You see all these posts on social media and pins on Pinterest on how to create the perfect morning routine or how you need to do x amount of things before a certain time in the morning to live this perfect productive life. I used to thrive on routines, to-do lists, and deadlines but lately if I feel pressure to get it done, I avoid it like the plague. I found that having a looser version of a daily routine makes my day the happiest and most productive it can be without feeling pressure to get something done by my self created time line. So if you feel that you’re all over the place but can never seem to stick to a routine this system is for you.
The biggest rule for this daily routine is to
Listen to your body
The important thing about creating a daily routine that you will stick to is creating categories. Taking a moment to think about what you already do that makes you feel good, and relate them to categories. This will help create habits and a routine that will help make you feel balanced in multiple areas of your life.
My categories are mind, body and soul. At first I started with a ton of categories but that got overwhelming and I began to neglect them so I’m sticking to the core 3. Remember, we don’t have to do go 0 to 100 to create a healthier, happier lifestyle for ourselves. A few changes at a time, or even one, will do.
Everything I’ve seen and read before is a certain task done at a certain time of day. That doesn’t work for me. I feel resistance, asking myself why I have to do this right now just because I told myself to. Even when it comes to doing the same thing everyday. There are simply days I just don’t want to do it, so forcing myself seems unnatural and a mood killer. So for each category I have a few different tasks I can do that would check off that box.
- Tidy Up
- 30 minutes movement
- Self Help Podcast
The best part of my 3 categories with options is that for this routine to work, I don’t have to do all of it everyday. I used to journal my gratitude and affirmations daily so it would tick off that box but lately I haven’t been feeling it and have been wanting to listen to more podcasts. I haven’t done my affirmations since the 2nd yet have had days where I listen to 2 or 3 self improvement podcast. If you need some good podcast recommendations, you can read my top picks here. Same goes for my body category. I gave up having a set workout schedule, now I wake up and decide what I’m feeling. Walk, yoga, home pilates, or a rest day. No pressure on how long or how intense, just whatever my body is craving.
Lastly, this is creating habits and a routine DAILY not just one time of day. Implement options into your days at times that feel best for you and your schedule. If it begins to seem like a hassle and you dread doing it after some time, can you take a few days off? Switch it out for something new? Change the time of day? I prefer workouts in the morning so I try to do them before noon if possible. If I can’t, I have learned it will probably be a rest or yoga day since yoga is the only form of exercise I can bring myself to do past 6 pm. But lately, I have been opting to skip my 7 or 8 am pilates class and moving it to 3:30/4:30…. so honestly it is all about flexibility. Still getting in some movement, but not beating myself up because it wasn’t done first thing. I used to do my affirmations and gratitude when i first woke up but now it seems like a chore. So I took a few days off and found that I wanted to do them at night, sort of as a reflection. But again, lately I haven’t wanted to do them so thats ok too. I swapped it out. Balance and Flexibility, yet still have daily habits that improve my wellbeing.
Taking the time each day, at any point, that is going to create time for you is considered a routine. We’re breaking away from this idea that a routine has to be done at one point of time and it has to include the same activity. No more checking off boxes and more going with the flow. This is not a reason to be lazy though. The flexibility in the plan is not an excuse to quit your habits after a few days. It is here to give you more options. If you start saying, “well I don’t want to do either today” everyday, you’re creating an out for yourself. Remind yourself why you wants these habits, and that sometimes you have to figure out a way to just do it.
If you need to, habit stack. This will make your daily habits a little bit more structured if you lean towards that, yet your options will give room for more of a laid back approach. For example, maybe you struggle with taking time for yourself. You constantly are on the go from the second your eyes flutter open. You enjoy coloring, meditating and reading so you choose those as your self care options. Stack that habit onto something you already do everyday like brushing your teeth. Every night after you brush your teeth, you immediately go into your self care option. What you do every day may change, but that particular habit stays exactly at the same point.
What works for me, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. I am not saying you must have mind, body, soul as your habit categories. I am not saying you have to read, exercise and journal to feel good and have your life together. What I am saying is, try this set up. Try choosing things that make you happy, energize you and implement them somewhere in your day. That could mean getting up a little earlier and watching a show first thing in the morning before getting up to go to work. That could mean grabbing coffee/lunch/dinner with friends and loved ones multiple times of week. Choose a variety of things that lift you up, for multiple areas of your life and start actively choosing them.
What are some things you that lift you up??