Rhythm Over Routine

Rhythm Over Routine
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After the arrival of our first baby, we were determined to establish a routine, get her sleeping pattern regulated and create comfort and predictability for everyone involved.

As it turns out, newborn babies don’t really work like that.

In fact, life doesn’t really work like that.

“Aim For Rhythm, Not Routine.”

One of my sisters shared this with me when I was lamenting the fact that – despite my best efforts – there was no routine to my days. It was proving too difficult to juggle the needs of everyone while still sticking to a prescribed sequence.

It’s an idea that has stuck with me and undoubtedly made my life a better one.

Rhythm Over Routine

It took us well over 12 months to learn that routine – a strict, sequential approach to our days – was less than helpful. It made us feel we were failing if we missed a step or fell behind.

Rhythm, however, was a much friendlier notion. It spoke of order, but also flexibility and movement and fluidity. It even sounded friendlier.


Rhythm moves you. You dance to it, find your groove, let go a little, enjoy the moment and see where it takes you.

Routine? Not so much.

You march to routine. It’s a steady metronome keeping time. And if you sway, if you linger, if you move out of order or fail to complete a step, then you fail. You’re out of time. You’re lagging behind.

Rhythm allows change and flexibility for different seasons in life. Which is why I love the approach of rhythm so much more than routine.

Tell me, which of these sounds like a friendlier approach to life?


Your Morning Rhythm

Of course there are deadlines, alarm clocks, buses to catch and train timetables. School bells, appointments and meetings.

These things will not change and I don’t suggest you stop paying attention to them. Your boss might have an issue with it.

But I do suggest that you take time to work out the ideal rhythm of your morning – literally sit down, grab a piece of paper and establish your priorities. Write down a list of everything you currently do in the morning, as well as anything you’d like to do.

Include the essentials, the important to haves and the nice to haves:

  • prayer/meditation
  • exercise
  • showering
  • dressing
  • eating breakfast
  • packing lunches
  • leaving on time
  • laundry
  • cleaning up kitchen
  • making beds
  • reading
  • cup of coffee
  • housework

Take some time to work out your best rhythm, establish a sequence and then bring it in to your day.

Once it’s there, you simply let your day unfold around it. Let the rhythm undulate with the motion of the day, speed up the tempo when needed, slow it down when you can. And be sure to show yourself kindness and accept that every day brings different challenges.


Destination: Simple – Rhythms and Rituals for a Simpler Life

Another reason rhythm has become so central to my life is what it allows me to do.

I’m close to finishing my first ebook, “Destination: Simple” and will be releasing it mid-December.

I am so excited to share it with you and would love to ask a favour. I need 10-20 beta readers. That is 10-20 people who would be willing to read a first-draft copy of my book and provide me with some feedback. Your opinion means so much to me – after all, it’s you I want to write this book for – and I would love to have your help in finishing it.

You guys are the best readers I could ask for! I go out for a few hours and return to well over 50 beta volunteers! Thank you all so much. I don’t think I’ll be able to take you all up on your offers of assistance, but I’ll certainly be in touch soon. Rest assured, you are fabulous. x

If you’re interested, simply click here to send me an email.


If you’re among the first 10-20 volunteers, you will receive a first-draft copy of the book over the weekend, as well as a free copy of the book once it’s completed and for sale.

All I ask in return is that you read the book and have any feedback back to me by Wednesday 5th December. It’s not a long book – it should take less than an hour to read – but it is packed full of information, ideas and exercises on how to use ritual and rhythm to simplify your daily life.

It would be all kinds of awesome to have your input before the release.

And for those who (understandably) don’t have time to commit to being a beta reader, make sure you’ve signed up to the Slow Home Tribe to receive first-offer and exclusive discounts when the book does go on sale. Sign up by clicking right here.



15 Responses to Rhythm Over Routine

  1. Nice post! Your story about sleep-training made me laugh, because we tried to train our baby as well. It ended with her nursing down in our bed and my husband tearing up “The No-Cry Sleep Solution!” Imposing routine definitely doesn’t work.

  2. I would love to be a beta reader! I just finished boot camp and it was a life saver. I would have e-mailed, but link is not working.

  3. It sounds like you have all the readers you need, but if you find that you need another, I would LOVE to read the book. I love reading and I am passionate about keeping life simple.

    I appreciate your article about rhythm vs. routine. It’s not something I’ve thought about before. I know that routine does sometimes feel restricting. I’m going to give this idea some thought. I need to mull it over for a few days.

  4. I tell you, Penny, I really want chickens and I can keep them in my roofed, fenced dog run since the dog has never ever used it. But I think this place will work out. It was fun. Reminded me of my days on the kibbutz, working in the chicken farm, the lul.

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