The Compass Routine

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A couple of weeks go, I felt totally frustrated. Here it was Thursday morning, and I had spent half the week sleeping late and not getting the exercise and reflection time I needed.

What had happened Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday? I had hit the snooze button, slept in, or simply hadn’t been productive.

It made me reflect. Even with the best of intentions and a SMART goal, you still sometimes just cant get going.

…But why?

I hadn’t completed my compass routine that week. . What is a compass routine? Think about a compass. It provides a direction; it is a reliable source; it helps you get to where you want to be; it orients you to your environment. In that same vein, a compass routine
• Sets your course
• Gives you direction
• Catalyzes additional healthy habits

This isn’t a new concept. According to Jeff Sanders, who dubs this the “anchor habit,” this practice “cause(s) you to do other, smaller positive habits.” Arianna Huffington also talks about this in her book Thrive—calling this a “keystone habit.”

Well, I have a compass routine that sets me up for success, and a couple of weeks ago, I had not fulfilled it: my Compass Routine.

I reserve late Sunday afternoons to catch up and plan for the week. While I probably could write a whole post on my Sunday nights, here’s a quick summary of what I normally do:
• get organized
• prep veggies for the week
• check in with my spouse
• plan my calendar for upcoming weeknights

Well, that Sunday I hadn’t done my usual routine. So, I started the week with messy living space, un-prepped food, and no plan for the week. And, I had gone to bed late on Sunday night—causing me to sleep in on Monday morning.

So, how did I push the reset button?

On Wednesday night, I took the time to catch up, and I went to sleep early. Lo and behold, Thursday morning got me right back on track.

Lessons learned:

1. Compass routines are truly that—a compass that keeps your week and healthy habits going in the right direction.
2. My compass routine sets me up for additional good habits: exercising in the morning, taking time for reflection, and having food/meals prepped. All of these preparations are essential for me to have healthy habits throughout the week.
3. Getting back on track can happen, even mid-week.

So, don’t give up!

What is your compass routine? Let us know by commenting below!

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