Recently at work I received a new schedule. While my new shift is only 30 minutes different than my previous one, I decided to take this opportunity to reevaluate my routine.
I absolutely love routines. I feel more at peace if I can practice the same routine. If I don’t make up a routine for myself, I’m bound to fall into one anyway, making habits of things I’d rather not make a habit of. I’d rather be proactive on this point.
One of the best things I’ve added into my routine this year is a morning walk. While I could get my 10,000 steps in other ways, this 30 minutes walking outside not only ups my step count, but it gives me a good dose of fresh air and sun. This is a great way to start my day.
Another part of my routine that I’m definitely keeping is the 30 minutes of cleaning I do. Between dishes and laundry, this seems to be a daily necessity. I’ve been able to clean up my apartment into its cleanest state it’s ever been by spending a few minutes a day on this task.
As a part of my routine, I’ve also been able to read Scripture more regularly than I have in previous years. This provides the proper spiritual grounding for my day.
With my schedule shifting later, I have decided to shift some of my reading time from the evening to the morning (going to bed about the same time I was on my earlier shift). This will help me from using that time watching TV as I’m more prone to do in the evening.
While I’m glad that I spent some time thinking through this, it looks like my next few weeks are going to be a bit up in the air. More on that later!
I’m now almost halfway through my 2nd Buy Little Month. It’s interesting what stands out to me this time around that didn’t the first time around.
I’ve noticed that one thing that happens when you don’t allow yourself to go out and buy something to meet every need (real or perceived) is that you are more intentional.
Even outside my Buy Little Months, I don’t spend a lot. But it’s easy to fall into consumer habits and continue doing what you’ve always done. My Buy Little Months allow me to take a step back and pause before I purchase the same thing again for the umpteenth time.
Instead of grabbing that same item yet again off the store shelf, I think through why I need it. If it’s a genuine need, I search my house and the Internet to see if there is something that I already have that I may be able to replace it with. Creativity is a must.
Another aspect of intentionality during my Buy Little Month is that I can’t assume that I have something easy on hand for the day’s meals. I have to spend time at the first of the week or day to think through my options (yes, I still have options hiding in my cupboards and fridge). Routines that I have, particularly for sweets and snacks, are naturally broken when my favorite treats are no longer around. I’ve found that a sweet that I bake from scratch is harder to gorge on than one that comes out of a box.
While I won’t be saving as much this time around (I’ve built up less excess in the last 5 months than I had during January’s Buy Little Month), I’m very thankful that I’ve done it as I still have lessons to learn. Breaking routines and habits can be a healthy way to discover what really works and is important.