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How to Implement Routines and Maintain Them In the Long Run




At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions that, unfortunately, often end up forgotten. A lot of these resolutions include implementing good habits and new routines.


And since I struggle myself with implementing routines and sticking to them in the long run, I decided to invite my friend and queen of routines, Ana Alice, from @nanaorganise, to help us with that!


Ana Alice is an amazing organization and motivation coach for mums who feel overwhelmed with home and mental clutter. She shares a lot of great content on her YouTube channel, podcast, and Instagram account (in French). She has also recently launched an online course, “Organise ta maison,” to help people organize their home — and keep it organized — in which the implementation of routines plays an important part. So don’t hesitate to go and check her content out!


Without further ado, let’s dive into the topic!


What is a routine?


A routine is simply a sequence of actions (ex.: tasks, chores, duties) that you follow regularly, at a time that you have decided is best for you.


Everyone already has routines in their daily life, even without thinking about it. For example, the order in which you get ready for bed (shower, brush your teeth, apply cream, etc.) or in the morning (get dressed, put on makeup, get out, take the bus, etc.).


These actions put together are routines!


Something interesting to note is that in French, the word "routine" is quite negative. French people even have a negative saying that is often connected to the word: “Métro, boulot, dodo” (literally “Commute, Work, Sleep, and Repeat”). On the contrary, in English, the word “routine” doesn't have a negative connotation. It’s even seen as positive!


What are the advantages of routines?


Routines help you be more productive and efficient. But they also give you more free time for yourself!


Why?


Because when you implement a routine, you have already thought the process through (more on that below):

  • When is best to do this task/chore? At what time?

  • How is it best to do it?

  • What do I need to do it?


Furthermore, because you do it regularly, it eventually becomes a habit. So you don’t need to think too much when you do it because it has become automatic. And the result of that is that you free up your mind and reduce your mental load!


How to successfully implement routines?


Implementing a routine takes time and requires patience, but it is worth it.


According to Ana Alice, there are four necessary phases to properly implement a routine.


1. Observe

  1. Observe yourself: What do you already do as a routine that works? What doesn’t work so well? What do you need to change and why?

  2. Observe your time: How long does it take you to do the tasks you want to include in your routine? When do you have more time to do them (during the weekend, the week, in the morning, in the evening, etc.)?


2. Implement

  1. Divide your routines: Divide your routines into categories like Cleaning Routine, Work Routine, Evening Routine, Morning Routine, etc. And try implementing only one routine at a time and for at least two weeks to see if it works well or not.

  2. Check your schedule and plan: Block time in your schedule to do your routine.

  3. Put a system in place: Decide and plan each step of your routine. For example,

  4. a cleaning routine: Monday - clean toilet, Tuesday - clean bedrooms, etc.

  5. a work routine for an entrepreneur: Monday - content creation, Tuesday = admin, etc.


3. Assess

  1. Evaluate your new routine after two weeks of implementation:

  2. Is it working? Is it not? Why?

  3. What can I change? (ex. time of day, day, order of the tasks, etc.)


4. Repeat

  1. Implement your changes and try them for another two weeks. Assess once more in two weeks and make other changes if necessary.

  2. Once you’ve found the perfect routine setup, you shouldn’t need to keep doing this constant assessment unless something changes in your life and disrupts your routines.


What are some tips to maintain routines in the long term?

  • Don’t try to change everything at once. Try to implement one new routine at a time and stick to it for two weeks if you’re making small changes and up to one month for big ones. Of course, if it really doesn’t work after only a few days, don’t hesitate to make the necessary changes!

  • Observe what already works in your schedule and work around that.

  • Respect your natural rhythm, your needs, and your lifestyle. Don’t try to do the same routine as someone else. Your life is different, and so is your routine.


I hope these tips will help you (and me 😅) implement new routines and, most importantly, maintain them!


I wish you a zenly organized week,


Sarah