Why They are Important & How to Form Them
For most of my life, I have never been one to have a routine, stick to a routine, or prioritize routine. Honestly, that felt like too much structure for me. I have always been a little bit of a rebel, I wanted to do whatever I felt like doing that day, and have freedom. And, most day’s I still do – I LOVE spontaneity. But spontaneity in the mundane daily tasks, left me feeling stressed and anxious, forgetful, and honestly, didn’t give me the time to do the things that I needed to do to reach my goals. So over the years I have created a few routines that I do every single day.
First, what is a routine?
A routine is a customary or regular course of procedure – commonplace tasks, chores, or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity: the routine of an office. regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure.
In other words, it’s something you JUST DO, without even thinking about it.
Why should we have routines?
Well, they really make it EASIER for you to hit your goals, whatever they might be. Your brain doesn’t need to focus on the routine. It just becomes part of your subconscious and allows you to put more time and energy towards other things in daily life. They make the day to day life much less stressful. Routines can even help combat anxiety and depression!
How long does it take to make a new task become routine?
On average, it takes 66 days of doing the thing every day, for it to be come part of your routine. Now, 66 days seems like a long time to some people…
SO… How do you make it to day 66 to form your new routine?
- First, you need to decide what your goals are! Do you want to wake up early and work out? Maybe you want to read more? Do you want to cook dinner every evening? Or do you want to walk your dog on your lunch break? Having a concrete item that you want to achieve, you can build your routine around what will allow your goals to be achieved.
- Now, you might think “Oh, yeah, I want ALL of that!” – While all of that is attainable, I strongly urge you to start small. Pick only ONE goal to start. Once that one thing becomes part of your routine, you can slowly start to add more things – one at a time.
- Depending on your schedule, set aside the time for you to do the thing. Make it a priority. Keep in consistent on a weekly basis.
- Make sure you are prepared. If you are wanting to cook for the week, schedule time for one day a week to figure out what meals you want to cook, and buy all your groceries ahead of time. If you want to get up and work out, set a bedtime alarm, to make sure you are getting adequate rest, so you can wake up on time without hitting snooze.
- Keep a positive attitude & have fun! If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up. Just do your very best to get back on track the next day! Challenge your partner, friends, or family to join you. Make it a fun challenge or bet. Help hold each other accountable!
- Track your progress. Keeping a journal, marking dates on a calendar, or keeping track in your Notes app on your phone can give you a visual of how good, or not so good you are doing. Checking daily tasks off will keep it top of mind, and help keep you accountable.
- Just keep at it, and before you know it. You will be doing the things you want to do, without even thinking about. Just like brushing your teeth when you wake up in the morning. Which if you don’t do, that should be your first routine challenge! LOL
Any one who knew the younger version of me, knows I NEVER used to be a morning person. I used to be the person who set 15 alarms and snoozed them all, rolling out of bed 15 minutes before work, barely brushing my teeth before I’m out the door. So creating this morning routine took me FOREVER. But I did it one baby step and a time. So here it is:
- Wake up every morning at 4:30 a.m. (6:30 a.m. on the weekends)
- Get up let the dog out
- Make my Fiber & Greens Supplement drinks
- Let the dog in
- Get dressed for work out
- Work out
- Shower/Brush Teeth/Skincare
- Get dressed for work
- Hair/Makeup (I rarely do my hair/makeup on workdays, so I often skip this step)
- Make my protein coffee (Pumpkin Spice Latte + Collagen)
- Go to work
And even now that’s not my perfect morning routine standard. I am wanting to add in packing my lunch for work and reading for 10 minutes each day to this routine. I have plenty of time to make this happen, I just need to hold myself accountable and remember to do it until it becomes part of the routine and I no longer need to think about it.
So as I stated before, I was never a morning person, which therefore basically means I was a night owl… Or rather, an insomniac. I was scrolling on my phone until midnight – 2 a.m. I used to be one of those people who were so tired all day, until I laid down to go to sleep, then I was completely WIRED. This took me a really long time and a lot of discipline to change.
- Get off work
- Go home
- Cook dinner
- Wash dishes
- Brush teeth/wash face/skincare
- Take Vitamins (Micro Nutrient Pack & Magnesium)
- Put pajamas on (sometimes this is my first step after getting home LOL)
- Watch TV/scroll on phone/unwind 7pm-8pm ~ish
- Read 8pm- 8:30pm ~ish
- Listen to Sleep Meditation and be asleep before 9pm
Now sometimes I mess up, and I scroll on my phone too long, or I’m really into a show/movie, and I skip reading, or I am into a really good book I can’t put down. And sometimes I just feel too wound up, or awake. Sometimes, I get held up and or have to do different things after work. In the summer, when it’s still daylight at 9-10pm, it’s SO hard to keep this routine. I bought a sleep mask, to still try, but often ended up staying up to late most nights. So I don’t want you guys to think I’m perfect at this, because I’m definitely not. But I know it works for me, so I’m always trying me best to follow through.
So what happens if you have a routine and it gets messed up?
This WILL happen. Because life is life. It’s not cookie cutter perfect. People get sick, or schedules change, and stressful things occur. I have found through my own experiences, that when this happens, you might be out of whack for a few weeks. But when you commit to your routine, it will come back on track faster each time. Your body and brain will quickly recall what it was used to doing, and recalibrate back on track even faster. You might feel frustrated, but when you are patient with yourself, have a little bit of discipline, and track your progress, you will quickly get back into a flow of these day to day mundane tasks that set you up for success once again.
What are some of your daily routines? How have your routines helped you succeed in life? I would love to know! Connect with me or leave a comment below!