and I always saw routines as something boring 😉
Creature of habit
I never saw myself as a creature of habit. Having routines is boring, right?! Doing things spontaneously is so much more adventurous and fun. Those were my exact thoughts about having routines. Until I realized that having routines contribute to less stress, better sleep, better focus, and an overall healthier lifestyle!
So, if you are happy about all that tossing and turning at night, you don’t care about having unhealthy eating habits or your poor physical condition and you have lots of time so you don’t see the need of using that more effectively, then you want to stop reading!
If you however would like to improve one of the above, I might just have the answer for you…
Create a routine that will suit your lifestyle!
You probably don’t think about it too often but I’m sure that you, just like me, had a set of routines when you were younger. You knew exactly what was going to happen when. Chances are that you were told to go to bed at a certain time, wake up at a certain time, be in school at a certain time, be at practice at a certain time, do your homework at almost the same time every day, shower and even playtime with our friends was always at the same time. What we never realized is that having such a structure and routines helped us out in so many ways.
When you are a parent yourself, you are aware of how much your kids need a routine that provides structure in their lives. You can tell immediately that their moods change when they are thrown out of balance. At least, that is what my friends who have children tell me 😉
But, as soon as you get into adulthood, you are FREE, free from structure, and going to bed at a certain time. Free from those boring routines. Free to do whatever and whenever you want! No more routine, you’ll just wing it!
At first, it feels liberating but then you start to feel anxious, stressed, lose clarity, and feel overwhelmed. You fall short of reaching your goals and true potential. And you blame it on work, not enough hours in a day, or whatever excuse you can come up with.
The answer is however very simple… you need to create a routine again that suits your lifestyle and before you know it, you become the best version of yourself!
I’ve learned firsthand that creating certain routines into my day and week has brought me to an overall healthier lifestyle! It is the path to finding clarity, creating a more balanced life, and living with intention.
And I’ll tell you why…
How routines changed my life…
1. Having routines saves me time in decision-making!
By following a routine, I free up time that I would otherwise spend on planning, decision-making, and preparation. And let’s face, it unless you are living on a different planet, we do only have 24 hours in a day! My routines have got a predetermined schedule allowing me to use my time more efficiently.
2. I managed to live a healthier lifestyle and install some good habits
Creating some good habits that contribute to living a healthier lifestyle is all about repetition and consistency. When you create a routine that works for you, you’ll find it easier to create those good habits! Just like brushing your teeth every morning, sticking to a routine is the perfect incubator for those good habits. Creating my morning routine has made it possible for me to incorporate a daily workout, meditation, yoga, journaling, reading, and going for a walk! All habits contribute to nurturing my body, mind, and soul.
3. I got rid of some bad habits as well
Skipping lunch-time, sounds familiar? I was often too busy, telling myself if I finish this last e-mail then I can stop for lunch. But, more than once, that just wouldn’t happen and I would skip lunch entirely or eat something way too unhealthy. Until I started to block my time between 12.00 – 13.00. Making time to prepare a healthy lunch and sit down has become part of my daily routine. Skipping lunch or snacking is history!
4. Having a routine takes away the need for determination and willpower
Let’s be honest, when you brush your teeth in the morning, it doesn’t require a lot of willpower because it is just part of your daily routine. Yes, even if you think routines are boring, you probably have a couple of routines going on without really knowing it.
But, I’m sure that when you were younger, brushing your teeth did involve a struggle or two with your parents and it would take willpower to do this now simple daily task. You don’t think about it, you simply pick up that toothbrush and do it. The same goes for other tasks when you follow a routine. Yes, even working out every day!
5. I get it done!
I never thought that creating my evening routine or my morning routine would have such a great impact on actually getting things done. My morning routine – which I’m doing since the beginning of 2019 – has become so ingrained that I don’t have to think about it anymore. It has become a habit and I don’t procrastinate.
6. I’ve become more productive
Having a morning routine allows me to have more control over my schedule. It makes my life easier and more structured. That way I can concentrate on that what is important. I start my day fresh and with a feeling of accomplishment.
7. I do sleep better
My morning routine hasn’t come on its own. Slowly but surely, I also created an evening routine. The combination of the two has resulted in a much better sleep pattern and waking up refreshed. Resulting in a much happier version of myself.
Create your own routine(s)
Creating any routine doesn’t come overnight. It takes a lot of trial and error and consistency. When creating a routine you need to make sure that it fits into your current lifestyle and that it will suit your goals and priorities. Start small and slowly build towards your higher goals. Get specific and schedule it in!
Give yourself a bit of time to get used to a new routine. When you fall off the wagon, get back on it as soon as possible. Tweak there when necessary and make it FUN!