Routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed, a fixed program. Having a consistent time and place to complete tasks is beneficial to our mental health. The power of habit is an amazing thing and will allow us to have the consistency to improve. To improve we need discipline.
Discipline is the practice of training to obey rules or a code of behavior. We all know how to do this. Set a plan, stick to it, determine the goals and tasks. Finish them accordingly. End of story...Right?
Well not quite. We all know that in theory or after a cup of coffee when our motivation is high we have the best intentions. The reality on the other hand is a different thing.
Discipline is not about forcing yourself into doing hard work but setting up your environment so that work can be achieved. James Clear said in the book Atomic habits “you don't rise to the level of your goals you fall to the level of your systems.”
When developing and maintaining a routine, keep it simple. A great place to start is to establish two routines, one for the morning and one for the evening. These routines should be relevant to your goals. If your goal is to wake up and find the right mindset for the day, build a routine toward that goal. The same idea for the evening, if having time to reflect on the day and start to schedule out for tomorrow is important to you, build a routine that supports the way you would like to see yourself participating in life.
Having 5 tasks or less is ideal when building a routine. When in doubt, ask yourself: What would this look like if it were easy?
It should take you no more than 15-20 minutes to complete these tasks. Remember if it takes too long you will be more likely to skip it. It’s also important to stick to the plan religiously for 30-60 days. The more consistent you are the more likely you will develop a solid habit.
Here are some basics to get you started.
Wake up at X (same time every day)
Drink a glass of water
Make your bed
Clean your bedroom
Put out your clothes for the morning
Schedule tasks for tomorrow
Lite stretching with breathing drills
While you might be thinking this is a pretty simple list, that is the key to it all. Yes, you could make this longer more extensive but how long is that going to last?
In the end, have fun and experiment. It’s your time, make the most of it, routines are a tool to help you get the most bang for your buck out of the time that we make available each day.