Humans are creatures of habit. Most of us have a daily routine of some sort, whether we are conscious of it or not. Life can definitely be hard and full of stress. The more out of control we feel, the more a routine will benefit us. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, so keeping a routine helps greatly with time management, efficiency, energy, and motivation. Through personal experience and through my health coaching practice, I have realized that maintaining a routine is repeatedly one of the best ways for achieving success and happiness.
Everyone has their own morning ritual, but the day should begin with some type of routine. My morning routine begins with my puppy’s cold nose on my arm every morning around 6:45am. I get up, let him out and feed him, drink a warm glass of lemon water and have a small bite to eat while I journal for a little, brush my teeth, get dressed for the gym, work out, and then eat my post-workout meal. This doesn’t need to be everyone’s routine, but for me, I anticipate my morning going as mentioned. When these things don’t happen, my entire day is thrown off. Work gets put off, my energy is low, I get crabby often because I’m stressed from my routine being altered, I procrastinate more, forget to do certain things, crave foods I shouldn’t be eating, and just feel out of balance.
Think about the times you’ve traveled or had a reason to change your normal schedule. Did you notice any differences in your day? Perhaps differences in your eating, sleeping, emotions, motivation, or stress levels?
Sleep- Going to bed and waking up at the same time is crucial for healthy sleep patterns and deep sleep. Sticking to a schedule also gives our minds a sense of a starting and stopping point with work during the day. For example, if you work a 9-5 job, our minds know that those hours are working hours. But if you work a job with inconsistent hours, you’ve probably experienced your mind and body getting out of whack, and that it becomes more challenging to get in the mindset of work mode.
Meals- Try to eat at the same times daily. This keeps our blood sugar levels steady throughout the day and gives us a sense of consistency. Even eating the same foods (or similar foods) every day gives us one less thing to think about.
Morning Routine- In my opinion, having a morning routine is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Wake up at the same time, brush your teeth and wash your face, have a glass of water, and get dressed, even if you work from home. This pattern helps get our mind prepare for the day and for work. I also find I stay more organized and have more energy during the day if I stick to my morning routine.
Exercise- Even if it’s just stretching or getting off the subway a few blocks early so you can walk the rest of the way to work, a morning routine will help your success. Exercise is a great way to escape stress and it gives us a sense of accomplishment. This initial success in our day prepares us to take on the rest of the day and the obstacles it may throw at us.
Friends and Family- Spending time with the people that make us happy is important for maintaining balance in our lives. Even with a busy schedule, find a little time during the week to catch up with the people that matter most.
Personal Time- “Me time” is so important! Our lives are so busy that we often forget to make time for ourselves. This alone time is time to decompress, reflect, relax, and to do the things that make us happy. Don’t use this time to respond to emails or phone calls… that does not count as personal time.
Interested in health coaching? Check out my website jkhealthcoach.com for more information or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: Motivate Thyself, Man Cave Zen