Remember when we were kids? I vaguely remember that sweet sweet time in my life when I had no worries and no responsibilities. The one memory that is pretty constant is I did not appreciate the joys of childhood as much as I really should have lol. Guess thats why they say hindsight is 20/20 right?
The best thing about childhood was the ole Routine. Basically a kids life is about the same each and every day. They get up, various things happen *breakfast, getting dressed, getting to school* , once at school typical school politics, lunch, carpool/bus, homework, dinner, bed. For the most part M-F during the school year looked about the same and during the summer or school breaks there were variations, yet each day was pretty much the same.
As my 1st “adult” decision after being dropped off at college, I decided I was done with routines. My life was finally my own! I was gonna get up when I wanted, go to bed when I felt like it eat whatever the hell I wanted. It was my world baby and that’s all that mattered! Looking back on that time I realized I spent much of it flying by the seat of my pants with little to no direction. The funny thing about life is 16+ long years later I have learned the beauty of a good ole “routine“. In fact routines are now my bread + butter. By the grace of a good “routine” I am a functioning adult, running a business,household and basically keeping my sh*t together one day at a time.
Studies show that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so basically each and every one of us are only 21 days from a habit that could very well be the turning point in our lives to be our very best selves.
Steps to Creating a Routine:
- Be honest with yourself: Lean in friends because this one was the most hard for me. You have to be honest with where you need to change and take true inventory of yourself and of any current unhealthy habits. Without knowing where you need change there is no way to actually make changes that will help you get where you are trying to be.
- Start Small and Build: A very small percentage of people are able to just drop a bad habit cold turkey and be truly successful in changing that behavior. Setting yourself up for success may mean taking 1 habit on at a time. Once upon a time I had a very unhealthy relationship with FRIES. It was terrible. I was literally eating fries 4-5xs a week. I set a goal to only have fries 2xs a week when I started, then reduced that to 1x a week. Now I have fries whenever I feel like it, but the difference is my habit was changed so now I only have fries 2-3x a month.
- Set Yourself Up: This one should be easy, do the work that sets you up to be successful. If you know you have an early day, go to bed at a decent time. Know that you get hungry and less focused around 2p, pack yourself a snack. Know that you need to put gas in your car before you even get home (guilty of this, I always say Ill just leave earlier in the morning to get gas and I never do), get the gas so its 1 less thing to worry about. Remember that self inventory we did? Good because that means you are pretty familiar with what needs tweaking and you probably even know the steps you can take to make better habits.
- Stop Making Excuses: Habits and routines both good and bad take time to develop. If it takes a little longer to swap a bad habit for a good one, dont make an excuse and give up. Keep trying, keeping in mind that your bad habit is more than likely several years in the making so undoing that would take some time. If you have a set back, dont make an excuse just do better next time. If you decide to stay out all night knowing you have a flight in the morning, own it and do better. Eat a tub of ice cream, dont make excuses and continue to eat badly over 1 mishap. Stop. Making. Excuses.
- Make time: A routine is a series of habits that basically happen on auto-pilot. We all have good and bad habits that add and take away from our daily routine. Structure your day in a way that minimizes and eliminate the bad habits while amplifying the good ones. Create time for the things that help you be your very best self. Make time for morning routines, meditation, breakfast, tea/coffee or whatever helps ground you and prepare you for your day. Structure the middle of your day to ensure that you are your most productive self. Meal prepping, grocery shopping, laundry, essential tools for the day are all gathered and readily available. Make time to structure your evening or nights where you are able to unwind and prepare for the next day. Night time routines, meditations, reading, glass of wine, bed at a decent time; whatever helps you settle in for the night.
In just 21 days a habit can form, a string of habits emerge as a routine and a routine evolves into the blueprint that is you. Take some time and do that self inventory to see if there is something that needs a little tweaking. Dont just talk about what needs to change, take action and work at making those changes. A routine can be daunting, heck it can be down right boring. But you know whats not boring? Setting yourself up for success and living your very best life.