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Navigating Seasonal Routines in 3 Simple Steps

Navigating Seasonal Routines in 3 Simple Steps -Chelsijo

August 18, 2023

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When we shift from one season to another, it naturally brings about the need for new routines. So, in this blog post, I’m going to share a brief yet powerful guide that leads you through three straightforward steps to creating new seasonal routines. The best part? It’ll only take about 15 minutes to establish these new routines!

Moreover, we’ll discuss how to stick with these routines once you’ve set them up. Currently, I’m implementing these exact strategies in my own life. With our household officially back to school, we’re navigating a significant transition. 

If you’re transitioning from one season to another and neglect to refresh your routines in alignment with the new season’s demands, stress, frustration, and a sense of misalignment with your daily goals can creep in.

So, let’s plunge into it. I’m genuinely excited to offer you practical steps to seasonal routines that can make a real difference. Shall we begin? Let’s dive right in!

Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast

Recognizing the Need for Change in Routine

Let’s discuss the warning signs a bit before we get into how to make seasonal routines. This way, you’ll recognize when it’s time to consider a new routine. So, when do you know it’s the right time to embrace change? 

Well, it’s when your seasons shift—when something new starts occurring in your life that wasn’t happening before. This transition signifies the change of a season. However, it’s essential to remember that these changes aren’t necessarily permanent. They’re often about moving into a new phase of life.

In my perspective, phases tend to be more extended than seasons. I often draw parallels between the natural world’s changing seasons and the shifts in our lives. Nature offers us a cyclical pattern with signs of seasons that gradually emerge and fade. 

Navigating Seasonal Shifts

Sometimes, the seasons in our lives only occur once. Take pregnancy, for example—it’s a season, albeit a relatively lengthy one! Personally, I experienced it twice, but for others, it might only happen once. Life is full of diverse seasons, each with its own qualities. 

When these changes happen, and you know they’ll be a part of your life for a while, that’s when you should pause and consider how to provide support during these shifts. 

Remember, within areas like marriage, parenthood, and business, there are seasons. These seasons can overlap! My goal is to streamline everything, creating systems to make processes effective and efficient. This way my brain can be on autopilot and I can produce the outcomes that I am called to do. 

Unfamiliar Seasons: Adapting Your Routines

Now, that sets the stage for our discussion. When these shifts in seasons occur,  the challenge often lies in knowing what routines are suited for this new season. You might find yourself wondering, “What routines should I follow? How do I adapt to this unfamiliar season?” 

Perhaps the kids are gearing up for school or your husband’s transitioning to the night shift. These instances mark new seasons, demanding a proactive approach. But how do you plan when you’ve never been through it before?

Let’s just imagine that I moved somewhere with a winter season—while I may know to bundle up with parkas, galoshes, and the works, the day-to-day reality remains unknown. Growing up, I spent time hunting with my father in snow-covered mountains, even weathering blizzards by a potbelly stove.

Yet, experiencing these conditions in the context of everyday life and parenting? That would be uncharted territory! To be prepared, I would have to dive in, collect data on effective strategies, and seek advice from reliable sources like online communities.

Breaking Free from the Unfamiliar

In a different example, moving into a new phase—like kids entering school—can be daunting if you’re unfamiliar. But here’s the key: don’t let the unknown hold you back!

“Embrace the fact that creating a new routine can be an enjoyable process.”

Embrace the fact that creating a new routine can be an enjoyable process. Perfection isn’t the goal. Instead, let’s break it down into three simple steps to demonstrate how simple this process can be!

Step One: Laying the Foundation for Your Seasonal Routines

As we are confronted with a new season, Blaine and I always start with a blank piece of paper. On the top of that paper, begin by jotting down all the vital details of the new season. This framework will provide the groundwork for your routine’s structure.

Next, pinpoint one specific portion within the new season that you can dial a routine around. Whether it’s kids returning to school, changing work schedules, or other scenarios, identify the key moments or timestamps that can make a difference.

Setting the Stage for Change: Our Back to School Routines

So for example, with the girls heading back to school, all the habits we’ve maintained throughout summer don’t need to change. What’s changing is the need to get ready and out the door by a specific time in the morning! This timing is crucial, a pivotal part of our day that deserves special attention.

Another essential aspect of our day revolves around ensuring our kids get to bed on time. During summer, we might have allowed a bit more flexibility, but now, it’s time to adjust. These two points are my focus—they are the routines that need refining. By addressing them, we ensure we leave when we need to and a smooth bedtime routine. It’s the foundation upon which the rest of our day is built!

Easing into Change: Mastering One Routine at a Time

Now, let’s break it down further. You might be wondering, “Should I take on more than two routines?” My advice is to start with just one. I’ve got a good handle on adding routines because I’m accustomed to it, but even I stick to one new routine at a time. 

For those new to this approach, especially if it involves a significant shift for your family, like transitioning to homeschooling, beginning with one routine is the key. Don’t worry; the rest will eventually fall into place. You don’t need to overhaul your entire life all at once. Start with a specific area and hash it out on paper.

Streamlining the Steps of Your Seasonal Routines

Now, onto the nitty-gritty. Begin by working backward from the specific timestamp you’ve chosen. Let’s say it’s the time you need to get everyone out the door. What needs to happen just before that? Everyone needs to be fed and dressed. Keep retracing your steps until you’ve broken down each and every task needed to reach that point. Even if you end up with 15 steps, remember, this is just the initial phase.

Now, take these individual tasks and condense them into chunks. Your routine should never have more than three or four steps—simplicity is key. More steps can make everyone feel regimented and rushed. The goal is to create a smooth flow, allowing the routine to become second nature.

As for sharing time stamps, if your family’s onboard, great! But even if not, just share the routine’s names: “First, we’re doing this. Then, we’re doing that.” You’re the conductor, orchestrating the flow, ensuring everyone progresses harmoniously toward the goal.

Real-life Example: A Successful School Morning Routine

To illustrate, let’s examine my morning routine, designed to ensure we leave in time for school. It involves three core steps: wake up, breakfast ready, and in the car. To my kids, the term “breakfast ready” means their beds are made, their teeth are brushed, their hair is done. and their dress for the day.

If they are breakfast ready, they’re downstairs and they don’t need to go back upstairs for anything! While each step has its time frame, what matters most is that everyone is aware of what needs to be done to get out the door.

Step Two: Embrace the Unknown and Stay Flexible

This step is a significant one! Embrace the fact that you won’t have all the answers right away. There will be parts of this new routine that are foreign and uncertain, because you haven’t experienced them yet. It’s okay to not have every detail figured out from the start! You’ll need to adapt and refine as you go.

Resist the urge to plan every minute and detail. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to predict everything! Accept that you can’t control it all. Be ready for some deviations from your plan. Build in a bit of flexibility and buffer time.

Learn, Adapt, and Refine Your Seasonal Routines

Stay vigilant as you transition into the new routine. Observe closely and take notes. Maybe you realize it takes longer for your kids to finish breakfast than you initially thought. That’s fantastic! You just gained valuable insight. 

Adjustments are part of the process, and by staying open to change and learning from each experience, you’ll build a more effective routine that suits your family’s needs. So, remember, it’s absolutely okay not to have all the answers upfront. 

Step Three: Make Your Seasonal Routines Visible and Consistent

Here’s your next move: write your new routine in multiple places where it’ll catch your eye regularly. For a habit to take place, it must take center stage in your thoughts. Keep it simple, just like we discussed in step one.

If you haven’t embraced a communication center yet, now would be a great time! There are a few podcast and blog posts covering this topic, and you can dive in to learn how to create a communication board for your family. If you’re part of our FREE Facebook group, feel free to ask if you need help—our community is all about support!

Where to Record Your Seasonal Routines

Write your new routines onto your paper planner. I like to include them in my weekly intentions section. You can also slot them into your time blocks, though I typically note just the routine names there, not every single detail. Allocate space in your weekly intentions section or your planner for jotting down the individual steps. If you’re curious, I utilize the Horatio planner—specifically, the Dream Planner. 

Moreover, integrate your routine into your communication board. Stick Post-it notes or reminders in trigger spots around your home, like the bathroom mirror, microwave, or fridge. Variety is the key; you want these cues everywhere to keep your routine constantly within view. 

And you might ask, “What about my Google Calendar?” I personally use a hybrid approach, combining both my paper planner and Google Calendar. Google Calendar helps me remember where I should be, while my paper planner explains why I’m there.

As my husband and I were deciding how to incorporate our new routine into the Google Calendar, we realized its purpose should be for the timestamps. Therefore, we left out most of the routine from the Google Calendar and focused on using it for time-sensitive reminders. For instance, we included the drop-off time for the kids at school, along with a 10-minute alert. This way, my phone notifies me when it’s time to head out.

Review: 3 Steps to Successful Seasonal Routines

That’s how you create seasonal routines like a pro! If you’re anything like me, the call of a well-tuned routine is irresistible, yet the challenge of embracing change can be real! But don’t fear, with this guide, you’ll be equipped to handle the changing seasons of life.

Let’s quickly review the three steps to creating a new routine.

  1. First, lay the foundation for your seasonal routines, mapping out the crucial details!
  2. After that, ease into the change by mastering one routine at a time, allowing your family the space to adjust.
  3. Finally, make your routines visible and consistent through methods like communication boards and planners.

So, whether it’s the start of a new school year, a change in work schedules, or any other season of life, remember that establishing and adapting your seasonal routines is a powerful tool that empowers you to thrive in every phase. With just a little investment of your time—about 15 minutes—you can set the stage for a smoother, more organized, and fulfilling life!

Looking to Learn About Routines?

Looking more routine ideas to make your day run more smooth? Check out this blog about My Daily Routines! Want to know the before and after school routines that I implement as a busy work from home mom? Check out this blog post!

If you’ve begun a new routine or are seeking guidance on how to initiate one, feel free to head over to our FREE Facebook group. Drop your questions and thoughts in there; I would be more than happy to offer my support. I can’t wait to witness how these new routines enhance your lives!

Navigating Seasonal Routines in 3 Simple Steps
-Chelsijo

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I create a schedule as a busy work-from-home mom?

As a busy work-from-home mom it is possible to create a great schedule that works for you! By knowing what your Fundamental Needs are and building them into your weekly schedule, as well as utilizing Tidy Qs throughout your day, you can be sure to create a schedule that allows you to do all you are called to do!

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