Calm in the Chaos: The Secret of Anchor Routines

Calm in the Chaos: The Secret of Anchor Routines -Chelsijo

September 13, 2023

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Crunchy mom of two, married to my favorite boy for life, and lover of the dark chocolate peanut butter cups!
I went from nearly losing my mind and business to an intentional, successful woman all because of systems.
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In the midst of some of the most intense and crazy times in your life, I want you to feel unbelievably prepared and confident to navigate those days, those weeks, those months, and maybe even those years with a few simple routines that I have found to be what I like to call my anchor routines.

Inside of this blog post, you’re going to learn exactly what an anchor routine is and how to calm the chaos that you’re currently dealing with, no matter what season of life you’re in. You’re also going to get to hear how I am dealing with my own kind of chaos right now!

I’m using these anchor routines to keep me sane, to keep everyone incredibly happy, well-nourished, and whole through a challenging season in our life. I’m super excited to share some light bulb moments that I have had, where my gratitude is coming from, and how these anchor routines are really helping. So, what do you say? Let’s go ahead and get started!

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

Setting the Stage: My Recent Move with Children

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast episode 305, I strongly recommend you do, or read the blog post on it HERE. It serves as a foundation for what we’re getting into today. I’m genuinely thrilled to share this with you, especially because in the last episode, I discussed how many of the systems in my life seemed to be falling apart!

For those of you who don’t know much about what is going on in my life, allow me to bring you up to speed. I recently had my first-ever move with children in tow. It has become abundantly clear that transitioning to a new home requires the reestablishment of the systems that were in place.

It was a real eye-opener. Despite thinking we lived a minimalist life, I was astonished by the sheer amount of stuff we had to deal with! We’ve been downsizing considerably, but it still feels like an uphill battle. This shift has altered the fabric of our daily existence, and while it may not meet the criteria for “complete chaos” by some standards, it is certainly different from what we’re accustomed to.

Desiring a Balanced Life: Striving for Excellence

My goal is to lead a life that transcends mere survival or minimalism. I want to excel in every aspect of my life, from being an exceptional mother and wife to maintaining a clean and comfortable home for my family and myself. 

Additionally, I’m deeply invested in pouring my heart and soul into my podcast, my company, and all the individuals working alongside me, including students, interns, close friends, and extended family members. While some might describe me as multi-passionate, I’m focusing on specific pursuits that feel particularly meaningful in my current life stage.

Although I’d love to revisit my love for playing the violin, I recognize that juggling numerous commitments isn’t sustainable. I’ve come to understand that while I can do more than one thing well, I can’t do everything well. Consequently, I’ve meticulously created space in my life not just for success but for flourishing. I’ve established systems to support not only my own growth but to empower everyone in my house to thrive as well.

Leadership and Systems: Orchestrating the Home Environment with Anchor Routines

In many ways, I view myself as the orchestrator of the talents and gifts within my household. My role significantly influences the way we function on a daily basis. When we moved, our well-organized systems were left behind, and that lack of structure became evident. 

Many aspects of our lives seemed to be slipping through the cracks. I’m confident that you, too, can relate to the importance of organization, whether it’s managing your finances, coordinating your children’s daily routines, or even navigating your household logistics. 

You can organize virtually everything, from your calendar and emails to the physical layout of your home, pantry, or garage. Even abstract elements of your life, such as digital clutter or how you allocate your free time, can benefit from organization. When you’re striving to create order amidst chaos, having anchor routines can be a lifeline!

Anchor Routines Defined: Reestablishing Stability

Let’s dive into what anchor routines actually are. Imagine them as your life’s reset buttons. They’re the routines that can help you regain your footing and get back on track, especially when everything else seems uncertain.

To draw an analogy, picture setting up a line of dominos. Each domino represents a task or activity in your day. Anchor routines are the large, unmovable dominos strategically placed within that line. If you fail to hit one of these anchor routines, it can disrupt the rest of your day.

They’re strategically positioned throughout your day to ensure that no matter what happens, you can always find your way back to your normal pace of life. Even in the midst of upheaval, they provide consistency.

How to Use Anchor Routines to Thrive Amidst Disruption

Before we get into the specific anchor routines in my life, let me explain why I wanted to share this episode with you right now. I took a step back and was amazed at how these routines, though seemingly absent in our current situation, continue to anchor my family. 

It’s truly remarkable. We’ve moved to a new house, and there isn’t much in place, but a few things stand out. The girls’ bedrooms are neatly arranged, and there’s a semblance of order in certain parts of our home. Beyond that, though, it’s a bit like navigating a maze!

“These anchor routines serve as the foundation for our lives, guiding our daily activities and maintaining consistency.”

Yet, my children seem to instinctively seek out these anchor routines. It’s as if they program their internal clocks to follow a specific pattern, regardless of where we are. This is why I’m such an advocate for routines! They’re not just an option; they’re essential. These anchor routines serve as the foundation for our lives, guiding our daily activities and maintaining consistency, even when some of our life is in flux.

Stay with me as I share the five core anchor routines that have proven invaluable in our recent transition. These routines can be the stability you need, especially when life takes unexpected turns, whether it’s due to illness, last-minute school projects, or any other curveball life throws your way!

Anchor Routine #1: Bedtime Routine

One of the main anchor routines in our lives is the bedtime routine. It’s a big one, and my kids have been unwavering in sticking to it. Admittedly, we’ve been going to bed a bit later on many nights throughout this move, but the essence of our bedtime routine remains the same. There are a few key elements we’ve meticulously put in place to ensure this.

Before our move, we had extensive discussions about what the new bedrooms in our home would look like. These conversations also revolved around the design of their new beds. I took this opportunity to tap into my kid’s excitement about the move and their new rooms. They played a big role in designing their spaces, which made them feel safe and comfortable. The result? A seamless transition in terms of bedtime routines!

Once we arrived in the new house, everything went into place effortlessly. On the very first night, my kids spent a little extra time in their new bedrooms. We chatted, got them settled, and then, without any fuss, I turned around, closed their doors, wished them good night, and left. This routine has continued without interruption, making bedtime a smooth and stress-free part of our daily lives.

Anchor Routine #2: Dinner Routine

Our second anchor routine revolves around dinner. While we’ve dined out a bit more than I initially intended, our dinner routine has remained rock-solid. Everyone knows their role, and it’s a well-oiled machine.

We’ve got it down to a science, even if it takes a bit longer than usual finding where everything is located at this point. The beauty of it all is that everyone still knows precisely how to fall into their designated roles. It is pretty amazing!

Anchor Routine #3: Kitchen Tidy Cues

Our third anchor routine centers around our kitchen. Thanks to some clever kitchen tidy cues, Blaine and I have managed to keep our kitchen in tip-top shape, just as we always have. The key to this routine lies in our precise timing and the specific parts of our day that we’ve allocated for kitchen duties.

For instance, as soon as I drop the kids off at school, I head straight home to tidy up the kitchen. Most of the time, I manage to get it done before we even leave for the day. This means that when I return and dive into my work block, I don’t need to dedicate extra time to kitchen chores. It acts as my buffer, and at this point, I certainly need it.

I won’t sugarcoat it – our kitchen isn’t currently arranged as efficiently as it could be! This can be quite the challenge when it comes to staying efficient. However, our anchor routine has been nothing short of incredible in helping us maintain a sense of order and productivity.

Anchor Routine #4: Before School Routine

Our fourth anchor routine revolves around the before-school rush. I couldn’t be prouder of how well the girls have adapted. It’s as if no one missed a beat. Even when it comes to packing their lunchboxes, we’re ironing out some wrinkles, but overall, it has been consistent. They’ve taken it upon themselves to get ready, and it’s like a well-oiled machine. 

Anchor Routine #5: Family Budgeting System

Our final anchor routine centers around family budgeting and finances. In Episode 305, I confessed that we had neglected this aspect for about two weeks. However, almost immediately after recognizing the gap, we had a brief conversation to address it. We had a simple discussion about what we needed to do to bring our budgeting back up to date and regain financial stability.

Blaine and I quickly agreed on a plan. He committed to updating our budget spreadsheet, ensuring he accounted for all data from the past two pay periods. This resolution allowed us to maintain a rock-solid financial system. 

Conclusion: Embrace Your Anchor Routines in Your Life Today

Let’s reflect on the five crucial anchor routines that can shape your family’s life:

  1. Bedtime Routine
  2. Dinner Routine
  3. Kitchen Tidying Cues
  4. Before School Routine
  5. Family Budgeting System

First, take a moment to determine which of these already operate seamlessly in your life. These should occur like clockwork, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. These are the ones that you can depend on without fail.

After that, identify the routines that might not be as dialed in as you’d like. If none of them are, that’s okay – it means there’s significant room for growth. Choose the one that could make the most significant positive impact on your family’s life right now. To do this, think about the toughest part of your day among these five anchor routines. Which one presents the greatest challenge or disruption?

Once you’ve pinpointed that routine, you’ve found your starting point for making positive changes! So, go ahead, embark on your journey of transformation through anchor routines, and watch as they bring remarkable changes to your family’s life.

Anchoring Your Family’s Future with Anchor Routines

I hope learning about the anchor routines in my life has inspired you to reevaluate their role in your family’s life. It’s time to embrace these transformative routines and weave them into how your day functions. Share your progress and experiences with our supportive community on Facebook. Let’s stand together as a source of motivation and encouragement!

So, put those excuses aside, and begin your own journey to creating anchor routines today!

Looking to Learn More About Routines?

First of all, if you are wanting to know more about the routines that benefit my life, this blog post goes over my typical day and is filled with tips and tricks! If you are wanting to dive into different routines you can adopt to keep your house clean, the blog post, How To Keep A Tidy House – The Top 5 Routines Every Work From Home Mom Needs, is a great place to begin!

Additionally, please don’t forget to ask for any help that you might need along the way within our wonderful Facebook community!

Thank you for joining me on this journey to discover the power of anchor routines in transforming your family’s life. I’m excited to witness the positive impact these routines will have on your day-to-day!

As you start on the path of embracing anchor routines, I’m here to support you every step of the way. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need guidance. Your journey towards a more organized and harmonious family life is just beginning, and I’m here to help you make the most of it!

Calm in the Chaos: The Secret of Anchor Routines -Chelsijo

Frequently Asked Questions

I am so ready to start adding some anchor routines into my life! Where do I fit them into my schedule?

I’m thrilled to offer you an amazing free resource! Our Time Blocking Workbook is your key to mastering time blocking, tailor-made for work-from-home moms. With this complimentary download, you’ll understand how to craft the ideal time blocks to suit your daily routines and calendar. Plus, you can put your initial time blocking attempts onto paper!

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