So you started the year off with new health and fitness goals. Perhaps you're trying to eat more organic produce, or maybe you're training for a marathon later this fall. Whatever your goals, it's helpful to have a daily structure to keep you accountable. Routines can be incredibly useful, especially when life gets busy or you're just not feeling that motivated.
You see, a routine can act as invisible accountability partner. Sure, it's not a trainer in your face telling you to get to the gym. But a routine can serve as a reminder, and it offers a sense of structure where there seemingly is none.
A routine also makes it so that you don't have to think about your next steps. It minimizes your decisions because they're already made in advance. For example, by setting your alarm for the same hour every morning, you don't have to think about when you need to wake up—it's the same time as yesterday, and it will be the same time tomorrow. Similarly, by having preset windows that you eat meals and exercise, you're more likely to stick to your goals and complete your workouts.
You may be thinking, "But this doesn't sound like much fun—where's the spontaneity?" Except that's the thing; routines actually allow for more time to focus on the projects and people you truly care about. Think about it like time-hacking. By maintaining a similar schedule each day, you are better positioned to meet your goals and then spend your free time however you wish.
Here are a few simple steps for creating your own routine:
1. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.
2. Pick a set time to exercise each day. If you fear you'll lack motivation as the day progresses, get your workout in first thing in the morning.
3. Create a morning routine. This should include waking up, getting hydrated, personal meditation or journaling time, and breakfast. Try to stick to this daily.
4. Similarly, create an evening routine. Wind down before bed the same way each night. Wash your face, use some essential oils, grab a book for the last 30 minutes of the day.
5. Finally, try to create small habits you can rely on throughout the day to keep your routines on track. For example, take five minutes to stretch at 12 pm every day, no matter what. Or go for a walk around your block every afternoon after logging off from work.