Routines are an important part of our lives.  They can help us with so many things.  For example, if we have put on a few too many pounds, creating a routine around getting regular physical activity can help us to lose weight.  If we need to eat healthy, creating a routine where we prepare healthy meals and snacks in advance can help us to stick to our diet in the future.

Both of the examples above are healthy routines that can be developed.  However, neither of these routines will be successful without the proper environmental support.

How?

Well, let’s use me as an example.  In the past year I met a wonderful man who works as a cook.  I now find myself a LOT heavier than I’m wanting to be, so the above diet and exercise routines are ones that I am attempting to adopt this year.

I’m shooting low to begin with – physical activity-wise, I am just trying to walk for 30 minutes a day, four days per week.  To do this, there are quite a few things in my environment that need to be in place to support me.  The first is that I HAVE to know where all my gear is.  Where are my shoes?  Are my workotu clothes clean?  Where are my headphones?

When I have all of those things, there are far less barriers to my workout success.  When everything in my home has a place, finding all those things is far easier than it would be in a disorganized home.

An example for a child might be homework.  After a long day at school, it’s time to do homework.  If you sit down at your desk or the kitchen table to do homework and it is covered with clutter, doing that homework is a LOT less appealing.  You have to do SOMETHING – push the clutter to the side, put it away, or dump it on the floor.  However, those steps take time and often don’t solve the problem.  And this is just one thing!

When everything we need is in its place, routines are more successful.  Picture this:  your child comes home from school and grabs his or her school supplies, which are in a kit on the bottom shelf of the front closet.  They go to the kitchen table to complete their homework.  There are some things on the kitchen table – but there’s also a little basket on the table to place all these odds and ends.  The child does this.  They are then able to start their homework without much delay.

This may sound all too easy, and the truth is, you may be right.  Usually getting homework ready to do does NOT go this smoothly.  However, even if you add in other issues, getting the homework done would still be a lot easier than if the table was covered in an overwhelming amount of junk.

Routines are important to our success.  This week, I challenge you to think of some ways that organizing may support your routines – at work, at home and with your family.