Routine or structure to enable action

Routine or structure is a powerful tool to enable and to support action to take place.  Each of us has a routine.  A daily routine that that keeps our day going.  We know what we need to do and when we need to do it as well as with whom we are meeting with.  Routine helps us to manage our time, resources and energy in order to complete or achieve a goal.

We use various methods to remember or record our routine, ranging from old fashion diary to electronic calendaring system and even reminders.  Consider routine as a set of structures that we put in place to help us achieve goals and changes.   Hence, it becomes clear that in order for us to make improvements, changes or achieve new goals, we  need to consider the structure that needs to be created to support us.   Without having structures in place, any plans or desires that we might have, will have the remotest chance of success.  Having an action plan without placing structures such as time, people and other resources is just a plan on a piece of paper.

What are some of the things that we can consider as structures to support us achieving our goals?  Ask yourself:

  • What do you need to help you achieve this goal?
  • What are some “structures” or routines that will enable you to achieve this goal?
  • What support do you need?
  • What do you need to change?
  • What behaviour do you need to reinforce?

As an example, I have a goal of learning to play the guitar.  My action plan would be:

  1. Buy a guitar.  Research the best option based on feedback and review and suitable price point.  Structure that I need to have in place is (a) Research on the web, (b) Talk to someone I know who plays the guitar.
  2. Lessons for guitar.  I can decide which method of learning whether through a teacher, friend who knows how to play or even youtube.  Structure that I need to have would be (a)  Talk to friend who plays and get a simple tutorial on how to play, (b) set aside time to learn lessons every week and (c) set aside time to practice everyday.

Putting a routine into place e.g. practice time, will help me achieve my goal of learning to play the guitar.  In order for me to make this real, I need to set aside time in my calender for practice which will create a new routine for me.  I might also need to change some previous routines to enable this new goal to take place.  We are all limited by 2 key resources time and our energy level.  To enable for action, we need to set up structures that will support our achievements without creating chaos.

Think about the structures that you have today.

  • What are their roles?
  • If you want to make improvements, what would it look like?  What changes to you need to make?  What new structures do you need to put in place?
  • What structures are not beneficial that you can remove?

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