flexibility.
What is a routine?
A routine is something that you do at a set point in your day, for example after dinner, and after a while it becomes second nature.
So a schedule would say: I have to be up at 6am, with my coffee at the table at 6:15, I need to read my Bible for 35 minutes, then spend 25 minutes in prayer, than I need to be in the shower at 7:15 sharp, etc.
With a routine: you just know that your first priority in the morning is your Bible reading. If you manage to get up at 6 great. If it’s 7, okay do it then. If you wake up to the kids crying and waking up, then you know you need to do it over breakfast.
Another great routine would be your evening routine. This can happen right after dinner or right before you go to bed. It can consists of things like a quick 15 minute pick up, throwing up a load of dishes, setting the coffee for the next morning and so on.
The beautiful parts about routines are that after a little while, they become second nature so that you don’t even think about them. They also become fluid. You can vary and adapt them throughout your changing days because you know them so well.
To-do list items that can become routines are things like Bible reading, cleaning, meal planning, investing in yourself, reading, finding a hobby, and more!
My Fall Routine:
Things are going to be changing drastically for us in September. We are jumping into the homeschool world!
We will be starting kindergarten with our oldest twins, Malachi & Micah. We actually just decided this two weeks ago. I am very excited but also nervous!
So in August, Jason and I are trying very hard to nail down our morning routine again. But we don’t have a lot of time. Here’s what we will be working on.
Our morning routine:
Priorities: Bible reading, prayer, and coffee
Ideal routine: Up at 6 am. Coffee in hand at the kitchen table at 6:15. Bible reading until 7am. Prayer 7-7:15 or 7-7:30. Until 8: Shower, hop on my computer, do some posting, email, etc. Kids up at 8. Then breakfast.
Now after breakfast, we will be adding in homeschool. I am shooting to do between an hour and two hours after breakfast. Babies will play in the living room, play with blocks in their room, play outside, and/or watch a movie.
This also means I am going to have to be more strategic with cooking and cleaning and jump back into better meal planning routines and cleaning.
My evening routine is becoming more important:
Priorities: Dishes done, counters cleaned off, and clutter in front area picked up. Review food for the next day. We would like to work in 15 minutes of Old Testament reading before bed.
I’ve found that if I can set myself up well the night before, my morning routine goes so much smoother!
Need some help with your routines?
I’ve got an incredible free resource for you called Refresh Your Routines – Getting on Track with Your Daily Disciplines!
It’s a FREE kit I’ve put together for you. It includes 3 training videos on routines as well as a 9 page downloadable kit.