Routine, structure, and prioritizing what's important.

Good morning!  You may have noticed that it's been a little quiet around here this past week.  I finished up at work last week, and amidst the all of the changes, I took a little break from blogging.  Today (the first day of my "new life" as Jason and I have jokingly dubbed it), I'm feeling refreshed and ready to jump back in.

omething I've been thinking about a lot lately is routine.  I am, by nature, someone who thrives on routine.  I like knowing what's going to happen next.  I find it comforting to have a schedule, and stick to it.  A schedule enables me to be more productive, because I know I only have X amount of time to complete Y, and I'm less likely to procrastinate.  So, while I'm excited about all of my newfound free time, I'm also seeking a balance between latitude and structure.

or example, I've decided that I want to continue waking up early.  People have been asking me if I'll be "sleeping till noon" with my newly flexible schedule, but my creative energy actually peaks in the morning, and I know it will be important for me to "show up" (as Julia Cameron says) and be present to my most important tasks during those hours.

Speaking of which:

hat, exactly, will you be
doing all day?"

Since quitting my job, I've been fielding variations of this question (though usually not phrased quite so bluntly).  Here are the priorities, or intentions, I've identified for the next few months. 

1. Schoolwork

Listening to lectures, completing assignments, participating in sessions with my IIN health coach (a nice benefit of the program is that we're assigned our own health coach for the duration of the program), studying for tests, and meeting regularly with my new study buddy to talk about what we're learning and support each other's progress.

. Building my health coaching practice

My goal is to launch my own health coaching practice, including sessions with individual clients and group workshops in-person and via e-course/webinar.  So, for the next six months, I plan to focus intensely on all of the things, big and small, that starting a business entails.  More on this soon.

. Lots of yoga, running, and other kinds of physical activity

One of the reasons I decided to leave my job is that I could no longer bear the sedentary 10+ hours a day of commuting and sitting behind a desk.  Even though I was able to fit in workouts before or after work, 4-5x per week, my body was crying out for frequent, intense, and varied movement.  And, as a health coach-in-training, I realized it was critical for me to "walk the walk" of designing a lifestyle that honors and supports my body's needs.

. Writing

I've found the blogging community to be an amazing source of support and motivation.  In fact, I credit my ability to make this change in my life partially to the inspiration I've found through all of you.  I hope to up the quality of my posts (as opposed to just the quantity), and to spend more time nurturing the relationships I've built with fellow bloggers.  You'll continue to find my Foodie Friday posts on Tranquility du Jour.  I also plan to begin submitting articles to other health and wellness publications.

. Taking care of myself

In addition to exercising more, I want to continue eating healthily and I'm excited to have more time to shop for and cook healthy meals.  The self-care category also includes things like engaging in a meditation practice, spending more time in nature, reading, spending quality time with Jason (and Basil!), hot baths, and artist's dates.

here are other things, of course, like the highly glamorous task of cleaning our second bedroom (currently functioning as a storage room with our laptops buried somewhere underneath layers of extraneous stuff) and turning it into a workable office space, and other projects I've been putting off due to lack of time.  But the five areas above encompass the areas I'll be consciously devoting the most time and energy.

ow do you structure your time, and what role does routine play?  How do you prioritize the important stuff?
  I'm curious to hear...whether you work from home, work outside the home, own your own business, etc.


TheAnalyst said...

Sounds like you will have many wonderful days ahead of you!

Meg said...

i struggle with having structure in my life, without having a daily job to provide it. i find the things you mentioned to be incredibly helpful... continuing to get up early, making exercise a priority - and i also try to keep a planner, make daily goals, and have a plan for each day. good luck, and enjoy your new-found freedom!

Carolyn said...

This is a beautiful plan! Thank you for this post, I too thrive on routine and recently that has been given many twists and turns. I have been staying with a recently widowed friend w/ 2 young children. Living within someone elses routine has taken a bit of a toll. I will definitely put to use some of your ideas, they are so well thought out! Best of luck to you!! xoxo Carolyn

shelly said...

i am currently sitting at a desk with my IIN ipod and a planner trying to figure out a schedule to get myself on. i need a plan and lots of structure otherwise i feel like i am floating around lost. i am a "check the box" girl! i am working on an outline to make sure i get through all this material. it is a bit overwhelming and if i don't create some structure for myself (fast) i will get flustered.

when i left my job almost 2 yrs ago, i never slept until noon! lol

best to you! xoxo

naturally nina said...

oh honey, we have so much to talk about! i'm right there with you. :) very proud of you for taking the leap, and knowing you're out there doing the same as me, is very comforting. :)

Danielle said...

I have a 2 hour commute (round trip & on a good day) in addition to my 8 hour work day, so I understand about your body craving more intense & varied exercise. I currently get up around 5 to get in a 30-40 minute work out but by the time I get home, I'm exhausted and not the most motivated. I also need structure/routine so I find a planner and weekly goals or small specific steps to be key. Great post!

Rachel said...

I'm sure you'll find structure and a routine soon enough! :)

Anonymous said...

Cool post! I have heard such cool things about INN. Good for you for taking the leap at your dreams! -- I have always been so active and now that I sit at a desk for 9+ hours a day its tough.
You are an inspiration!
:] Love the blog!


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