When returning to routine doesn’t bring the result you wanted

There is something so comforting about getting back into routine after a holiday. You have a good idea what to expect next and what will fill your week. You can anticipate the fluctuations in busyness. I was looking forward to being in routine again. And yet, my expectations have already had to adjust.

This term sees a few changes to our regular weekly rhythm that have left me feeling a little off-kilter as I have tried to wrap my brain around the weeks ahead. My daughter starts extra training sessions in preparation for upcoming competitions. I am participating in an 8-week intensive group coaching program (Ignite Groups) starting this week. I’m in the midst of launching my book. Add in extra appointments, extra expenses and an upcoming trip and my mind feels full once more. I feel disappointed as my expectations of what returning to routine would be like fall flat.

It would be so easy to stay in that place of disappointment and overwhelm. I look at my expectations and recognise how unrealistic they were. I remind myself of the incredible privilege it is to be in the position to face these problems. Then I start to see the opportunities that lie before me. Honestly, the scaffold of my routine that I was so looking forward to getting back to was good but the practical working out of that each day has not always been great. This is a new term, a new season and a fresh chance to tweak and change. The poor choices that I found myself making that robbed my productivity and cut down my rest can be worked on.

I recently read a Forbes article on micro habits that can transform your life. It wasn’t a new concept to me but a great reminder that it is not the huge sweeping changes that I need to focus on. It is the small, often internal, steps that add up to a life lived to the full. It isn’t the bones of my routine that need changing but my moment by moment choices within that routine.

It is too easy to pin our hopes for growth, comfort or the life we want on finding the right tool, reading the right book or having the right planner. Those are all helpful but not the solution. It is too easy to neglect the real work that needs to happen within. Today I choose to lean in. I choose to sit for that moment longer soaking in God’s presence. I choose to write words when the well feels dry. I choose gratitude over complaining. I choose facing areas I am out of my depth in and get help, even if it isn’t what I want to hear.

What about you?