If you’re anything like me, the carefree days of summer can mean an absence of any sort of routine. When the weather is nice, I will happily put aside all my regular household tasks and errands for a picnic in the park with my kids or a trip to the outdoor pool. Throw in some camping trips that utterly destroy my little ones’ sleeping schedules, staying up far too late to finish that compelling book, and playdates and dinner dates any and all times throughout the week, and that pretty much describes our crazy (but super fun!) summer. All that flexibility can be wonderful, a welcome break and the chance to spontaneously create lasting memories of the joys of summer, but as the leaves turn colour and the evenings grow chilly, I do find myself longing once more for the comfort and familiarity of a solid routine.
Perhaps it’s just me, but I find it hard to get things done unless I have an intentional plan to make it happen . If I don’t have my meals planned out, I open my refrigerator at 4:00 and hope that staring at it long enough will inspire me to create some sort of workable dinner with the random assortment of items I have on hand. If I don’t follow my household task/cleaning schedule, I’ll go a whole week or more forgetting to scoop the kitty litter or water my drooping houseplants. If I don’t stay on top of how much I’m spending for food, and don’t have a plan to stay on budget, I run out of money before I run out of month. If I don’t put my kids down for naps at roughly the same time each day, they don’t rest well and get fussy and fidgety. The list could go on and on. As much as I would like to be one of those spontaneous, carefree type people, I’m afraid I’m a lot more of a creature of habit and a lover of routine, especially since having kids and staying home full-time.
And, for me, I have found building intentional habits and routines to be an immense blessing. Knowing exactly what I am going to cook for dinner, and having all the ingredients ready at hand gets rid of all the dinner-time stress. Planning meals that don’t involve a lot of prep saves my sanity when my husband is running late at the office and my kids are climbing my legs in starvation. Knowing that I vacuum my living room every Monday and Thursday helps me launch in and get ‘er done quickly and efficiently instead of waiting until my whole house is a disaster and then spending 4 hours cleaning up (after wasting some time wallowing in silent despair at my abysmal housekeeping skills!). Even little habits like taking 5 minutes to make my bed every morning, putting on a splash of makeup even if I don’t plan to leave the house, and cleaning up after myself in the kitchen throughout the day go a long way to helping me feel productive and efficient.
And so, for the month of September, that’s what we’ll be focusing on here at Thrive with Robyn. Stay tuned for upcoming posts about all things habit and routine, from meal planning and prepping to more about my 5-minute habits, all the way to family disaster planning and emergency preparedness with a guest contributor. I’m also launching some new things this fall – a monthly newsletter; themed, in-person events the fourth Tuesday of each month; and “Thriving Thursdays”, a live video chat session on my Facebook page. If you haven’t already, please drop me a line here and ask to get on my mailing list to stay in the loop (I promise I won’t spam you!!). Also, if you’re on Facebook, check out and “like” my page and ask to join our Thrive with Robyn group. I look forward to connecting with you all this fall as we jump back into our habits and routines, and maybe build some new ones!
Do you have a favourite habit or a routine that you find really helpful? Tell me about it in the comments below!