3. Change One Thing At The Time
You don’t have to change anything in the beginning of building a routine. Working off of your “Tools I Already Use” and trying to build many little routines for many different days, is quite a lot of work. Trying to sustain the urge to change and tweak things up right away to get to where you think you already should be, will be hard enough.
Change doesn’t necessarily mean implementing a full new tool to your routine. No matter if you’re trying to build a routine or make an already existing routine more sustainable, if you have tools on your “Tools I Already Use” list (it’s not the most creative way for that list, I know, maybe you’ll find a better one and let me know?), you’d like to use more often or spend less time on a tool, changes start there. One change at the time.
If you’re trying to use a tool more often:
It’s okay to start with the easiest one on the list. If Autumn and Winter means for you to stay more home and use your more introverted, it’s okay to leave the more extroverted tools for Spring and Summer. Why not use the colder days to implement a long shower with all the fixings or a bubble bath once a week? Doing something healthy more often, doesn’t mean we always have to start with the hardest thing. "Easy" tools, things we like doing and are excited about, it’s really hard to not feel guilty about which is why we tend to use them the least. As if we wouldn’t deserve to make ourselves a good day. Sitting down for a whole day once a month to just draw, sounds easy enough. Being able to do so on a regular basis with life going its way, is often more work than we expect. It's okay to be excited about your routine.
If you’re trying to spend less time on a tool: Instead of trying to cut something out completely right away, try to be more mindful and intentional when it comes to spending time on that tool. If it's spending time on Social Media or watching TV, see that the reasons you are using them, to distract or wind down, are valid reasons to use a tool. Being mindful about how much time you spend on those tools, can help with the guilt we feel about them. Setting a timer helped me a lot. I started with setting my timer to 10min and had to learn quite fast, that it's just unrealistic to me and I had to spend my timer to (at least) 20min (I also learned that if I don't have 20min, I shouldn't even start with Social Media). Being mindful and realistic about the time I need helped me to see that there are days where I have to be able to schedule a morning where I have 3-4h to watch TV under my blanket with no (well, less) judgement on myself. Seeing our "bad" tools as valid tools and giving them time and space to exist is giving us more control over our time and schedule. It's not a "bad" tool I'm using because it does its job, of me being distracted or being able to wind down in a short time, really well. Being kind to ourselves is also meaning giving ourselves the time and space we need and it sometimes takes time to learn what this actually means.
Your routines are there to be used without any restrictions or expectations for improvement.
If you're trying to implement some gentle changes to your already existing routine, look at your "Tools I'd Wish I'd Use". Is it a gentle tool that can be implemented in many routines? Is it a high productivity tool that can be implemented into the routines you use on good weeks? Look at your already existing routine and see if there are any small changes you could start to implement to make the transition into using a new tool, easier. Having the freedom of being able to implement some changes to only some of the routines is helping making them less daunting and sustainable. And don't forget:
There's no need to be perfect
Be confident in the tools you already use
Change one thing at the time
This series was quite a lot of fun. I thought about writing only one Blogpost and to be fully honest, only the fact that I wrote about on of each of my points in my Bullet Journal spread on my Instagram feed, made me also do this Blogpost as a series. Trying to write these all in one sitting or even over a few days, would've made me only rewrite and censor myself and in the end, I probably wouldn't have shared anything as so many times before. I'm quite happy with the fact I actually did.
I might write another Blogpost series on the lists I've mentioned if you'd like me to. Let me know and thank you so so much for reading.