Routines are so important to me. Especially morning routines. They’re a way to kick start your day, keep you on track, and keep you focused on your goals day in and day out. Since moving back to Indiana, my routine has been all over the place—actually, it’s been nonexistent. But, I’ve been working really hard on trying to set a routine this past week, and this is what I’ve come up with.
morning routines are important.
Morning routines are THE MOST important to me because mornings are the only time that I can guarantee. This is because my mornings are mine (currently), and no one is going to bug me until later in the day. Living close to family and friends is great, but that also means that I have unexpected plans, last minute invites, and impromptu changes that happen for me throughout the day. My mornings are currently the only time that I guarantee something can get done.
For example, one item that I’ve added to my routine is a long walk with Skye (our husky). If I had planned this into an evening/night time routine then that meant that it could sometimes be at 5pm. Or sometimes I’m not home, and that meant it would be at 10pm or later. Or maybe, sometimes that meant that I would just skip it all together. My evenings are definitely not guaranteed time, so having a set morning routine in which I can add ‘a long walk with Skye’ is critical in ensuring that these important things get done.
Let’s make a routine.
1. decide what matters to you
Before telling you about what my routine currently is, let me fill you in on some of the process that I focused on when establishing my new daily routine.
The first thing that I did was evaluate what matters to me. I asked myself:
What important things do I want to keep in mind every single day?
What am I trying to accomplish in the long run that I can work towards daily?
Answering these questions gave me a basis on what things I needed to put into my routine. Your important things should be tackled first and guaranteed that they can be accomplished no matter what your day ahead holds. Keep in mind that your day is pretty much formed by how you spend your first hour. Checking in on what matters to your heart, your thoughts, and your health will affect your upcoming attitude for that day. This is why the morning portion of a routine is so critical.
So for me, this is firstly: exercise. Not necessarily something vigorous or super sweat inducing, but rather just something to get me moving every day. I’m content in my body, and very happy with who I am, but I am always striving to make progress. I knew that I wanted to work in to my routine something that would get my blood pumping early in the morning. For me, this simply means adding a long walk with our husky, Skye.
Next, I wanted to continue focusing on my health in general. I listed out some healthy things that I often forget to do throughout my normal day, and I took those items and evaluated how I could work them into my routine whether that be accomplishing them in the morning, adding them to my afternoon schedule, or putting them into my night routine.
drink lots of water
eat a good breakfast
weigh yourself regularly
take daily vitamins
Other things that mattered to me that I wanted to ensure were in my routine were: getting full ready for every day, journaling and reflecting, editing vlogs, posting blogs, and getting tasks accomplished. Knowing what is important to me made making my routine more of an easier process—I simply ensured that these things were incorporated into my day every single time via a consistent routine.
2. establish a typical day’s schedule
It’s apparent that not every day is going to be exactly the same, but ask yourself what the backbone of a typical day looks like.
Do you have meetings in the mornings?
How about what happens in the afternoon?
Do you have your evenings free?
Are there places you have to be at the same time each day like daycare, the office, errands, etc?
My structured schedule of a typical day is pretty flexible at the moment. Since I am working part time and mostly for myself I don’t necessarily have a strict timeline. That means that I got to establish my own backbone when making my new routine. And that was the part of my routine that was most important to me. Since I work for myself my days can go however I choose, and fighting the urge to just watch Netflix all day was getting hard. So, setting this routine allowed me to establish that backbone that I needed to get things done every single day.
For me personally, my backbone for the day needed to be me leaving the house. I needed to have a set schedule in which I got out and worked somewhere different than my living room couch; somewhere with limited distractions, good internet, and within a reasonable distance from our apartment. Adding this to my typical day’s schedule was all that I needed to ensure I could get things done.
In your case you might not have that much freedom, but creating a routine that works around the current obligations you already have is crucial in creating a routine that sticks. So establish a typical day’s schedule, and then create your routine with those items in mind.
3. write it out
This last step is pretty easy—you simply need to write it all out. Writing out your routine solidifies it in your mind, and writing things down makes it appear more permanent. This means that by writing it out you’ll be tricked into thinking you actually need to complete this routine (which you actually should!).
I wrote my routine out in a Pages document on my computer. Then after typing it up and getting it just how I wanted it, I copied it to a Notes file on my iPhone. This meant that no matter where I was I could always reference back to my routine. Ideally you shouldn’t have to be looking back at it every single day, but for the first week or so you may want to consider putting your written routine somewhere that you will see it on a regular basis. This could be your refrdgerator door, your phone (like me), your wall next to your nightstand, your bathroom mirror, etc. By forcing yourself to look at it and not forget about it you will be more likely to follow though and complete it.
1. Wake up at 7am
2. Feed Grizzle
3. Make coffee, chug water
4. Dress, brush teeth, rinse face, fix hair
5. 30 minute walk with Skye (drinking coffee listing to books or inspiration podcasts)
6. Shower, get fully ready
7. Breakfast with vitamins, and YouTube
8. Walk to library (9am) with computer, hard drive, headphones, chargers, camera, coffee and water
Go over to do list
Check emails and social media
Write blog post, edit vlog, etc.
1. Run errands
2. Lunch back at home
3. Tackle G&D Enterprises to do list
1. Clean the house, light candles, do the dishes
2. Dinner with the hubby
3. Wash face and put on pajamas
4. Check up on to do list
Make sure watch and phone are charging
Put water by my bedside
5. Journal/Gratitude and read
a routine should be fun.
Lastly, I just want to note that your routine should be fun. It should be something that you are excited to get up and start doing. It absolutely should not feel like a chore. Routines are the backbones of getting things done—it will help you stay on task, remember the important things, and push you towards your goals. It is important to know that your routine doesn’t have to be strict either. If something comes up feel free to have the freedom to make changes and go with the flow.
Ultimately, your routine is yours, so experiment with what works for you and have fun trying new things regularly. I’d love to know what routines you all are accomplishing every day—what are some of your favorite parts of your daily routine? Let me know in the comment section below.