Healthy routines. We hear this everywhere! But, why is it so important? Well, that depends on what’s desired.
People start routines for different reasons – health, wealth, bragging rights. Whatever the case, only the top 5% of routine-ers actually stick with it while 95% struggle and envy the “elite.” We’re all human. What do they have that others lack? Simple: the right purpose
Anyone can claim a purpose. But is it the right one? Will it continue to motivate, when times get tough? If the answer is no, then it’s time to redefine your purpose. Let’s take a different approach, shall we?
Let’s start with a simple question: What is your biggest obligation right now? Career, children, relationship, etc. Now, let’s embrace that this obligation will be your biggest distraction and use it as fuel. Make it your purpose – reflect on why it’s so important. Also acknowledge that when your health is at good place, you’ll find yourself running next to it, rather than behind. Health can be either physical or mental.
Here’s a little trick: healthy routines will help you keep up with all your own personal expectations.
Start small. Try this tomorrow: log everything from dusk to dawn. Is this your current routine? Review it the next day and use this as a starting point and start replacing bad habits.
Real quick: What’s the difference between a routine and a habit? Habits are small, almost instinctive-like, behavior, things we don’t need to necessarily think about. Such as walking, chewing, brushing our teeth. A tip on creating new habits – have a trigger and reward, then practice it until it becomes second nature. The key is to be consistent in your practice. On the other hand, a routine is made of a number of habits. This is key because we want to be very intentional with the habits we create. It takes effort to create habits that contribute to your ideal routine.
*Okay back to the program*
Make your biggest obligation your purpose. Healthy routines will improve your mind, body and spirit; therefore allowing you to keep up with your goals. *I love saying ‘therefore’ it makes everything sound so scientific* Here’s one thing that’s not commonly said – routines are not required the be at the break of dawn. Take musician Pharrell Williams for example; he wakes up at 9:00 am and yet he is a successful musician for the past few decades. Additionally, your routine doesn’t need to be so extreme. Start small. Look for pockets throughout your day and ask “could this time be used in a more productive way?” If it’s just 15 mins, use that time to meditate or write down long-term goals. 45 mins, use that time to workout or read a book.
There are no rules on how to be successful or what success is. The secret is trying until you find your own formula.
Here are 5 daily routines you can easily incorporate into your day-to-day.
Routine #1: Wake up early and go to the gym
- Turn on the light as soon as you wake up
- Make your bed
- Brush your teeth
- Drink water
- Wash your hands with a fragrant soap
Light affects our biological clock, so turning on the light will wake your brain up. Is the snooze button closer than the light switch? Then integrate the two! Phillips Light Therapy is inspired by Mother Nature. Not only will it help you wake up the way your brain is wired to, but it’ll also help you fall asleep by using – *you got it* – light therapy.
Or place your phone next to the light switch which is across the room. This will encourage you to get out of bed to turn off the alarm and turn on the light.
As for the habits involved – it’s easy to just go with the flow when involving habits already developed. We don’t need to think about the next step when incorporating existing habits in your routine.
Tip: The night before, visualize what you will do when you wake up. This way there’s not a lot of thinking required – just follow the plan.
Routine #2: Write down your thoughts
- Sit in a designated writing zone
- Drink coffee/tea
- Read it before you walk away
Set up your writing space! Writing is not only a creative outlet, but it’s also exercising your self-discipline. Writing doesn’t necessarily need to be so public (like blogging). Writing down our thoughts – whether it is online or pen to paper – will strengthen self-discipline. The act of writing is mindful, undistracted and very intentional – it’s your time to articulate your thoughts and goals.
If you take the time to develop this routine and rewarding yourself by sipping on a cup of hot coffee (of your healthy drink of choice) you are building the foundation of self-discipline.
Routine #3: Clean a little every day
- Take a refreshing shower
- Get dressed and put on makeup
- Daily chores
Cleanliness can be an easily forgotten reward. After a sweaty workout, a nice refreshing shower is a great reward – you know the feeling. Getting dressed and ready to start the day will help reinforce the feeling of accomplishment. Lastly, although daily chores is not as much of an instant gratification like the others, it is an act of gratitude. The hidden reward is waking up to a clean, laundry-free home.
Routine #4: Read every day
- Sip on hot tea
- Sit in a designated reading zone
Start small with short time slots. It will develop over time. Similar to a writing area, have a reading area. Keep it nice and tidy with the book readily available. The intention of the hot tea is that rewarding feeling. It’s such a comforting feeling to enjoy a good book and the warmth of your favorite tea. If you are a book-worm, waking up to read may be a reward of its own!
Routine #5: Eat an early, light dinner and limit alcohol intake
- Prepare your clothes at night
- Set your alarm every night
Last but not least, eat a light and early dinner. Our bodies take time to digest food. Also heavy salty foods and alcohol will make a body feel sluggish in the morning – not a good combination for unnatural morning people. After dinner, prepare your clothes before hitting the hay and set your morning alarm every night. There’s power in telling ourselves “this is going to happen tomorrow whether I like it or not.”
Pick one or two routines that fit in your lifestyle. It may be challenging in the beginning, but always remember your purpose and that these routines will contribute to your well being. Be realistic and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Always celebrate small milestones then aim for the next. Becoming self-discipline has such a positive effect and will morph into other aspects of our lives. Remember! Healthy routines will have a positive impact on your purpose through self-discipline.
I’m excited to share my own morning routine with you on my next post. Try it out yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below!