Planning for a New Routine

Change Switch

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

I am out of town again. Last time I was out of town, my new routine was more like a resolution. It failed. At least that was my conclusion, I was thinking “new routine or resolution?”.

As I was planning for this trip I was thinking….

  • Will anything be different this time?
  • What kind of outcome would I like to see?
  • What can I do to ensure something different happens?

I have been spending quite a bit of time reflecting and reading about developing new routines. I have written several posts here too.

Here is what I am thinking.

New routines start with a new mindset. I have to remind myself that my history doesn’t have to define me, I can change. Reviewing some of the concepts from Switch by Chip and Dan Heath (arguably one of the best change resources I have ever read), I decided to choose a growth mindset.

If I don’t think I can change, then I won’t…it’s that simple. After determining a mindset, I knew I would need a clear path forward, because without a plan, I am prone to wander right back into the wilderness I experienced during my last trip.

When I think of clear path forward, my first thought is “process”; and while process is important, I know that what is missing is connection. Without a connection to community, this will turn into another futile self-help attempt.

I am privileged to work with a very capable and organized colleague who is very wise. I shared my challenge and asked for her help in meeting the challenge.

Together, we decided what activities needed attention. Armed with this information she prepared an email that outlined a set of tasks for each day on my out-of-town excursion.

Here is what I have learned from this experience:

  • Ask for help; the sooner the better. Leverage the strengths of others.
  • Incremental change with a plan is powerful combination.
  • Communication, feedback and accountability are valuable assets.

The result: A very different, productive experience this time around.

Thank you Jon and Kim for the role you each played in this process.


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