Routines for Success!

Study after study shows the same thing: when we set healthy habits, we will have energetic, focused days and can be more successful in everything we do.

Lesson: Set a routine for you and your family, and you will all live happily ever after.

Wrong. This is where lofty goals can fall short and perfectionism can lead to disappointment

We want our families to lead rewarding lives. I’d like to set a schedule to wake up at 5:30 AM, go for a 5-mile run, wake up the kids, and get ready for the day. Then, we would all sit down for a leisurely, hot breakfast of eggs and bacon while we talk about school and review homework for the day. And of course, we would leave at least fifteen minutes early every single day.

It may seem doable, but a drastic change like this is not possible for most families overnight.  Don’t expect to set the perfect routine and change your family in a day or a week.  Healthy habits take time. If you do the same thing every day for a month, this becomes a habit.

Try starting with one or two changes. When these have become an automatic part of your routine, then add another one or two. You will be creating your own habits and enforcing your child’s habits, too.

Here are a few to pick from to start:

  1. No TV at dinner. Eat dinner at the table and talk about your days.
  2. Go to bed early. Set a bedtime. Even for the weekends.
  3. Set a time to get up in the mornings and stick with it.
  4. Decide on a routine (order of tasks) for in the morning, after school, and another before bed.
  5. Assign a specific place for book bags, shoes, and jackets.
  6. Assign a specific place and time for homework—not on the couch in front of the TV.
  7. Eat healthy foods—okay, where do we start with this one? Try replacing a few prepackaged foods with familiar fruits or vegetables.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by changing too much so overnight. Changing one or two manageable and clear habits is the best approach, showing your family that together, you can reach your goals and make healthy changes.

One step at a time!

Check out more back to school transition tips from our archives