An Organized Lifestyle

How to Use Routines to Support Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 3, 2022

Hello, I'm Rachel
I’m a busy mom, entrepreneur, and an expert in organizing your home, office, and life. I believe in the profound impact of organizing on every aspect of life. 
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As we head into the first week of January, you are certainly going to see mentions of New Year’s resolutions just about everywhere you look – from your Instagram to stories on the news to the promotions tab in your inbox. This week is prime time for “new year, new you” promotions and advertisements. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against New Year’s resolutions per se but they don’t always stick for one reason or another. When New Year’s resolutions don’t go as planned it can be disheartening and lead you to give up completely on the new goal you set, putting you back at square one. I 100% support and encourage goal setting but I think it is important to remember there is nothing magical about January 1st. You can be just as successful when you start a goal on a random Tuesday as you can on the first day of the year. The most important part is getting started and staying organized!

Once you have your mind set on a new goal (whether that be a New Year’s resolution or if you are rereading this blog post in June), I wholeheartedly believe that organization and routines are the key to creating success in achieving your goal. I have shared previously about using organization to support your New Year’s resolutions (check out that blog post here) but today I want to specifically dive into routines and how they can help support not only your New Year’s resolutions but an overall organized lifestyle.

All About Routines

If you have been here for any length of time you know that I believe that organization is not just about your physical space but encompasses and improves so many areas of your life. Routines are one of the ways that you can help organize and improve both those non-physical and physical areas of your life.

First, what is a routine? A routine is defined as “the practice of regularly doing things in a fixed order.” When we are organizing a physical space we prioritize giving everything a home and routine is the same concept but translated to your time. When you establish a routine you give each task you need to accomplish a place in your time. Once you take out that ambiguity of when things should be done and every task has an assigned space in your morning, for example, you feel more in control of the time you have to work with.

So how do you start a routine? Routines are not tricky to start, they can be tricky to keep up but with a little organization and commitment they will be habits before you know it. There are a few steps you need to take each time you are starting a routine:

  • Determine the goal of your routine. This could mean creating a morning routine to streamline getting out of the house before work/school. This could mean creating a skincare routine to help you support your self-care goals. Or maybe a routine for meal planning and grocery shopping to help you and your family eat healthier. It is important to know the goal of the routine so there is a why behind what you are doing.

  • Narrow in your goals. I like to do this by doing a brain dump of any and every thing that you want to accomplish to support the larger goal. Doing this allows you to break down the larger goal into specific tasks.

  • Finalize your plan. Once you have your list of all of the possible tasks you need to create your routine you can finalize your plan. During this process don’t be afraid to cross off a few items that just might not be realistic to include in the routine. Create a specific and detailed list of your routine and the order you will be accomplishing each task every day/week.

  • Set yourself up for success. Before you dive into your new routine make sure you are prepared and ready to go. If you are starting a morning skincare routine, create a drawer with all of the products you need. If you are meal planning make sure you have picked out a meal planning system (like a pad or an app) and have blocked time in your calendar to grocery shop.

  • Track your progress. Once you get started implementing the new routine, track your progress. You will be much more likely to keep up with the routine if you see days shaded in on a calendar or get to check something off your to do list each day.

  • Reward yourself. There is nothing wrong with a little reward every now and then. Pick a milestone for your new routine and an appropriate reward. For example, if meal planning is your goal maybe you buy yourself a new set of reusable bags after you meal plan consistency for two weeks or a new face serum if you keep up your nighttime skin routine for a month.

After you start a routine it will, eventually, become a habit. They say it takes anywhere from 21 to 45 days for a routine to become a habit. Stick with it and soon you won’t even need to think about the steps, they will become second nature.

Finally, make sure you are giving yourself grace when creating new routines! Be realistic! Don’t pick something that you just won’t be able to achieve. Pick small realistic goals that can be achieved through a consistent routine and then you can always grow from there.

Examples of Routines Supporting New Year’s Resolutions

There are a million New Year’s resolutions and goals but just as many routines that can help. You know your goals best but I have included a few examples of routines that can help support goals below:

  • Goal: get fit

    • Narrow in your goal to get fit by creating a routine to support exercise. Make it a routine to put your exercise clothes by the door each night or set up your Peloton station in the morning so you can hop on a ride as soon as you are done with work.

  • Goal: eat healthy

    • Narrow in your goal to eat healthy with a meal planning routine. Establish a routine of setting aside time each weekend to meal plan, grocery shop and prep for the week. If you have healthy food on hand and a plan in place you are going to be much more likely to stick to it

  • Goal: have a less stressful morning

    • Narrow in your goal for a less stressful morning by putting a morning routine in place. Divide tasks among your family members and create a specific order that each task needs to be done. Create an organizational system in your mudroom so that everything is ready to go in the morning.

As we continue through the month of January I will be diving deeper into routines both on my Instagram and here on the blog. Make sure to check back for more tips and ideas of routines you can incorporate into your own life.

TELL ME: what routines are you going to be implementing in the new year?

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hey there!

I'm Rachel, founder of Rachel & Company

I’m dedicated to helping you create a lifestyle that is more organized, sustainable, and joyously livable.

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