Building Daily Routines that Matter Part 2


May 8, 2017 by CassieCravings

I have spent too much of my life building a busy routine that didn’t matter. Yes, I was busy throughout the day. My schedule was neatly blocked into color-coded glory that appeared to be purposeful. However, when I began to examine what actually mattered in how I spent my time, I was falling very short on what I actually value, such as building relationships and building myself.

This Aha! moment came to me fairly quickly after suffering a stroke. The time I spent literally stuck in bed, because I had lost mobility in my left side, was a parking spot to really examine my life.

So many things have thrown off what used to be my typical day-to-day routine. Frequent migraines, micro-seizures, using a walker outside of the home and the challenges of having an infant consume my day. These factors control my pace, but they do not change the goals I have set. Instead of fighting what I cannot control, I am acknowledging it and expressing gratitude for the opportunity to recover and certainly for the time with the baby.

I have always been a girl who thrived off of rigid schedules. It does my Type A brain well. Currently there are a lot of factors throwing off the rigor that I crave. While the situation is frustrating, it is also providing me with a life goal.

“I have always said that I value authenticity over perfection, however I have rarely practiced it.”

I have always said that I value authenticity over perfection, however I have rarely practiced it. My current limitations allow me a consistent and constant reference point for focusing on what I really crave. This applies very much to my daily routines. Now I am asking hard questions like:  What is truly valued in my life? and What am I doing for only the appearance of being valuable?

With this ongoing reflection, I have sketched out a daily routine that gets down to the tiniest detail of what I value and how I will get it done.


{If you missed the first part of the series, start here. These 3 steps will be covered in the next 3 Monday posts. This post will address step 1. Steps 2 and 3 will follow in additional posts. }

Step 1 in building daily routines that matter: List out the MUSTS.


The first step in creating a daily routine is listing out all of your musts. These are non-negotiable items. On my list, I put items as mundane as getting ready and as focused as power hour(s). Throughout this list making, I asked myself “why?” a lot. Why is this a must? What makes it so important? To whom does it add value? Why do I consider this a measure of success?

There were several drafts to this list. After my first go, I realized that I had a lot of business minded activities for my musts but too little family focus. Then I found that I was neglecting personal development.


This was the longest step in the entire routine process. Once I was done, I felt accomplished and like I had sketched out musts that were prioritized and important. The process was frustrating, but the product was powerful.

During my 3rd (or 78th draft), I found that putting a star next to items that could be done with my baby in hand helped me quite a bit. While I am much prefer focused activity over multi-tasking, I am also realistic. My priorities lie with the needs of my child first.

Once this first step was done, the rest of the process went quite smoothly.

Next step is coming up on Monday. Until then, share your “musts”. What is non-negotiable for you in describing a productive day?



6 thoughts on “Building Daily Routines that Matter Part 2

  1. Dewy says:

    I’m terrible at it. My kids are all older now so for me it’s really is just for me. I’ve tried sticking to a rough routine. It’s not working as there’s too many variables . Thus I’m still struggling . As long as dinner get on the table there’s enough fruits in the bowl there’s bread and milk I’m happy .

    • mamacravings says:

      Fruits in the bowl, bread, and milk are all necessary and make for a pretty successful day. As the kids get older, the added variables make it really difficult to schedule a daily routine. That’s why it is so important to individualize our musts. For me, reading with my boys daily is imperative. Breastfeeding 10-12 times a day is absolutely going to go down. There’s very little getting off course with our dailies. With your routine, it may just look like a morning ritual and an evening ritual and be very much centered around what you need to recharge after wearing all those hats that parents of older kiddos wear.

  2. jjtm4 says:

    I’d like to re-blog on my site if that’s ok! Re-organizing life has been a priority of mine after a chaotic first year of both kids being in school.

  3. Carolyn Williams says:

    A few of my musts would be: spending time with Jesus, touching base with you, encourage someone.

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