A routine reminder

I completely forgot that I was going to read Psalm 19 every Monday in 2013. Until I remembered yesterday morning.

I forgot that this year I was going to set aside 90 minute blocks of time like my friend Terry suggested. Until I remembered today.

I forgot that I had started to write about routine, what it is, how and why it can be changed. Until I remembered the other day. (Just a reminder: a routine is a set of thoughts and behaviors performed consistently.)

I forgot that I need to take snacks with me to work every day. Until I remembered.

I thought that making changes to my life in 2013 was pointless, that the advantage of the beginning of the year was wasted. Until I remembered that there are still 50 weeks left.

I started thinking that it’s too late to touch base with friends who are going through tough times, that I might as well accept that I’m a lousy friend. Until I remembered that I would love that kind of touch and wouldn’t be mad at all.

I started thinking that the reason I didn’t like how I led a class last week was because I wasn’t teaching right. I remembered that the problem was that I tried teaching like someone else, not like me.

I started thinking about what isn’t getting done and then I remembered that I keep talking about how much we could get done if we didn’t spend so much time worrying.

And I remembered that my dad said, “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”

So 294 words is probably enough. To remind us that routines change a day at a time. Until they become weeks in a row. And then months in a row. And then years in a row.

Related: Worn from routine use.

If you are planning to read the Bible more or more slowly this year, at 7×7 Marc Pitman and I will be sending you daily readings. And Learning a new routine now has some reviews and can help you read the sermon on the mount for the routines Jesus was teaching.

6 thoughts on “A routine reminder

  1. Joseph Ruiz (@SMSJOE)

    Jon, one of my three words for this year is “New routines” (ok it’s two words but I am giving myself some grace here). Thanks for continuing to share about routines, today’s post is particularly helpful because I tend to launch powerfully then fizzle quickly. This year I believe God is using routines to create new behaviors and patterns. I have started writing about it and have been reminded I need to return to that.

    Many thanks. Grace and Peace.


  2. Frank Reed

    Jon – You are rough on yourself but I completely appreciate your transparency. It’s in the accountability that we establish routines. Being held accountable to ourselves is not even close to being enough. Even being accountable to God (myself included almost always) isn’t enough. God created us to glorify Him and to live in community to help one another through a sin drenched mortal existence. Without knowing what each of us needs we can be of no help to each other except on very superficial levels.

    While you are being tough on yourself it’s a good example for me. Now we all know your needs. Now we can pray intentionally for specific needs. You can know that we are all ‘pulling for you’. God will let the routines that YOU need survive through your human inconsistencies and imperfections. It’s that wonderful knowledge that I will take through my day today when I am ready to let myself have it.

    Thanks, Jon. Here’s to progress, not perfection.


    1. Jon Swanson

      thanks, Frank, for the support. Community is essential. And that’s a post coming up. but I would have forgotten to write it without this reminder. Thanks. 🙂


  3. Mick

    Thanks Jon!
    Besides making me laugh out loud, I think this is the best advice I’ve ever received “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.”


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