microphone with colorful text overlay, "3 Critical steps to create routines that stick" from The Organized Coach Podcast

Hey Coach Friend,

If you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed because your current attempts at creating a routine are falling apart, then you are not alone! Perhaps you’ve tried setting strict schedules or relying on sheer willpower, only to find yourself constantly falling off track. Instead of achieving the desired result of a consistent routine, you may find yourself stuck in a cycle of inconsistency and disappointment.

In this podcast episode, I reveal the three critical steps that will help you create routines that actually stick.

I’m discovering the power of effective routines and how they can transform my life. Today I’m sharing three critical steps to create routines that stick. Listen to find out how you can bring ease, organization, and productivity into your life using these three steps.

The key moments in this episode are:

00:47 – The Importance of Routines
01:27 – Three Critical Steps to Creating Routines
06:23 – Add One Part at a Time
09:27 – Use Visualization and Accountability
10:57 – Personal and Business Routine Ideas
15:19 – Creating a Routine for Decluttering or Tidying Up
17:24 – Accountability through Organized Life Academy

Your Routines Coach,

Tracy Hoth's Signature

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Resources Mentioned:

Register now for these upcoming workshops:
4th Annual Holiday Planning Workshop (11/2/23)
Masterclass: 3 Pivotal Secrets to Take Your Home From Chaotic to Organized (11/8/23)

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Transcript with time stamps:

Would you love to have some routines in place that actually work, that you actually do on a regular basis, consistently? Today I’m going to teach you three critical steps to creating routines that stick, ones that you start and actually stick to, and they keep working over and over. What is the point of a routine? We’re going to talk about about all of that on this episode. I have a holiday planning workshop coming up.

It’s the Fourth Annual Holiday Planning Workshop. In this workshop we’re going to walk through the exact process I use to organize things that I need to do. We are going to walk through the next eight weeks of holiday events, planning, shopping, every single thing you need to do or want to do during this holiday season. We’re going to organize our calendars in a really unique way.

So make sure you get registered for that. The link will be in the show notes and then the week right after that, I’m hosting my most popular master class, Three Pivotal Secrets to Take Your Home from Chaotic to Organized. You can register for that. I’ll put that link in the show notes. Now let’s get to the three critical steps to create a routine that sticks.

Are you ready to work less, feel more organized and productive? Streamline repetitive tasks, and implement systems that allow your coaching business to run smoothly even without you? If so, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Organized Coach Podcast, your go to source for practical tips and solutions. I’m your host, Tracy Hoth, professional organizer, certified life coach, simplifying expert, and most of all, down to earth fellow coach just like you.

No matter if you think you’re missing the organizing gene, have ADHD, or just love anything organizing, I’m here to help you become an organized coach with a business that works for you. Pull up a seat and let’s get started. Why do we want a routine? So that we don’t have to think about it so hard, I think. So we don’t have ‘mind drama’.

Do you ever have mind drama? It’s like, what should I do next? I don’t know what to do. When should I do that? I don’t feel like doing that.

All of that mind drama that comes up, we are going to reduce that by having routines. Let’s think about routines that you already have. I know one that I’m enjoying right now. We have a new Breville coffee espresso machine, and I am enjoying the routine of making a coffee in the morning. It’s so delicious.

I feel like a little barista, and it’s really fun. So we have a routine. It’s as simple as getting a fresh washcloth out, getting the supplies, putting them over there, and getting out the milk. I mean, it just flows now that we know what we’re doing. And I can do it easily.

It also brings enjoyment and ease. Another routine might be brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed. For me, I walk into the bathroom, I clip my hair up, I wash my face, then I brush my teeth, use the restroom, put lotion on, and then go into bed. All of that just happens so easily because I’ve done it so many times in the same way. One of the YouTube accounts I loved watching a while ago was how Jen does it. She teaches a cleaning routine in her videos.

Jen talks about doing the exact same order of cleaning every single time. I just love thinking about that. Now she doesn’t think about that task she’s doing. She goes in the same order every single time and it makes life easier. A great resource if you’re in wanting to create routines and really focus on this, of course, is James Clear’s Atomic habit.

Get on his email list. He’s got such great information, quotes, little tidbits to think about. But I’ve thought through this process and there are three things that will help you create a routine that sticks. Let’s talk about each of those three things. The first one is to decide.

I was talking to a client recently and she said that 99% is hard and 100% is easy. I completely agree. The year in 2019 when I decided to run a mile every day. Why did I decide to do that you ask? Because one of my clients said she does it.

I thought, what a fun challenge, I want to do that. So I decided to do that. The first thing I decided was it’s not optional. It’s 100% not optional. So 100% is easy.

There’s no mind drama. You just know that you’re going to do it. So when you create a routine, you can decide that you’re 100% all in and that it’s not an option. I think that’s super helpful. It reduces all the mind drama.

It makes you think through what it’s going to look like. You are very committed before going any further. It’s that deciding because I can think about it all I want, but until I really decide I’m going to do something, I don’t think it’ll stick. Okay, first, decide. Second, tie it to something you already do.

That is my number five, maintain in getting organized. The last step is to maintain it. And the secret to maintaining it is to tie it to something you already do. Some people call that habit stacking. I just call it find something you do.

Put a little sticky note or reminder there so that you remember that you’re forming this habit, this routine. And the next step after you do that, or before you do it, is to do this task. It’s helpful to add one part on at a time to go slowly. So when you have one thing that you already do and you’re adding one thing to it, you’re creating a routine. And once you get that in place, you can add another thing to it.

Now I’m a little impatient. I always try to do all of it at once. You can decide if you want to try that or not, but add it to something you already do. So when I think about that, we can go back to those two things I mentioned, making a cup of coffee. If you do that, you have a morning beverage, you drink electrolytes, you have a cup of tea, whatever it is, drink your glass of water and take your vitamins.

When you do that, put a sticky note on whatever you use to do that so that you see what’s the next task you want to do. Maybe it’s doing a plank. You want to get a routine of being healthier in quarter one of organized life academy that we are starting in January, our first quarter project is going to be all focused around health. So we’re going to practice creating routines with meal planning, with movement, with enjoying the process. We’re going to create routines around all of that.

So if we were to put a sticky note in a location that we’re already going to see, then we’ll know what the next step is. And this actually works. So I used to have a closed cabinet and inside the cabinet was an espresso machine. And when I would make my coffee using that, I had a sticky note there. I actually didn’t have a sticky note.

I put my vitamin that I was wanting to take right next to it. Now, I didn’t put the other bottle of vitamin right next to it, I just put the one there. And so every time I opened that cabinet and I turned on the machine, I would get my vitamin and it was right there. So I saw it. It was like a sticky note.

It was there and I could see it and it made me take action. Maybe it’s to memorize something on your bathroom mirror, you would put a sticky note. So when you’re brushing your teeth, you see it and you can memorize it. Maybe it’s when you get into your car, you have that note there or that reminder. The reminder could also be an alarm on your phone.

You could use a sticky note. So what is it that it’s completely ingrained in you to do that you already are doing? Think of those things and then as you decide what routine you want to create, what is the next step, and put a reminder somewhere near that. So step one is to decide 100%. Step two is to tie it to something you already do.

Then step three is to use your VA. So some of you might be thinking, what’s a VA? A VA is a virtual assistant. That’s the term we use most often. But what does a VA do?

What if some of you are thinking, I don’t have a VA, I don’t have a virtual assistant. So I don’t mean a VA virtual assistant. I mean use these two things, the VA Visualization and Accountability. So use tools like Visualization and Accountability. Decide, tie it to something you already do and use your VA.

So visualization is to see it, to feel it, to know what your reasons are. Think about it in your mind, picture it, review it often. Use inspiration pictures. Use whatever it takes to remind yourself to feel it and see it, to know it, to know the reasons. To keep going over it and over it.

Imagine this routine that you want to create. So you’re keeping it in your mind, you’re feeling it in your body, you’re seeing it with your eyes. You’re knowing the reason why you want to do it. And you’re doing that often. So use your visualization, the V and then use the A accountability.

Whenever you can use accountability, use it. Set it up for yourself. It’s such a helpful thing. I often hear and think that accountability has a bad name. We should be able to be accountable to ourself.

We should be able to say we’re going to do something and do it okay? But I think until you get to that point, use accountability. Set it up for yourself. Take advantage of it. It’s more fun.

It makes it easier to do it with a friend, to tell someone, to have a coach, to keep you accountable, to do it within a community. It just makes it so much more fun. Okay, let’s talk about some examples. So, personal ideas of a routine that you might want to create would be a laundry routine. Meal planning routine.

An exercise routine, a self care routine, a cleaning routine. A morning or evening routine. A tidy up routine. So all these examples are routines that we want to create personally in our home. Some business ideas might be moving forward on a needle moving activity.

So doing the most important money making activity first. That could be a routine that you have in your business. Planning your week routine, creating content routine, checking in with clients routine. When you think about what is it for you? What routine would impact your life right now?

If you think about your home, in your home, maybe really it is the morning or evening routine in your business. Maybe it is that initial 30 minutes you walk into your office. Having a routine for that time could be so impactful on your business. Pick out a routine that you want to create. And then I want you to think about it going through these steps.

So you decide 100%. You’re all in. There’s no mind drama. It’s not optional. You’ve made a decision and then tie it to something you already do.

And if there’s more than one step to it, break the routine down into a couple of steps and just start with the first part of it. Then find something that’s already ingrained in you that you already do. And this could look differently. So I’m thinking about one idea for meal planning. Let’s say you’re just kind of all over the place when it comes to meal planning.

One thing that you do, that all of us do is shop for groceries. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or if it’s walking into a store. What if every time you walked into a store now, you had to so this is what you’re tying it to, going into the grocery store, you had to plan or think of four meals and buy the ingredients for four meals. And that one thing would make a difference. So then slowly you might remember, I’m going to go to the store tonight after work.

I need to think of four meals. But it doesn’t look like what we might think a routine should look like. Every Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m., I sit down at the table with my notebook or my grocery list on my phone and I type in these meals and I plan them for each day of the week. And they have a theme that goes with them. It might not look like that at all, but what if all it takes is that every time you walk into a store, you have four meals in your head and you make sure you get the groceries for those four meals.

That’s your shopping routine. That’s your meal planning routine. It starts with that. It’s easy to remember you have a trigger, which is something you already do, and then you have the task added to it. Eventually that might develop into something more.

Same with laundry. For me, my laundry routine isn’t what some people think of. Like every Monday morning, I start two loads of laundry. It doesn’t look like that. My laundry routine is triggered by the level of our hamper.

When the level of the hamper gets to the top and I walk past it and I see it, I think I need to do some laundry. And I go put the laundry in. It’s so easy. But it’s something I already do. I’m walking past the clothes basket, dirty clothes basket, hamper, what do you call it?

I see that it’s full and that’s my trigger. I go do the laundry. So simple. It doesn’t have to look like what you think it’s going to look like. Okay, as I’m thinking about organized Life Academy this year, and I’m thinking of creating routines.

How do I help people create routines? These are some of the things that we’re going to be talking about in quarter one, just for the quarter one project: meal planning and with movement. We’re going to have accountability in there and we’ll have decluttering challenges.

How do you create the routine of decluttering? What do we tie it to? How do we decide? How do we add visualization and accountability to decluttering our homes. And I’m going to have a monthly focus each month that gives us time to work on a concept.

I’m loving the idea of that. How do we put routine to that? How do we implement these three critical steps to put routine in that? Some of the resources we can use for routines are the Power Hour. You can listen to that episode with Georgie Bryant where she talks about the Power Hour, and that in itself is a routine that you’re implementing.

I think she does it. First hour of the day, having a mail routine. You can listen to the paper processing, paper episode. That could be something good. You walk into the house with your mail, and it’s not optional to just throw it on a pile.

You just have to do something with it to process it in that moment. That could be the first start of your mail routine. Doing that 50 minutes tidy. I love saying stop before I walk out of the room. I say Stop, and I turn around and I do a quick tidy.

Then I walk through the kitchen, I look around, I say Stop, and I do a quick tidy in the kitchen. That way, when I come down, it’s cleaned up. But the trigger there something I already do is walk out of a room. And what if every time you walked out of a room, you thought to yourself, Stop, and you turned around and tidied it up? That routine is using those three steps.

It’s not optional. You’re tying it to something you already do, and then you’re using the visualization. I imagine myself walking back into that room, and it makes it so worth me doing it, and it feels so good because I think, like, when I make my bed, I think of walking back into the room and seeing it so clean. It is so motivating to use that visualization. In Organized Life Academy this year, the accountability is going to be there.

We have a Voxer channel, and we are using that to be accountable. We also it’s really fun. A couple of our members have become accountable with each other. Now that we have our Voxer channel, you can reach out to each other and be accountable privately or in the whole group. Here is the link for Organized Life Academy 2024.

Also register now for the Holiday Planning Workshop and for Three Pivotal Secrets to Take Your Home From Chaotic to Organized. I’ll see you all next week. Wait, if you’re finding this podcast useful, you must check out the Organized Coach Academy. It’s my course, where I walk you through every step to get your business organized, to get yourself organized, to save money and time, to prepare to hire someone to do all the things that you want to do in your business with ease.

Check that out at simplysquaredaway.com/OCA. Also, I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I would love it – it’s my way of knowing that you’re enjoying the podcast – if you leave a written review, I have lots of freebies for you.

They’re linked in the show notes. You can find them in my bio on Instagram at @tracyhoth. Until next week, have a beautiful day.

flowery background with text overlay, "Discover the three essential steps to create routines that stick, bringing ease, organization, and productivity into your life!" from The Organized Life Podcast with Tracy Hoth.

Tracy Hoth