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What are you putting up with?

How do you feel about routine?

As an "ideas person", I can find routine restrictive and I try to keep a lot of freedom in my diary, but I know that a certain level of routine helps me.

Routine takes the thinking away. It means I work, rest, and remember to feed my family. 

Because we all have certain things we "need" to do, routines can happen to us.

They become the way you've always done things.

But... that can lead to you tolerating things that don't serve you any more.

This week, I'd love for you to join me in an exercise called Start, Stop and Keep.

So, take yourself off somewhere quiet, you're going to need:

  • A piece of paper and a pen

  • 20 minutes of peace

When you're ready, read on, and we'll get started.


Start, Stop and Keep 

Take out a piece of paper and divide it into three columns.

Label them:

  1. Start

  2. Stop, and

  3. Keep.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and think through your routines. As you think through each, note down anything that stands out as something you'd like to start doing, stop doing or keep doing.

If you're drawing a blank at the routines you have, it might help to think about:

  • Weekday mornings

  • Weekend mornings

  • Work days

  • After school

  • Evenings

  • Meal times

  • Food shopping

  • Cooking

  • Cleaning

  • Exercise

  • Sleep 

Word of warning here, as tempting as it might be, attempting to change all of these things in one go won't feel great so start small. The thing about routines is that they're familiar, they're our default setting, so we're going to focus on just two changes for the next 30 days.

Take this moment to celebrate everything in the keep column! This is where your routines are serving you so well already.

Finally, choose one item from the Start column and one from the Stop column to make your focus for the next 30 days.

What will yours be?

My experience

When I did this exercise, I decided there were a lot of things I was putting up with in my Stop column. Not least that I'd allowed my office to become the family store room and general dumping ground. Making the decision that it was time for this to stop, resulted in us very quickly making some changes at home. 

I hope this gives you a similar breakthrough.


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