Even if you don't follow a strict daily schedule but have a flexible routine, it can help you avoid useless stress in times of uncertainty and unpredictability. Having a routine reminds us to put ourselves first before anything, and it also helps us be less rigid in challenging situations. A routine assists us in achieving a quality life and our primary goals. In order to attain something big in life, we need to stop falling for short pleasures, and this can only be achieved with the help of a routine.
"I hate every minute of training. But I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. - MUHAMMAD ALI"
Does a routine help your mental health?
Scientific studies have shown that people with healthy routines are at the lowest risk of mental issues like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Routines allow us to take responsibility for our actions and make us more confident and emotionally resilient when facing life's challenges.
The science of habits and creating routines
Have you ever noticed how high achievers always seem to have a routine or set of habits that they follow? Well, it turns out that there's a science behind it that we can use to our advantage. We are creatures of habit, and we can use that to our advantage to accomplish whatever we want. According to Charles Duhigg's book, The Power of Habit, this is how our brain usually forms a habit:
Step 1: The Cue
This is something that triggers your brain and tells it to start a specific habit. For example, if your cue is getting home from work, your brain might automatically tell you to change into your workout clothes and hit the gym.
Step 2: The Routine
This is the actual habit that you perform. You can go for a run or meditate to improve your well-being, both physically and mentally. Whatever you decide to do, make it a habit, and it will eventually become automatic.
Step 3: The Reward
This is the positive reinforcement that your brain receives for completing the routine. It can be anything from a sense of accomplishment to a physical sensation, like the runner's high you get from exercise. Consider the simple act of making coffee in the morning. Although it's a small routine, doing it consistently every day can help you stay on track. Now, picture other important tasks that could enable you to achieve significant things that were just as effortless as making coffee.
That's where the power of routines comes in. Small, repeated actions can have a tremendous impact on our lives. By incorporating routines into your daily schedule, especially in the morning and evening, you can prepare yourself to be highly productive every day. Start with small routines and gradually build them up over time.
What are the benefits of having a morning routine?
How we spend our mornings sets the tone for the rest of the day. If we start our day with laziness, we will not be able to provide the right direction for our day. Morning routines offer structure to our day, which can give us a sense of being in control.
Here are some benefits of having routines in every aspect of your life that will motivate you to have routines.
10 ways having routines in every aspect of your life helps
1. Better time management
Having a daily routine helps us invest our time in a more productive manner. Allotting a certain amount of time to our daily activities assists us in recognizing our priorities in every aspect of our lives. It also leaves us with less time for unnecessary activities that are not aligned with our goals. If we understand that "time is more important than money", then we can achieve things that are beyond our imagination. We can earn money at any stage of our lives, but we cannot earn time once it's gone.
"The key is in not spending time, but in investing it." - Stephen R. Covey
2. Predictability and stability
Our human mind is designed in such a way that it needs a state of stability and balance, and if we are not able to feed our mind with the sense of being in control, we can easily find ourselves in a state of anxiety and absent-mindedness. It gets difficult to focus on the present moment, and it gradually starts impacting every area of life. Hence, a daily routine timetable not only helps us predict our every action, but it also motivates us to take conscious baby steps in the right direction. We should plan our next day's activities beforehand to avoid useless struggles.
3. Reduces procrastination
When we have a daily routine, and are familiar with our day-to-day duties, there is no space for procrastination . If our day lacks structure and priorities, we naturally start procrastinating on important tasks, which adds more stress to life and ultimately leads to irrelevant clashes in our relationships. When we gradually frame ourselves to fit into a daily routine, we are able to pull ourselves out of the trap of procrastination. If we start inculcating a few good habits in our lives, like- mediation, regular exercise, and journaling , we can effortlessly eliminate the bug of procrastination.
4. Helps in achieving short and long term goals
From buying pencils to saving money for a Goa trip, with a daily routine, we can attain any goal, no matter how big it is. If we break our big chunks of goals into small pieces and try to obtain those pieces daily in our lives, we can create a dream life for ourselves. You can start by envisioning the version of yourself you want to become in the upcoming months or years and setting goals according to that. For instance, you have to prepare for a big dance competition in six months, and you are an average dancer, so you can start practicing for 30-40 minutes initially and then gradually increase that duration to one or two hours, and so on.
5. It adds discipline to life
Discipline is one of the most crucial things that helps us stay on the right track. It aids us in reducing those barriers that are not serving us and helps us to cross the bridge between wanting and achieving, which can only be done by maintaining a daily routine. According to Teal Swan, - “A person who is not self-disciplined misinterprets the meaning of resistant words, thoughts, or feelings. They make resistance, discomfort, or pain automatically mean that they should stop, not do something, or change course. This means that a person who is not self-disciplined, runs the risk of aligning with and enabling their own resistance.”
6. Brings in more consistency
A good daily routine adds consistency to every aspect of our lives without any effort. It supports us in establishing new habits and breaking old patterns. With consistency, we can develop more self-love for ourselves and recognize those self-sabotaging habits that hinder us from becoming the best version of ourselves. Consistency is more important than perfection.
“Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”- Dwayne Johnson
7. Work-life balance
We cannot strike a perfect balance between our relationships, work, and social lives if we don't follow a daily routine. We cannot spend our whole day either working or socializing. Both ways are incorrect ways to spend the day. We need food to feed our bodies, money to buy food, and a job or business to earn money, but we also need friends and family to maintain our mental health. We cannot neglect any of them. So, by adopting a simple daily routine, we can enjoy all aspects of our lives without missing out on anything.
8. Increases focus
When we start our morning with a healthy morning routine that includes- meditation, exercise, or yoga and a holistic diet , our focus naturally increases for the whole day because a daily routine timetable provides all the nourishment that our mind, body, and soul need. If all these are aligned, our focus becomes sharp like a razor, through which we can obtain our daily activities within a minimum amount of time. It also allows us to deeply enjoy the present momeny. On the other hand, when our minds are not fed with deadlines or schedules, we slowly become lazy and lose our creativity.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the now the primary focus of your life.”- Eckhart Tolle
9. Makes us more creative
When we complete our tasks on time, we free ourselves from the tension of pending work, which goes to the back of our minds and does not allow us to enjoy the present moment. This spare time inspires us to explore our creative side and can surprise us with beautiful talents hidden deep inside us. It can only be achieved with the help of a healthy morning routine.
10. Inspires actions
We all spend our time planning, thinking, and analyzing our new plans or goals. We wait for the perfect moment to take action, but in reality, the perfect moment never comes. It's hard to take deliberate steps toward new projects, but with a daily routine timetable, we can overcome the fear of failure and build up the courage to take action right away.
Best Morning Routine for a Healthy Life
Everyone has different routines that work for them in the morning, such as starting with journaling or avoiding social media. The important thing is to find a routine that works for you and stick with it. No matter what your morning routine looks like, here are six effective ways to begin your day and position yourself for success.
Waking up early can be a game-changer for your daily activities. Many successful people have adopted the habit of rising early, giving them an early head start on the day. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson wakes up at 5:45 a.m. to kitesurf and eat a proper breakfast; former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi wakes up at 4 a.m. to read her emails before getting to work no later than 7:30 a.m.; and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey rises at 5:30 a.m. for a six-mile jog.
But the benefits of waking up early extend beyond simply being productive. Morning larks, or early birds, tend to have fewer distractions in the early hours of the day, which can increase productivity.
Make your bed
While making your bed every morning may seem like a small task, it can have a huge impact on your mindset and productivity throughout the day. By completing this one task, you've already accomplished something before you even leave your bedroom, giving you a sense of pride and accomplishment that can motivate you to tackle more daily activities.
Affirmations are statements that you say to yourself repeatedly to help you overcome negative self-talk and reformulate how you think about yourself and your goals. It's like training your mind to believe that you can achieve what you wish to achieve.
Examples of affirmations could be: "I am capable of achieving my goals," "I am confident in myself and my abilities," or "I am worthy of love and respect". You can choose any statement that resonates with you.
When you recite your affirmations, try to visualize yourself achieving your goals and feeling confident and happy. This will help reinforce the positive messages you are telling yourself.
Do some exercise
Starting your day with exercise can be a game-changer as it sets a positive tone for the rest of your day. It helps improve blood circulation, which leads to an increase in oxygen delivery to the brain. This can result in increased alertness and energy levels. Exercise also stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that can help you start your day off on the right foot.
Eat a healthy breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast is essential to starting your day off right. Consuming nutrient-dense foods such as lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and fruits and veggies will provide you with the energy and nutrients needed to maintain focus and productivity throughout the day.
Take a cold shower
Taking a cold shower in the morning might be uncomfortable, but it can have a positive impact on your health. The cold water helps reduce inflammation in your body, which can alleviate sore muscles and joints. Additionally, it boosts circulation, which helps to reduce stress and improve mental clarity.
Best Evening Routine for a Healthy Life
Ending your day with a routine is just as crucial as starting it. Having an evening routine can help you reduce procrastination, recharge with a good night's sleep, and prepare yourself mentally and physically for the next day's challenges.
Prepare goals for the next day
Preparing goals for the next day is an effective way to set yourself up for success. Not only does it allow you to prioritize your tasks, but it also gives your brain time to process and prepare for the challenges ahead. Writing down your goals the night before can even spark creative ideas and solutions while you sleep. So take some time to plan out your next day, and you'll be ready to tackle it with focus and intention.
Reflect on your daily achievements
It's a great idea to take some time at the end of your day to reflect on what you accomplished and what you could improve on. It helps you acknowledge and celebrate the progress you've made towards your goals, no matter how small. You can review your achievements in a variety of ways, such as by keeping a journal, using a gratitude app, or simply taking time to think about and appreciate the positive aspects of your day.
Do some mind-relaxing activities
At the end of the day, it's important to give your mind a break from work and clear your head to prepare for restful sleep. Engaging in calming activities like meditation, light reading, or journaling can help you put aside the day's challenges and unwind. This can improve the quality of your sleep and set you up for a more productive and focused day tomorrow.
Ready for the next morning
Preparing for the next day before sleeping can make a big difference in reducing your morning stress. This can include choosing your outfit, organizing your work materials, and packing your meals and gym bag. By doing so, you'll free up mental space and energy to focus on the tasks that matter most.
Consider sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene refers to the practices and habits that promote healthy and restful sleep. It's essential to prioritize good sleep hygiene to improve your overall health and performance. Simple steps like sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, minimizing exposure to screens, keeping your bedroom cool and dark, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime can contribute to better sleep. Prioritizing quality sleep can have a significant impact on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
How to Stick to Your Routine
Here are a few strategies you can use to stick to your daily activities routine without any distractions:
A daily routine that is both manageable and realistic is crucial to achieving long-term success. You can set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) that align with your lifestyle and schedule. When you try to take on too much too soon, it can lead to burnout and frustration. Therefore, start with small, achievable steps and gradually build up to bigger changes over time.
Track your progress
Keeping a record of your routine not only helps you stay accountable but can also be a great source of motivation. When you see your progress, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and serves as an incentive to keep moving forward and achieve your goals. Whether you use an app or a physical planner, tracking your daily routine can be a powerful tool to help you stay on track and accomplish more.
Find an accountability partner
Enlist a friend or family member to join you in your routine, or simply check in on your progress. Having someone to hold you accountable can be a great motivator.
Celebrate your successes
Celebrating your small wins can help you stay motivated and reinforce the positive impact of your routine. Whether it's treating yourself to a favorite snack or taking a break to do something you enjoy, find ways to celebrate your progress.
When writing your daily routine, prioritize your most important tasks and schedule them for the beginning of your day, when you have the most energy and focus. Break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and make sure you include time for self-care and relaxation.
Begin by identifying your priorities and then blocking out specific times for each activity. Consider using tools like calendars, planners, or apps to help you stay organized and on track.
Identify your goals and plan out specific tasks to help you achieve them. Set realistic time frames for each task, and make sure you include time for breaks and self-care.
First of all, analyze their specific needs and priorities, such as their schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and time for socializing and relaxation. Block out specific times for each activity, and try to stick to them. Moreover, don’t forget to celebrate small accomplishments if the work is good, by treating them to something they enjoy or taking them out.
As a parent or teacher, you can help your children or students establish a daily routine by listing all necessary activities and allocating time slots for them, including study time, mealtime, and extracurricular activities. To make sticking to the routine more enjoyable, consider rewarding them with small treats or incentives. For example, you could give them a star for completing a task or allow them to take a 10-minute break to do something they enjoy after finishing a study session. These small rewards can motivate them and keep them on track.
I make my daily routine by sorting out my priorities, such as work, study, exercise, and leisure activities. I allocate specific time slots for each, which also include breaks and relaxation time. And if I achieve a specific goal or complete a task, I take time to celebrate and reward myself by watching my favorite TV show or going out for a treat.
Some common challenges people face when trying to establish a daily routine include a lack of motivation, procrastination, and difficulty sticking to a daily schedule. In addition to this, people also fail to establish a daily routine as they tend to expect too much out of themselves too soon, set unrealistic goals, and wish to go from 0 to 100 as fast as possible.
External factors such as work schedules or family responsibilities can significantly affect someone's ability to stick to a daily routine. For instance, if someone has to work long hours or take care of a family member, it may be challenging to find time for other activities like exercise or hobbies. It may also be challenging to follow a consistent sleep schedule or meal routine. In such cases, it's essential to be flexible and adapt the daily routine to fit the current situation.
Having a consistent daily activities routine offers several benefits, both physical and psychological. These benefits include increased productivity, better time management, reduced stress, and improved overall well-being. It can also help you take life at a more manageable pace without feeling rushed.
A routine that allows for some flexibility can be better, as life can be unpredictable and overly rigid routines may cause stress.
Habits are crucial for creating and maintaining a daily routine, as they automate behavior and make it easier to follow the pattern.
When planning your daily routine timetable, it can be helpful to prioritize tasks based on your importance and urgency. This can make it easier to fit everything into your schedule without feeling overwhelmed.
You can stay committed to your daily schedule, prioritize your tasks, and achieve your goals effectively with self-discipline. Not only this, but it also improves mental well-being, reduces stress, and promotes healthy habits. Moreover, it can help you find inner peace, strength, resilience, and even aid in the healing of mental health issues.
Strategies for overcoming procrastination include breaking tasks into smaller, manageable pieces and setting achievable goals.
Life is unpredictable, and unexpected events can throw off our daily routine timetable. To adjust your routine accordingly, start by identifying what's causing the disruption. Then, try to find a solution that can adapt to the change while still allowing you to stick to your priorities. It might mean shifting around your schedule or cutting back on certain activities temporarily.
A daily routine timetable can be harmful if it becomes too rigid or restrictive, as it may lead to burnout, stress, and a lack of spontaneity.