How to Establish a Daily Routine for Your Family

Mighty Mommy has six tips to help build time-saving routines into your family's busy lives.

Cheryl Butler
5-minute read
Episode #379

When people learn that I have eight kids, most always ask me the same question—how do you maintain your sanity and stay organized? This is a question many listeners ask as well. Just recently I received an e-mail from Angela, who had finished listening to my episode How Routines Will Simplify Your Life.  She said she loved the idea of having a routine for her husband and two young children but was struggling to implement one and then stay on track with it.  “Can you please help me get started and give tips on how to keep the routine going?” asks Angela.

I remember when I first put our family routines into place; it was a bit overwhelming, but I've  learned over the years how to lay a solid foundation for an organized and less-stressful day so today she shares six tips on how to establish a daily routine that will work for your family.

Tip #1:  Be Realistic

It’s long been thought that the time needed to develop a new habit is approximately 21 days. I’ve personally tried to embrace a few new habits of my own—exercising at the crack of dawn, drinking eight glasses of water a day, and even practicing silent meditation on a daily basis without any interruption from my kids or pets, but according to psychological research by the European Journal of Social Psychology, on average, a new habit was reached after 66 days. That means that developing a new habit does not happen overnight. With that in mind, it’s important to remember when formulating the groundwork for a new family routine, you need to think small to make your new lifestyle something manageable and not overwhelming. Focus on establishing just one simple routine in your life, and give yourself over a month to do it. 

Tip # 2:  List It

Spend some time thinking about the goals and routines you want to establish. When I had four kids under the age of three, I remember feeling totally overwhelmed with every aspect of my morning. I woke up with dirty laundry everywhere, dishes piled in the sink, no rhyme or reason to my daily meals and absolutely no idea of how I would catch five minutes of alone time to recharge my batteries.

In order to place some much needed order into my chaotic day, I realized I needed to prioritize my needs in order to get my house in order. So, I made a detailed list of what I needed to accomplish each day so that my day would run smoothly.  By listing out what I wanted to accomplish, I was able to begin formulating my daily routines.

Tip #3:  Ask Yourself

If you’re not sure what should be included on your list, here are some great questions to ask yourself that I found in a helpful article written by personal organizing expert, Elizabeth Larkin.

If You Already Have a Routine...

You can divide these into the following:

•Tasks you already do that work well for you, and

•Tasks you need to add into your routine.

If You're Starting From Scratch...

Begin by answering these questions:

•What tasks do you need to complete each day in order to get to work?

•Which tasks do you need to do each day to get your kids to school?

•Which tasks do you need to do each day to eat?

•Which errands do you need to get done daily?

•Which tasks need to get done each done in order for you to get some exercise?

•Which tasks do I need to get done to maintain an organized home?


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.