Creating a routine for yourself has so many benefits including being in charge of your own time, forming positive habits, creating discipline, reducing stress, eliminating unnecessary decision making, and so much more.
With a list of benefits like that, what’s stopping you from creating your own routine?
My guess is you don’t know where to get started.
Well, today, I’d like to take you through 4 steps to create your own routine so you can feel in control of your day and time.
Let’s get started.
STEP 1: MAKE A LIST OF THE DOS AND DON’TS OF YOUR ROUTINE
Before anything else, you need to know WHY you are introducing this routine to your day. Take out a piece of paper and write down these 2 questions:
- What do you hope to accomplish by starting this new routine?
- What do you not want to be a part of your new routine?
Your answers to these 2 questions will ensure you get things started on the right foot.
Not sure what you should be writing? Here are the first 3 (of many) things I wrote down when I was first started establishing my morning routine:
- DO: have “me time” each day, stretch, and meditate
- DON’T: feel rushed, go on social media, and check work email
So, what are your dos and don’ts? Start there and then move on to Step 2…
STEP 2: MAKE A PLAN & DO THE MATH
Now that you know what you want do to each morning, it’s time to make a plan and do the math.
Write down the amount of time you expect each step in your routine to take. For example, I knew stretching would be about 5 minutes and meditation would be 10, so I filled those in.
Once you’ve written this down for each step (and if you aren’t sure, I have an idea for you in Step 3), add up each number. This will be the amount of time you need for your routine.
Also, if you are creating a morning routine, you will need to do the math to find out what time you need to wake up and go to bed. Here’s how…
- Write down what time you need to leave (For me: 7:30 am)
- Subtract how long you need for your routine from what time you need to leave (For me: 7:30 am-2 hours and 30 minutes=5:00 am wake up)
- Subtract 7-8 hours from your wake up time to get your bedtime (For me: 10:00 pm)
Remember, you need between 7-8 hours of sleep EACH NIGHT, so plan accordingly.
STEP 3: EXPERIMENT
I personally think experimentation is the most important part of any routine. As I explained in a recent With Cheryl post, experimentation is the only way you can figure out how you work best, so don’t be scared to try new things.
Maybe the first step in creating your own routine is trying one new thing on your “do list” for 2 weeks to figure out exactly how long each step takes. Maybe you want to dive right in and try everything you have on your do list at once. Either way, just keep trying new things to see what works and what doesn’t work for you.
BONUS TIP: Experimenting made me realize that laying out my yoga mat, blocks, and journal the night before gave me back a few minutes each morning, so now I do that before bed each night.
STEP 4: KEEP AT IT
Research shows that it takes anywhere from 21 to 66 days to form a habit, so sticking with this new routine will take time. BUT, I don’t want you to be intimidated by these numbers, instead, I want you to be inspired by them. Think about it this way: if you stick to this new routine for a little over 2 months, you could change your whole life. I know that’s what happened to me.
The steps in this process got me to a place where I have a routine that I look forward to each day. Plus, this blog wouldn’t even exist without this morning routine because I had no idea I had the time to create something like this for amazing readers like you.
Inspired to start your own routine? I hope so! I’d love to hear what system you’re going to create for yourself, so be sure to share below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, if you don’t follow With Cheryl on Instagram already, be sure to click the follow button and check out my featured story “AM Routine” to get a look inside what I do each morning so I feel ready for the day.