Are you thinking about building on your personal routine? I don’t know about you, but with the stay-at-home orders extended and school being canceled for the rest of this school year, I feel like the finish line I created in my mind just got moved. What do I mean by that?

Most of us create a point in time to focus on when we are going through a hardship or a significant amount of change. For me, it was the kids going back to school at the beginning of May that was my “finish line.” Now that my children are going to be home until early June, and maybe even through the summer if there are no camps, my finish line just got moved. What do many of us do in that situation? We try to regain control by creating a “new normal” that is even better and more powerful than our old one.

I have heard several people say they want this time at home to be “worth something” (more than keeping ourselves and others safe), some people want to feel like they have achieved their personal “to-do” lists around self-improvement. You know what, that’s great! Anytime you want to focus on self-improvement, I’m all for it. However, we have to be careful in how we approach it. In this super-charged emotional time, if you don’t create achievable changes, you are going to create more frustration for yourself, not less.

Start with micro habits. Create super small changes to your routine and anchor them with normal processes in your daily routine. These two methods will ensure you can achieve the new action with success and that it will stick. Once you are successful for several weeks, increase the amount of time you spend meditating, exercising, reading, journaling, or whatever the new self-improvement focus is. It’s like lifting weights. You don’t start with the 50-pound dumbbell if you can’t lift 50 pounds. You start with 10 pounds if that’s where you are and work your way up over time. Adding a new step to your routine is no different.

If you are focused on self-improvement as a means of feeling personally accomplished during this time, your challenge is very simple. Decide what you want to add to your routine, keep it small (30 seconds, 2 paragraphs, etc.), and where you will anchor it, then put it into action. Once you have achieved several weeks of success, celebrate, and then increase your time commitment toward this new action.