It’s a new year – in fact, a new decade – and resolutions are awash in our planning books, social media feeds and phone notes. TV morning show hosts and Facebook influencers encourage us to be “disciplined” to be our best selves. Yet the word discipline doesn’t resonate with me. Word choice matters, and the negative connotations of discipline are just too many – from schools having deans who deal daily in student discipline to having to mettle out discipline to a new pet who made a mess. That’s not very motivating! What if we each focused on the word “routine” to help us achieve our self-improvement goals? For the many years I went to a corporate office early each workday, I was up at 5 a.m. and went straight to the basement to work out for 30 minutes. Was that discipline? I’ll assert it was more routine – once I started doing it (after feeding the baby who is now a Junior in high school!) I realized it felt good and kept doing it. After so long, my day would feel weird if I didn’t work out in those wee hours of the morning. I had established a routine. Doing something on a regular basis gets that practice ingrained in your day. It also seems more manageable to get in the routine of drinking more water or sending handwritten notes every Sunday night than having to “discipline oneself” to do those important actions. Routines give us structure in a chaotic world and can help us live our best lives. I’m choosing the positive course of routine to shape my new decade. I’m even planning on blogging on a more routine basis – so I’ll see you here again soon! Happy New Year!