Creating a Weekly Routine after Moving Abroad

settling in abroad, weekly plan

What advice have you given your children, when they have had to say goodbye to one of their bestie? I had this moment a few weeks ago with my 5 year old, who for the first time got that this goodbye was different from those previously:  

“Mummy when will I get to see Lloydie again”
“My darling, its not quite as simple anymore, we have to get on a plane to see him. Which will take a bit more planning than we are used too. However you can always FaceTime him, and have virtual playdates.” 

Which is what we have done, the two of them have taken our phones and shown each other what they had done at school, their new room/ house / toys. Its very cute, and to them perfectly normal. 

I decided to take my own advice and set aside time in my week to FaceTime my bestie. So each week on a Friday morning I have an accountability session with my best friend. We tell each other what we have been up too, and what we have planned for the following week. Yes its mainly work, but not always. Its been amazing the difference in focus I have had as a result! 

I put together a brief worksheet that I complete in preparation for our session. Its now in our resources library - so you too can go download it and start to figure out how you can create your ideal week. 


Previous posts we have focused on living more intentionally. We believe one of the first things you should do when moving to a new country is to start to create a weekly routine. It helps to give you the certainty and structure you crave. Our formula for a successful life abroad is as simple as: 

 Quarterly Goals + Monthly Actions + Weekly Routines + Daily Habits = Successful Life Abroad!  

If you have attended any of our webinars or the FREE Success Abroad Series, you will be familiar with creating your ideal our week. It sounds so simple - the hard part is implementing it, and sticking with it until it becomes a habit ;)  

5 Steps to Creating your New Weekly Routine  

    1.    Review your Week 

Create a time at the start / end of the week where you reflect on how you have got on during the week previously (using our FREE weekly worksheet). Then brain-dump everything you need to remember and accomplish in the following week.  I now do this on a Friday morning, but many do it on Sunday evening, or first thing Monday morning (over a lovely cup of coffee ) 

    2.    Link into a bigger picture 


Your weekly routine and daily habits help bring you closer to experiencing the life you want to create. Make time to figure out what your passions and principles are. Click the button below for our post on how to uncover your personal brand, working out what are the principles you would like to live by whilst abroad. 

Or for an overview of my annual review click here


3. Time Block  

Have an ideal week mapped out, so you have themed days, giving you variety and focus for each day.  Where possible batch tasks together, shopping / cooking for the week, admin morning - emails / phone calls. When putting together your ideal week dont forget to put in time for the following: 

  • Exercise / self care - what do you need to do for yourself
  • What do you need to do for those closest to you (family /
  • What do you need to do for personal growth (books/  
  • How can you allocate your time better to maximise your resources (energy / money /
  • What do you need to do for work (marketing / product development / admin/ meetings)  
  • Down Time

Dont forget: 
- Meal planning / Shopping
- Exploring new parts of town / Experiences new hobbies or activities
- Exercise
- date night / family night
- Kids homework / transport  
- Admin (renew passports / accounts / emails / medical expenses) 
- Facetime - time to call home, or write email to old friend
- Work schedule (try to put some boundaries into when and where you work)  

4. Be Realistic

The advice from the 12 Week Year, is to focus not so much on which tasks you do or don’t achieve, but rather the percentage of tasks you manage to complete. Don’t get drawn into the details, just try to give yourself the right amount of structure that ensures you have had purpose to your day. Leave some white space for the unexpected, for that quick phone call to an old friend, or coffee with someone new in town, or you are feeling brave enough to venture off somewhere new. Ensure that you are making time to enjoy your time abroad.

5. Keep it flexible  

If your life is anything like mine there are never really two weeks the same. My husband travels for work quite a bit, and then we have friends and family come stay. So the week is always changing. I therefore have a weekly routine A B and C, it keeps on changing and adapting. But the main principles that its planned / and structured around my own values and bigger picture hopefully stays the same.   

How do you structure your week?  Do you have lots of different weekly plans depending on which country you are in, or if you have visitors or not? Let us know in the comments below.  

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