Good health, nutrition and productivity doesn’t happen without bringing some thought and planning to it. It’s about creating good habits and sticking to them and having some kind of routine around this helps.
But many of us find we have too much to do and too little time to get it all done. Evening thinking about planning it all can be stressful and overwhelming.
Well, you are not alone!
Our lives and schedules have become packed with so many activities, our to-do lists start to look like essays.
The key to staying on track is creating a routine. And in this article, I’m going to take you through a few easy steps to help you feel in control, maintain good habits and stay productive. I’ll even give you a peek into what my day looks like.
We are all looking for ways we can improve ourselves, whether that’s our health, social lives, income, education or relationships. From children all the way through to seniors, routines play an important role in how well we function.
While some of you may see routines as being dull or rigid, there are many benefits associated with creating a routine that works for you. And it does not have to be restrictive.
The fact is, having a routine and structure around our day and activities makes us more efficient and really helps if you have a busy schedule.
When we carefully design a daily, weekly or monthly routine, it takes away the need to plan our activities every morning. We know the routine already. It simply becomes second nature, so can save time and get on with the day.
Having a set routine also helps build healthy habits. The key to good habits is repetition. Following a set routine allows us to create practices that match our goals and aspirations. This also allows us to replace poor habits with better ones.
Creating a Structure
“The only possible way to have it ALL is with structure and the discipline to keep to it, to make it a routine.”Margot Hattingh, artist
Although there are a lot of books and thoughts on how to structure your day, there is no one size fits all. In order to stick to it, it’s important to create a personalised routine that works for you. We are all different!
Be mindful that routines will change depending on the time of the year and what life throws at us. For example, during the pandemic and Christmas, routines changed a lot.
How to create a routine and stick to it
Start with making a list of everything you need to get done daily, both in your home, life, and work. This isn’t a to-do list. Jot down everything you do every day and things you want to get done. For instance, study, work, exercise, kids, classes, cooking, food shopping, etc.
Structure your day
Are you an early bird or night owl? Early birds get things done most effectively before lunchtime, while night owls get their creative burst of energy in the evenings.
Neither is wrong: it’s all based on preference and it will affect how you structure your day. Group tasks into the time of day that make the most sense for when you are most productive.
Use your loosely created outline of tasks and get as specific as you want. For some, this may look like time blocking your day hour by hour with specific activities.
For others, it may be as simple as dividing your time between morning, midday and evening. Remember, this is your routine, so plan it accordingly.
Start the day for success
I strongly believe that how you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. This is important, even for night owls.
By starting your morning off healthily, you’re that much more likely to continue making healthy choices throughout the day. One right decision often leads to another. However, the same is true with bad choices.
According to various experts, there are several key habits you should incorporate into your morning routine for a successful day.
- Before even getting out of bed, start with a few deep, intentional breaths.
- Start or finish your shower with cold water to wake you up and energise you.
- Kick off your morning with a glass of lemon water.
- Nourish your body with a nutritious breakfast.
- Do some stretching and yoga.
- Set aside 10 minutes for meditation, journaling and visualisation.
- Set an intention for the day and say or write some affirmations.
If your morning includes getting little ones off to school, try completing these tasks before they wake. This will give you some quiet time to yourself before the hectic morning is in full swing.
My morning routine
I am a morning person, so like to have a morning routine. Don’t feel that you have to copy mine. Your routine will be unique to you. I don’t have children and I work from home. At the moment, I have a lot going on. I am studying for two degrees, have my coaching work and things in my personal life that need my time and attention. My day can be pretty full on, so planning my days and time is crucial.
My routine at the moment is as follows:
- I wake up around 5am and start my day with 20 minutes of yoga or stretching.
- This is followed by a large glass of water with a touch of lemon. Sometimes, I add a little ginger. The water acts like an internal shower, cleansing your internal organs like your liver.
- I follow this with a glass of green superfood powder packed full of vitamins and fruit and vegetables.
- 20 minutes later, I have either a smoothie or porridge with fruit. I like to stay light until midday, as this is when I get most of my work done and exercise.
- The next 3-4 hours is spent on my studies.
- I then plan my do to list for the day and look at my emails.
- I get my 10,000 steps in and go to the gym.
- After that I go to see my parents and spend time with them.
- This is how most of my mornings currently look.
A note about change
Be flexible to change! Tasks, events or appointments will arise that aren’t part of your typical day, so it’s important to maintain a little flexibility and if circumstances mean things have to change – adapt and change them.
When you’re feeling discouraged or in a slump, remember actions breed motivation, not the other way round. By maintaining positive actions, you’ll be motivated to continue making positive choices. If you get off track, don’t let that be the end of it all. Just start again tomorrow.
I hope you have found this article on Creating a Routine for Good Health and Success helpful. And remember, you can start small – even introducing one new habit will help!