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Plus some takeaways to establish or improve your own routines and systems.
A routine is defined as “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.”
I’ll admit, I spent a lot of time mentally planning out things I needed and wanted to do. Then unsurprisingly nothing would change. I realized I needed a routine.
Developing my routines and systems was not easy either. There was a lot of trial and error. A lot of trying to not kick myself. After some time, it’s working and I’m finally able to keep burnout and disappointment at bay.
1. A Mindful Morning Routine
Lately, I’ve been doing my best to incorporate two new routines and one system. One morning and evening routine. As well as a better system for writing and running my digital business.
For a long time, especially during finals, eating breakfast in front of the tv and watching reruns on Netflix was sacred. I love making myself breakfast and eating while mindlessly watching tv was just the small escape I needed from studying.
But now I am done with school. My morning routine needed an overhaul and this is what I’ve come up with:
- Make a healthy breakfast
- No tv instead read a book, or meditate
- Plan out my day
When you think about your morning schedule, is there something you do that you’d like to stop? Or perhaps something you want to add to however much time you have for yourselves in the morning?
For me, it was switching mind-numbing reruns with more mindful practices like reading or meditation. Thinking about small changes you can make to improve your well-being is a necessary first step.
“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”Dwight D. Eisenhower
For a while, I enjoyed picking books to read for the next month, however, I ended up reading what I wanted anyways. The goal was to read, but accomplishing it just worked out differently than I originally planned.
So while a plan was important, I’ve come to realize that it is the planning aspect that motivates me instead of simply telling myself what, where, when, why, and how to do something.
2. A Thoughtful Evening Routine
Once I am ready to wind down from my day, no matter how it went, I find incorporating more self-care ideas into my routine helps me feel at peace. These are my three for my evenings.
- Skincare routine
- End of day journaling
- Write down any important tasks for the next day
For years I had horrible acne. (This isn’t a sponsored post, though I wish it was.) A year ago I found Curology and have absolutely loved how clear my skin has become, but since finals, I have completely fallen off of my evening routine. Now I’d like to fix that.
I’ve also returned to journaling. Although this time it is a bit more guided than freestyle. I find guided prompts and talking about specific aspects of my day has also helped my mental health. I generally do workouts in the afternoon and between a mindful morning, sweaty afternoon, and thoughtful evening, I am confident and ready for the next day.
Sometimes I don’t get everything done sometimes and that’s okay. I generally set about 4-5 tasks for myself that pertain to writing, my digital shop, and other projects I want to get started on. Anything not finished at the end of the day gets jotted down to consider completing either the next day or later in the week.
What do you do at the end of the day that helps you to wind down and prepare for the next?
3. A Better System
Systems were completely new to me. A system can mean different things to different people.
Technically, a system is defined as “a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized framework or method.”
To me, a system means staying on track and organized and being able to use my time productively.
My system mainly involves making time each day to write. Whether that is coming up with article ideas, creating drafts, researching, or writing myself or my partner notes.
The second part of the system is making plans and setting actionable steps to achieve them.
This is a little vague, but I don’t keep my system tied to time or a set schedule. Rather it is a set of steps and tasks that I can fit into my schedule. I prioritize them so that I am able to stay on track and remain organized.
I’ve found that when I do not get ahead of myself and “bite off more than I can chew” so to speak, I am more likely to stay on track. There is a lot of importance on not only setting boundaries but finding a balance which is much needed in the fast-paced world we live in.
I’ve also found that my goals are big, with small steps to achieve them. This keeps me motivated. If your dreams aren’t big enough, will you continue to pursue them?
All in all, having balance and structure is important. I don’t advocate for scheduling out the rest of your life, but rather, make time for what is important. Set your dreams so big they scare you. Push yourself to become whatever version of yourself will make you the happiest and healthiest version you can be.