New seasons often mean new rhythms. But how do you know when you’re in a new season of life? Instead of spending weeks spiraling before figuring it out, hopefully this list gives you the tools to shift your routines to match your season.
What's a season?
Before we dive into these tools, let’s define what we mean by season. It’s a word tossed around a lot, especially in Christian circles.
What I mean by season: A period of time in your life defined by an activity or circumstance.
Some common, broad seasons might be:
- Student (college or high school)
- Newly married
- New to parenthood
- Empty nester
But seasons can also be more granular:
- Mom of a toddler vs. mom of a baby
- College senior (looking for jobs) vs. college underclassman
- Retired vs. beginning second career.
And finally, seasons can be more internal than external. For example, you might be in a season of growth where you’re encouraged each morning, you’re feeling good about your stewardship. Or, you might be in a season of struggle or discouragement, where things aren’t going well.
With that in mind, lets look at a few tools to help determine if you’re in a new season.
Easy becomes difficult
You might be in a new season if what was easy is now difficult. This isn’t to say that life and stewardship don’t always have an aspect of difficulty.
But what we’re talking about is when a habit or a routine that was once relatively seamless now becoming burdensome, overwhelming, or just plain not happening.
Usually this is an indication that you need to shift the routine to meet your new season. Remember, keep the principles (for example, daily quiet time) and adjust the practicals (have quiet time in the evenings rather than the mornings).
Loved one in a new season
Remember that we impact those we love and live with. The same goes the other way: you are impacted by those who love and live with you!
For example, maybe your kiddo is getting her first teeth. What used to be a comfortable 7-730 wake up becomes a screaming 6-630 morning. In case you couldn’t tell, this is what happened to me! Instead of getting frustrated and overwhelmed, I needed to go with the flow of my daughter’s changes and adjust my routines.
Something to remember here is that this also is just a season: the 630 mornings won’t last forever. Hold tight to principles and loosely to the practicals.
Physical/nature season changes
This may be an “easy” one, but it’s worth pointing out. Consider how the change from spring to summer might affect you.
For me, this meant I could no longer break up my days with lunch time walks with my daughter because it was way too hot (for both of us). So instead, we go for walks in the morning, which also conveniently works with the early morning wake up!
Maybe it’s the other direction: from summer to fall, when the school season starts. Even if you don’t have kids in school or attend school yourself, that change may affect you and your routines.
How to adjust to a new season
If you realize you’re in a new season, what’s next?
First, show yourself grace! Don’t beat yourself up, even if it took a while to recognize the new season.
Second, as I mentioned before, don’t toss out your principles and values. Re-evaluate them if needed, and make sure they still apply to your life as God desires you to live it. Re-commit to stewardship, however you’ve defined it.
Third, adjust. Change up how you’re stewarding. This could be moving a habit or routine to a new time of day. This could be putting a habit or routine on hold for a time. It could be decreasing the time/output of an action. It could be asking for help or delegating.
Whatever you do, don’t just try to muscle through it. You’ll only burn yourself out and make a new season even more difficult for you and those you love.
If you’re adjusting to a new season right now, I’m right there with you!
While not the only thing to consider, morning routines may be something you want to adjust or even create. To that end, I’d love to see you in our August 2023 workshop, where we will discuss all things morning (and as a bonus, evening) routines!
Check it out here, and keep an eye out for some additional posts on routines this month.
P.S. The workshop is hosted in our free network. If you’re not a part of it yet, you can learn more on the Rising to Courage page.