Preparing for 2013 – Part 1: Routines

This week’s article is the first of three.

2013 is quickly approaching. As it does, many people set New Year resolutions. I haven’t set New Year resolutions for a few years now – preferring a word of the year instead.

However, this year I’m not doing that either.

No New Year resolutions and no word of the year? So, what am I doing?

This:

  • I’m creating and solidifying routines (or habits).
  • I’m setting goals for myself that are supported by strategies and clear plans of action.
  • I’m tracking each goal and strategy.
  • I’m recognizing what does and doesn’t work for me and making adjustments as needed.

Now, let me back up and explain a bit. Resolutions can be a wonderful thing, but I have some baggage there. Too many years of: this year I’ll change and do this or be that. Which never really turned out the way I wanted because my previous patterns (or habits) were too deeply ingrained to be changed overnight. And basically that’s what I (and probably most people) expected on some level, like January 1st is a magical day that can instantly change people. So, I don’t set resolutions.

As for word of the year, I’ve had a lot of fun with it the past three years. Looking forward to picking it out and watching how it weaves through my year. But this year I’m not feeling it, so I’m not going to force it. As a quick aside, what things are you doing because it’s what you think you should do instead of what you really want to or feel called to do?

So, this year I’m going back to basics and I invite you to join me.

Create and solidify routines (aka habits)

Cup of CoffeeWhether you realize it or not, you have morning habits. What are the things you do every morning without really even thinking about it? Personally, I can make a cup of coffee and have my breakfast half made before I’m fully awake. It’s just my routine.

What are other things you’d like to do every morning? Get up earlier? Exercise? Meditate? Read? Walk the dog? Stretch? Laugh?

Creating or adding things isn’t only for morning routines. Don’t forget about the end of your work day routine, before or after lunch routine, or before bed routine (but if you’re looking for a place to start, start with your morning routine).

Pick one thing and add it to a routine. Then, create a checklist so you can easily see your progress.

And one hint here: don’t over complicate it! Want to exercise every morning, but you’re not sure what to do? Go for a walk, go up and down the stairs, do jumping jacks. The purpose is to do something, not to do it perfectly. Don’t get sidetracked by perfection.

What’s one thing you want to add to your routine? Share in the comments!

Next week’s article is about goal setting and the following week is about recognizing what does and doesn’t work.

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