Top 6 Ways to Achieve Consistency

So, I love schedules. It is just one of those things for me. I have to know what is coming next. But, much to my sadness, we all know we can’t know what is coming next for all aspects of our lives. SO, I try and at least know what is coming next in my day to day life. The problem is I can’t always stick to a schedule…

I have tried everything. I have done cleaning schedules that only lasted for a few weeks. I have tried meal planning (which I consider to pretty much just be a schedule). And then there are the routines I have tried to establish with my daughter. There was the morning routine, the bedtime routine, the after school routine…You get the picture.

Now, I am not saying that none of these have worked. I mean I have been able to get my daughter to bed at the same time ALMOST every school night. AND, my 6 week old has almost the same routine every night. See, the problem for me and I would guess a lot of you, is that we aren’t hermits. We do have things to do at night that will either mean our kids won’t be in bed by 8 or that the baby falls asleep in the carseat on the way home instead of swaddled up after a nice warm bath. I mean really, how are we ever going to make our routines and schedules perfect when life is ever changing.

I guess the reality is all we can strive for as mothers and wives, working women and stay at home moms is a little something called consistency.

I mean after all it is this consistency that helps us stay sane. So, I have decided to make a list of not my top six ways to keep a schedule or a routine, but instead my top ten ways to stay consistent in our daily lives. Because let’s be honest. No matter how many times we hear people saying that their schedule is this or their schedule is that, they aren’t perfect. And, if they do keep their schedule to the T every day of their lives, they one, don’t have a life and two, don’t enjoy the excitement that a little spontaneity brings to our lives.

  1. Write down a schedule/routine                                                                       So I am aware that I just said that it is truly impossible to really stick to a schedule, but its hard to have consistency if we don’t have something to at least be consistent with. So, if you feel like you life is a little more chaotic than you would like, take some time and think about if you lived in a perfect world where every thing was predictable, what would your routine be. For example, this is what my mornings would look like if every day were exactly the same:

5:30: Wake Up and take a shower

6:00: Wake up Declan and feed him

6:15: Change Declan

6:30: Wake up Madelyn

6:30-7:00: Eat Breakfast, make lunch and check budget

7:00-7:10: Get Dressed

7:10-7:20: TV Time

7:25: Out the Door and on the way to school

You would think with such a pretty schedule, our morning would be nice and peaceful. You would think the routine would be established and we would have no yelling or crying or “delays” but see my 6 week old understandably doesn’t always decide that 6 is when he wants to get up. More times than not, he wakes up before than which means no shower for me. And more times than not, my 6 year old doesn’t want to get out of bed or decides to take 45 minutes to eat a simple bowl of cereal because she wants to talk. And majority of the time, there is crying involved because either Madelyn doesn’t want to listen or be told what to do and Declan decides he didn’t eat enough at 6 and wants to be fed again at 7. So yes, it is very easy to see that this pretty little schedule is not perfect but children and adults for that matter, do better with consistency. So I write out the schedule so we all know at least the things that must get done so we can get out of the door on time. It allows us to at least be consistent with what we do in the morning.

2. Do the same activities no matter how out of order or out of wack

There is a saying that after doing something 7 times it becomes a habit. So, if you want to make sure that your daughter consistently brushes their teeth, just take a week to make sure every night they are brushing their teeth.

3.Don’t be too hard on yourself

There will be times when your life doesn’t feel orderly at all. A child will get sick, a family member will visit or life will just start to fall to pieces little by little. Even though we aren’t trying to even set a schedule, life will give you lemons and some times its just not that easy to make the lemonade. I know that my family consistently goes to church every Sunday. It isn’t even a question anymore for us. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some Sundays where we have sick kids and just can’t make it to church. It will feel like your Sunday is destroyed but because you have consistently made a point to go it won’t be hard to get back into next week.

4. Know Why you want to be consistent

Just like everything in life, if you don’t why you are doing it, you won’t do it. When I decide I want to start working out simply because everyone else is doing it, I never consistently do it. I guess for me “just because everyone else is doing it” doesn’t really tell me why I am doing it and so I just don’t do it.

5.Don’t Get Ahead of yourself

You can’t be consistent at saying your prayers every day if you haven’t even decided what prayers you are going to say. Go back to #1 and write out what it is you want to be consistent with.

6.Allow an off Day Every Now and Then

Again, we aren’t hermits and consistency will allow you to have off days and just be well, plain blah!

So there it is. Consistency is key to staying sane, not schedules! On those days when you just feel like you can’t do it anymore because none of your schedules are on time, just remember you consistently do it and it will all be ok!

Quality Family Time

Let’s face it guys. Our world is changing every second of every day. What was high tech only a year ago is now in many cases obsolete. What was once safe for our kids to eat or do is now highly looked down on. Think about it. Just five years ago, laptops were high tech. We had touch screen laptops and skinny laptops that ran on high performing processors. Now, how many of us would rather do a google search on our phones than even bother pulling out the laptop. Just about 10 years ago, we were told to lay our kids on their side to sleep, now we are told over and over and over to lay them on their backs. My point is our world is evolving faster than it ever has. And, sadly, with this faster evolution comes a faster pace of life. Whether we are working moms who have literally no time to even stop and think about this stuff or we are college students, who between classes and studying barely have time to eat a good nutritious meal, we are all always on the go. It’s no wonder when we finally have time at the end of the day or on the weekend all we want to do is sit on that couch and browse through Facebook as we watch the big game. I mean seriously does anyone else find themselves doing this? I know for us (even with me not working) it is hard to get up and go on the weekend at all. See, the result of this fast pace world is no quality family time.

We only have one TV in our house. So sure, we are all sitting in the same room but majority of the time our Saturday or Sunday afternoons look like this: My husband is sitting in his reclining chair either looking at chive or youtube while he occasionally looks up to watch the college game or the NFL game on the TV. I usually sit on the opposite side of the room and in between feeding the baby and napping, I browse though Pinterest and Facebook. My daughter attempts several times every hour to get us to play with her. After about the third time we all end up upset. I am asking my husband to play with her because I feel guilty but all he wants is to relax after a long week at work. The fact is we are all just so exhausted and Facebook is just so much more appealing. SAD right?

So how do we stop this epidemic? As a society, we are finding ourselves more and more exhausted and less and less able to spend quality family time. Majority of children are closer to their tablets or their phones then their parents. Even in my family where my daughter is not allowed to play on electronics, she is still yearning for time with us. How do we fix this? How do we allow everyone in the family to relax and unwind while still giving the children attention. Well, for starters. PUT THE PHONE DOWN!

Yes, even if you are reading my blog. PUT THE PHONE DOWN! Even if you are checking work emails, PUT THE PHONE DOWN! Even if you are talking to your sister who lives across the country PUT THE PHONE DOWN! Sadly, with our fast paced world comes even less opportunities to truly make memories as a family. We are all going to look back at our lives, even our children, and think wow, my childhood was full of me playing on the tablet or wow, my childhood was full of my parents on their PHONES! Can you imagine that? My childhood memories are certainly not that grim and honestly, one of the things that has always kept me going was my childhood memories.

So I have a dare. I dare you to PUT THE PHONE DOWN! I dare you to turn off the TV. Go outside and play a game of family football. It is fun no matter who you are. Or go grab some cards and play slap jack. Or even better, go grab the bible and make up a fun game. Ya, maybe these things require you to get up after a long week but believe me, playing football for fifteen minutes as a family will make memories that will last a lifetime. Sitting around watching football and playing on your phone won’t create anything but children who don’t know what true fun is.