When you begin creating your own routines I want you to keep the following in mind:
Create a routine for the beginning of your day and the end.
People put a lot of focus on the morning routine and that’s great. However, they often neglect the way that they end their day. The problem with that is that it doesn’t set you up for a successful morning routine. You see, the morning routine gets all the glory because of the vast range of tangible benefits. However, the morning routine will not be successful if the evening routine is not in place. The evening routine trains you to wind down, to end your day with intention and to move into a state of rest. It prepares your body for sleep and helps you to get enough rest to wake up gently the next day.
The best routines will support all 4 of your quadrants.
You want your morning & your evening routines to touch on each of those 4 quadrants. They should enhance your health, relationships, work and self in some capacity.
Your routines can and should change over time.
You are a living breathing human being. You are going to change your mind, you are going to get bored, what you need is going to change. Allow your routines to be fluid with you. People often forego their routine all-together instead of just re-evaluating what would feel good to them and making adjustments. Quite frankly, boring things suck. The last thing I want you to do is create a life for yourself that sucks. Don’t quit, just make a change.
You may have to start waking up earlier.
The average morning routine is 30-60 minutes long. The juiciest, most life-changing routines are 60-120 minutes long. If you are starting new with this, then I suggest starting small and working up. Just get in the habit of doing a few things each morning. Eventually, work your way up to a spacious and relaxed morning, every morning.
You’re going to need to go to bed earlier.
People often talk to me about how they struggle to wake up in time for a morning routine and my question for them is always, “what time did you go to sleep?” It’s kind of funny to me how people will go to bed at 2am and still expect that they should wake up at 6. How on the planet will that feel good to you? If the entire purpose of a morning routine is to breathe more health and happiness into your life, how will getting less sleep do that? Always go to bed an hour before you have to be asleep to get 8 hours of sleep and if you can’t make it, don’t get up until you’ve had 8-hours of sleep.
Consistency is a big deal.
Keep your going to bed hours and your waking up hours as consistent as possible. Your body will memorize it’s sleep schedule and everything in your life will be easier. Seriously. No, seriously. I don’t care what your hours are, if they’re sleeping from 3am-11am or from 9pm-5am. I don’t care. Just choose them, stick to them and when you want to make changes make small ones gradually over time.
I want to take you step by step through the process I suggest for creating your morning and your evening routines!
How much time do you want to give to it?
Like I mentioned before, you may want to start small if you’ve never had a morning routine before. 30-minutes is the lowest I would go, I’ve found 1 hour to be a real sweet spot for most people. Myself and several of my clients do 2-hours and it’s heavenly.
Address your quadrants.
What can you do each morning and each evening to support and positively affect the four major areas of your life?
- Ex. Health - Yoga & Healthy Breakfast in morning | turn off phone at 9pm in the evening.
- Self - journal & read in the morning | take a bath & read books in the evening.
- Relationships - Write an encouraging note to someone each morning | Ask your partner about a new area of their life each evening.
- Work - listen to a business focused podcast on your morning commute | write tomorrow’s to-do list and prepare for the day ahead
Consider how you want to feel in your life.
I’m a big fan of Danielle Laporte and if you haven’t heard of her, go pick up a copy of the Desire Map, right now! Seriously, right now! It’s life-changing. Her work all about leading with how you want to feel. Consider how you want to feel in your life and infuse it into your routines. If it’s important for you to feel happy, then how can you infuse joy into your routines? If you want to feel sexy, how can you make your routines more indulgent and slow? If you want to feel inspired, how can you draw out more creativity from yourself through your routines? Etc.
What habits do you want to make or break?
All great lasting change occurs because we’ve addressed the root of the issue and then we’ve changed the behavior. So, what area of your life can you begin to adjust the behavior in? Do you want to eat in more? Spend less money? Write more? Laugh more? Anything. Think of a way to contribute toward that goal through your morning & your evening routines as well.
Schedule it out.
Have a specific order for the things you do each day. Take note of everything you’ve answered so far and then begin to create a little schedule for yourself complete with times. You may actually need to keep track of your time the first few days or week but, eventually you will be so used to it that your clock will be internal.
Below you will find my real life routine example, this changes frequently and has seen many iterations. This may help you with ideas for creating yours.
6:00am- wake-up & drink a glass of water
6:45am - coffee & reading
7:00am - get ready for the day
7:20am - breakfast at home
7:40am - commute w/ business podcast on the radio
8:00am - journal
9:00am - begin work
6:00pm - end work & write out list for the next day
7:00pm - unplugged dinner w/ family
8:00pm - put the little one to bed
8:30pm - wash face & take bath
9:00pm - read in bed
9:30pm - track moods & menstrual cycle in calendar
9:30-10:00pm - sleep
Choose a routine for yourself using the guidelines laid out in this lesson. Choose what time of day you would most want to wake and go to sleep on most nights.
Try out the routine for 1 week!