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Sticking to It: How to Create and Adjust Routines Without Giving Up

A Purpose Driven Mom Podcast

Episode 405

Do you have a hard time sticking to solid routines? In this episode of the Purpose Driven Mom Show, host Cara Harvey explores the real-life struggles of maintaining routines as a work-at-home mom. One of the biggest mistakes she sees most moms make is putting too many things on their routine plate at one time. It is normal to think trying to get everything done in one day is possible, but Cara walks through the process of slowing down, which will allow you to stick to a steady habit by creating a rhythm. A rhythm will allow you to not feel stuck doing a task at a specific time but will give you a flow that works for you throughout the day to get all your tasks done.

Cara shares how creating a time inventory around routines can help get all that you want accomplished. For example: by writing down how long it takes to get things done in a specific time frame. With this you can create a personalized routine and determine a baseline for your goals. Because, goals can only be accomplished if they are realistic and work within your day to day life. If they are not working for you in a more natural way, they are not going to be accomplished! 

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Episode Highlights:

00:03 Handling fear around big goals 

4:34 The fear of failure

18:33 How to channel fear into excitement 

19:35 How to identify and address fears around goals

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Transcript: Sticking to It: How to Create and Adjust Routines Without Giving Up

Cara Harvey (00:00:03) – Welcome to the Purpose Driven Moms show here at A Purpose Driven Mom, we believe that it’s possible to manage your home, work on your personal goals, and grow and scale an online business. Most productivity tips out there tell you to hustle more and make you feel shame about not being motivated enough. And we’re here to dispel this myth. I’m Kara Harvey and I am on a mission to help work at home. Moms realize that they have the power to go after their dreams, take care of themselves, and manage their home without perfectionism, guilt, or having to sacrifice their sleep. If you’re ready to shift your thinking around productivity and get some practical tips to help you manage your mom life, toss your earbuds in while you fold the laundry. And let’s do this! Welcome to the Purpose Driven Show. Today, I’m going to help you figure out how to create and adjust routines without giving up. How can you actually stick to what you say you’re going to do? And I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me a ton before.

Cara Harvey (00:00:55) – I will make up a great routine. We get on a really good flow and then somebody’s sick, or we go on vacation, or we have to kind of come back from it. Does that happened today? We’re going to talk all about that. Show notes are over at a purpose driven romcom slash podcast. 505 and I don’t know if anyone else has seen this, but if you go into Apple Podcasts and you’re looking on your mobile, you click a couple the three dots next to it. There is a way to get the transcripts directly there. We’re going to be adding the transcripts. It’s like a button on our show notes because people have asked, but now you can get them right in your player, which I thought was super cool. I’m also going to ask, while you’re over there, head over and give us a nice five star rating and review. Reviews are the best way for people to find us, for people to find the show and for moms to get impacted. Okay, let’s talk about your routines.

Cara Harvey (00:01:36) – Today. I want you to think of a routine you made for yourself for the year one, for the quarter, two. The one that drives you the craziest. The one that you’re like, I know I can do this, but I’m struggling with it. That’s when we’re going to kind of workshop through today, I know that it can be challenging to make routines and stick with it, and I think one of the biggest problems we’re going to start there that I noticed moms making is you’re putting too much on your routine plate at a time. So what you’re actually doing is you’re like, all right, I’m going to create this great routine and I’m going to stick with it, but it’s going to have seven things to it. And if I don’t wake up on time, my entire thing gets thrown off. Is that sound familiar? Because I’ve been there as well. All right. I want you to know that if you’re putting too much on your plate, you’re going to hate my method because you’re gonna be like, oh, this is so slow.

Cara Harvey (00:02:17) – You want me to move slower? You want me to put less on my plate? It’s never going to happen. And I hear you, but can you just buckle up? Can you lean in and ask yourself, hasn’t been working the way that I’ve been doing it? And if it hasn’t been working the way that you’ve been doing it, can I encourage you to try it my way? Because my way is it’s a slower and a steadier approach, but what it will do is it will help you stick with it. I think about an example of one of our club members, Christine. Right. Christine gets on my accountability calls on Fridays. She’s been working on a few habits and she’s such a good example of this. We were talking, I think it was last week or the week before, and coaching about how she wanted to add a new stack to her cleaning routine, and she realized for herself, she always does this. She adds stuff too fast and she needs to give it time before adding.

Cara Harvey (00:03:00) – And she did. This last year. She had a yoga routine, and I think she did it almost every day in 2023, and she realized that now she’s able to add more to her exercise routine because she spent more time making it a habit. She realized after years and years of trying to move too fast, that by spending more time in slowing down, it allowed her to stick with her habit even when she wanted to give up, even when things got thrown off. Okay, so I want to encourage you that this can work for you. Okay? Works for Christine. It works for all of the members in the club who follow it and use it. All right. But here’s the thing routines are beneficial. I like to use the word flow because I think some people think routines and they feel super boxed in. They’re like, oh, I have to at 901 do this, and 902 to do that, and A903 do this, but instead I want you to think of this as a flow.

Cara Harvey (00:03:45) – I want you to think of this as a rhythm. I want you to think of this as how your day is going to go. The times itself don’t matter. All right. Now we teach time blocking. We’re not talking about that today. But when you’re in your routine, the time itself doesn’t matter. What really matters is the fact that you’re getting this rhythm going. What also doesn’t matter is the order you do things in. Once the routine is created. And we’re going to talk about that, we like to have things a certain order, right, because we want to control it. But controlling the routine is not going to allow you to have that, that human aspect, that, oh, I’m supposed to journal before I exercise, but I really don’t feel like journaling. So I’m just going to hem and haw and procrastinate and not do the journal. And then all of a sudden now it’s too late and I can’t even do the exercise. Have you been there as well? That’s the thing.

Cara Harvey (00:04:28) – I want to encourage you. You need rhythms in your life. You need routines. They will help you be more efficient ways, less time. It’ll reduce your procrastination. You’ll actually feel more creative. I know it’s like, oh, over the more routine on boxing, it’ll give you more creative flow and it’s really good to have some predictable rhythms for your kids as well. Let’s pause the episode real quick so I can invite you to go check out our newest printable pack that’s over in the App Store, and that is our mental health, self-care, and gratitude tracker. This is perfect for you if you are looking for a variety of trackers to help you journal, reflect, and just take care of your mental health. It’s got 75 printable pages. We’ve got self-care goal sheets, happiness logs, mental health trackers, mood trackers, affirmation, and some other journaling tips for you as well. I made this because I knew I personally needed to be doing a better job at tracking some of my moods, figuring out my mental health issues while I’m in between therapists.

Cara Harvey (00:05:26) – And while this isn’t going to replace your therapist, I think it’s a really good tool for you to just pay attention to how you’re feeling. You get the Self-care planner tips to help you be intentional about that. Guided reflection and gratitude pages, tons of journal prompts, and a variety of trackers just for your mental health. You can go to a purpose driven romcom slash mental health. Check this out right now it is our newest printable we’ve got in the store for you. Go head over and grab it today. So you can create your routines and show them to your kids. They can see how those rhythms have predictability. It helps feeling safe and secure. That’s what routines really do for us. They make our brain be like, oh, okay, I know what’s going to happen next. That’s what anxiety comes in when we don’t know what’s going to happen. And so then our brain, depending on the level of anxiety we struggle with, our brain then goes left to right on it. Having good routines and good rhythms and flow that’s going to help you get there.

Cara Harvey (00:06:21) – So so how do we establish a good routine? Let’s kind of start with how to make the routine. And then we’ll kind of talk about how do we adjust it when it inevitably will get thrown off. I think that’s part of it as well, going in when you’re creating your routines and your habits with the mindset of this is going to get thrown off and I can’t get mad about it and it doesn’t make me a failure. And I’m not the worst person in the world. It just got thrown off. So what do I do from it? Okay, the first thing I want you to do when you’re thinking about what routine to work on is ask yourself, what is the routine? Right now that I feel like would be my domino routine? It’s the one that if I could get this one under control, then I feel like other things would fall into place. That’s always kind of a good way to start. Okay? It doesn’t have to be the one you’re struggling with the most, though, okay? I think a lot of times we think it should be the one that’s the struggle bus.

Cara Harvey (00:07:03) – But what if instead it’s just one that needs a little bit of tweaking? It’s just one that needs a little bit of love, a little bit of help. Okay, now before we even start, what I’m going to encourage you to do is do a time inventory around that time block around that routine. So if you know it’s let’s talk about in my mind, the hardest time of day after school until dinner, right after school, until dinner is such a challenging part in my home. Everyone comes home and all of a sudden, and you know, I work from home, so I’m here. I’m here all day. I’m by myself sometimes. My husband works from home, but normally I could have space and it’s wonderful. And then everyone comes home and it’s like, wow, everyone’s talking to me at once. Everyone needs things. Everyone is hungry, so they’re cranky and we’re kind of rushed most days of the week. My kids have activities or a sport, so we’re kind of moving so that that time of day struggle struggle for us.

Cara Harvey (00:07:51) – Right. So I want you to do a time inventory of that time of day. What are you doing during that time? What does it look like for you? How long are things taking? Writing all those things down will help you better create a routine that you can stick to that’s personalized for you, not just, oh, I bought this pretty Pinterest chart and that’s what I’m going to work on. All right, so do a time inventory of your morning routine, your self-care routine, your afternoon routine, whatever it is for you that’s going to give you what’s called your baseline. Once you have your baseline, then what you’re going to be able to do is you’re going to be able to say, okay, if this is my baseline, this is what I’m at now. I can make appropriate goals. What we often don’t do is make appropriate goals for our routines. Oh, okay. So let’s say morning routine, right? I want to get up in journal. I mentioned the journaling. Right.

Cara Harvey (00:08:34) – Because that’s something that’s been on my list. That is a routine I’ll give you real time. Well case study that one workshop that together. That is a struggle for me. Right? It’s getting that journaling happening for myself. So we automatically go in and we’re like, all right, I’m going to journal seven days a week. But we know that that sets us up for failure. We know that what that is going to do is make us feel inadequate. If we miss a day where you miss one day, you can’t be perfect. And then our brain says, well, I’ll just try it again Monday. I’ll just worry about it another day. But what if instead you looked at your actual baseline? That’s what I want you to do. Say my baseline is 0 to 1. I’m either not journaling or a journal one time a week. That’s my real journaling baseline right now. It does not make sense to jump to even five days a week, let alone 6 or 7. So what if I make my first goal? I’m going to journal two days.

Cara Harvey (00:09:19) – I’m going to journal one day. And I think this is the mindset that we struggle with, is let that be good enough. Let one time be good enough. I was just talking about this with club members on our coaching call. We had a new cohort come in. They’re working through the Saw method. They’re learning everything that I teach and they want to go all in, right. They want to watch every video and right away jump in. And I had to talk to the one club member. And I said, how about instead we let one video be good enough? Because at this point your baseline is nothing. You haven’t been doing any growth, you haven’t been taking courses, you haven’t been doing learning. So going all of a sudden from, I’m going to do nothing to I’m going to create this routine where every day my kid naps and every single day I’m doing this. You set yourself up for failure, so you need your baseline. Do your time inventory, and then you increase it incrementally.

Cara Harvey (00:10:00) – Small, small increments, you increase in small increments. There we go. You think I made up a word there. You increase in small increments. You say I’m going to do it one. I’m going to do it. Two, I’m going to do it three okay. And then you use my habit stacking method. This is where instead of saying everything that I want to do in the method, I’m sorry in my routine, I’m going to do it at once, right? My morning routine I want to work out and I want to journal, and I want to do my Bible, and I want to take a shower and I want to unload the dishes, and there’s all these things I want to do instead of right away saying, I’m going to do all five, I want you to pick one, and you do that one for a week, and then after you do that one for a week, you analyze and assess where you’re at. Okay? Journaling was the first one I picked up.

Cara Harvey (00:10:38) – Okay. I journaled two times this week. Excellent. Next week my goal is to journal three times, and now I’m going to start adding in a workout one time a week, and then the week after it becomes journaling four times, workout two times, Bible reading one time. So you see we’re slowly going to increase it. What this does is it allows things to become routine and habit. What it also does is it allows you to start to stretch your time, because immediately your brain’s like, I don’t have time for this. I don’t have enough time to do these things. Well, I’m starting with a five minute journal practice, and then I’m adding a 15 minute workout or at 20 minutes now, and then I’m going to add in five minutes and ten minutes in the Bible, whatever it is. So I’m slowly increasing it. It’s not going from I don’t have any time to now. I need six hours to do this beautiful morning routine. Right? It’s the slow and steady increase that’s going to make it work.

Cara Harvey (00:11:25) – And then also just remembering that consistency over perfection is what you need. Don’t forget though, that consistent doesn’t mean constant. One of our summit speakers said this and it was beautiful. In my head. I was like, yes, because it’s not consistent that I do it every day. It’s consistent in what I think consistent is. So if I think consistency is one time a week, did I do that? If I think it’s two times, did I do okay? Allowing that over the perfection is going to help you because otherwise you get stuck in the Monday mentality. I’ll just try it Monday. I’ll just do it again. Okay, so so what do we do if we need adjustments? Each week I check in on my habits. I check in on my routines, okay? And I ask myself, how many days did I do it? How is it working? And I kind of go through my goal auditing process, which will we’ll kind of listen. We’ll go through that real quick here.

Cara Harvey (00:12:09) – And I ask myself what’s working and what isn’t. If it’s working, I applaud myself. I say, two thumbs up. Way to go, Kara. I’m glad that you showed up. Let’s increase the goal by one, right? Two days to three days to four days, etc.. Want to take a week pause and invite you to get my brand new reading tracker and planner. One of the cool things we’re doing here at APM is monthly. I’ll be coming up with a new printable to help you with your goals, and I’m a huge reader, so I made this for myself and thought, let’s put it together for our audience. If you go to a purpose driven romcom slash reading tracker, you can grab this using the code Pod ten and get it for only $10. This printable reading tracker has challenges, trackers, goal setting, and some fun gamification to make your goals a little bit more achievable and a lot more fun. Again, go to a purpose driven romcom slash reading tracker and use the Code Pod ten to get it for only $10, only for podcast listeners of the Purpose Driven Month show.

Cara Harvey (00:13:07) – If it’s not, I asked myself a few questions. The questions that I ask include is it the right time of day? Like, did I pick the right time of day for this routine? Because maybe I did? Or did I break this routine and this goal down correctly? Maybe I didn’t. Is it still the right season for me to work on this? Right? And then finally, am I struggling with the perfectionism of it all? Because here’s the thing I want you to do when you’re creating your routine. Once you get to the end of your habit stack, you have 4 or 5 tasks, right? Say we have four tasks. And I always give this example because it works with my kids. It took us like three months to get my kids routine together for the mornings so that I am minimally nagging or yelling or like, get it together or go brush your teeth, right? Like, it took us a while. And here’s the one change I made that was really the most helpful I saw with them.

Cara Harvey (00:13:50) – We talked about it. What do you want the routine to look like? Stuff like that. Right? And then I asked them, what order do you want to do things in? Because I was trying to control the order and the order didn’t matter. Now, granted, do I want my kid to brush their teeth before they get dressed? Because case in point, my son always has toothpaste on a shirt. Yes, but if he doesn’t want to do it in that order, does it actually matter in the big picture? No, because the big picture is that it gets it done. Use this for yourself as well. If it does not actually matter the order, then allow yourself to be a human being who changes, who is different opinions every day, who feels and is motivated differently every day. Don’t worry about the order. So ask yourself, am I getting stuck in this perfectionism of the order? And then also just check in with your body. Like how do I feel about this routine? Is it working? Is it not? You know, there’s this mix of square peg, round hole and also just stretching yourself a little bit.

Cara Harvey (00:14:41) – So check in. How are you? What is it happening? What’s happening? How is it going if it’s not working for you? Instead of throwing everything up and blowing it up and saying, well, I just can’t do it, what if instead you made tiny little tweaks and you said, all right, what if we tried it in this order? What if we decided that I was going to move this back and not do four days and do three days and see what works for me? Okay, experiment, be flexible, allow it to be a rhythm and a flow. I notice this works really well for us because even when we go on vacation, my kids know the evening routine, right? They know Jamie’s teeth story bad, right? You have routines and rhythms in your home right now. I’m sure you do. So look at the ones that are working and ask yourself, why are they working? And how can I bring these into my other routines? The other thing I’m going to say is have some accountability.

Cara Harvey (00:15:25) – If you don’t have an accountability buddy, come to a Purpose Driven Mom club. That’s up the waitlist now, but we’ll be opening at the end of May 1st week in June, so you can come and join us if you need that support. But get accountability. Get somebody to check in with, you know, you text, I have a water buddy. I text every time I finish one of my waters. Right. Get something to help you kind of push through. It’s hard to stay motivated on your own. So I also recommend that if your routines aren’t working, set up some reward charts for yourself. I know we think it’s funny, but like I like a good sticker chart. I want to check boxes off. I like to be able to say, I did this, I did this. My daughter last month, she got a palette expander in her mouth. So every night we need to remember to take the little key and turn it because it’s making her mouth big. It’s the weirdest thing ever.

Cara Harvey (00:16:05) – And then she has to wear it for like six months. So we’re in the midst of this right now. Immediately, immediately I made us a little chart because one, it helped her see, like, okay, the end is coming. But also there was no way I was going to remember that every single night without external accountability. It’s okay if you need that external accountability. I think a lot of us think it’s a rhythm. It’s a routine. You should just do it. It’s a habit. You should just know how to do it. Okay? But I have a lot happening in my brain. So I think it’s important to allow allow it to be fun, allow it to be gamified, create these fun routines for your kids, and just know that you can stick to it if you kind of move at a slower, slower rate. And I know that you want it to all happen right now, but can I just encourage you that by pausing, moving your habits, moving your routines, and sticking with them just a different pace, what you’re doing is setting yourself up in the long run to have these goal routines become maintenance routines, become habits, become how you live your life.

Cara Harvey (00:17:01) – All right, if you have questions, this actually came from a listener question. You can always email them over at. We got a new email address Kara at Kara harvey.com DM me on Instagram. And again if you haven’t left a review we’d really appreciate it. We love those! If you’re checking us out on YouTube, make sure you hit subscribe. If you want to watch the videos, you can see my new hair. It is blonde now I’ve decided so you can see all that over on YouTube and show notes are the Purpose Driven mom.com/podcast 405. Have a fabulous day and we’ll chat soon. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Purpose Driven Mom Show. If this episode served you in any way, we would really appreciate it if you headed over to wherever you listen to podcast, hit that five star and leave a review and a rating. That’s how more moms can find us and we can grow our community. If you had a tip or an Make sure you come over and tag me at a Purpose Driven Mom on Instagram.

Cara Harvey (00:17:49) – And share it with your friends. The best way for us to get this message out there of less hustle and less shame and more intentionality, is for you to share it with people you know need to hear it. Thanks for listening. We appreciate you and I can’t wait to connect with you more outside of the podcast.

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