One important thing about the autumn and winter months is getting into a routine since it’s time to either go back to school or university or get back into work or to start afresh, like myself, in a new era of life. Over time things will fall into place, travelling may not be as much of a hassle, the workload may fluctuate but you’ll still be able to cope, but all these different factors depend on having an idea of how your day will pan out and when to do certain activities. Essentially it depends upon the routine you’ve established and how efficient it is to suit your needs.
Emphasis on the ‘your’ here, the tips that I’m about to give are ones that I felt worked the most for me when I was planning and re-planning my routine over the past month or so, yet they may not work for you. And that’s completely fine, as long as you’ve found something that does work for you.
Also, I’m using the term ‘routine’ quite flexibly in the post, mainly because I couldn’t find another word that suited the idea of planning out your life. Routines can fall apart sometimes, you may find yourself wanting to change it up, and that too is completely fine, as long as you’re still living out the life that you want to live and are happy. It’s not possible to have the same morning and afternoon and evening every single day, circumstances changes, life likes to throw curveballs all the time. So don’t beat yourself up for not following your routine to the tee, it’s just not humanly possible.
Tip #1: Understand that it WON’T happen overnight:
A routine is very much like a habit, just a little less rigid at times, but the majority of the time it’s pretty solid. And to be able to have something like that in your life, especially as a habit means it takes just more than one night to actually happen. Sometimes you’ll have woken up too early or too late, maybe you’ll have started to work in the morning only to realise you hadn’t done those few important things, or maybe you’re actually a night owl but hadn’t thought to trial the same task but at a later time.
I’m sure by now you get the point, aside from knowing it won’t happen overnight, it’s important to realise this will take a lot of trial and error, sometimes more than you would want to admit, but the more trialling you do, the more things you’ll learn about yourself, and the fewer adjustments you’ll have to make when you start the real thing. It’s practically a win-win situation.
Tip #2: Stock up on essentials/be prepared for the year ahead
Since you’re going to be starting a new routine, something that makes you happy and efficient it’s important to stock up on essentials, whether this will be meal prepping, buying a gym membership or tools for an at home workout, buying a journal and stationery, this can be pretty much anything that will prepare you for the year ahead. It can be demotivating and will make it easier to fall back into bad habits if your essentials run out halfway through. Pencil in times when you’ll buy your new tools and how often you want to replenish them, it’s the key to keep on going.
Tip #3: Plan out YOUR ideal day
Again, an emphasis on the ‘your’ make it your own and modify it at will. I’ve written a post about what my ideal day looks like from morning to afternoon to evening. If this is something that doesn’t come naturally to you, imagine the best version of yourself going about his/her day and doing all the things they need to be happy, productive, successful and efficient. Once you’ve imagined in, write down what you saw, it can be anything from the smallest things to the biggest things. There really is no limit.
Tip #4: Start from the night before
When people usually imagine a routine, they start from waking up bright and early in the morning, but that might not be the best place to start. The night before is much more important, the way you move through your evenings will determine and set the foundation of how the next day might turn out. For example, if you are struggling to sleep at night, tossing and turning, you’ll most likely wake up the next morning exhausted and irritable which will make going about your day with a positive mindset pretty difficult. Plan a nighttime routine that’s relaxing, positive and full of calm.
Tip #5: Make changes if you need to
A routine doesn’t have to be rigid, set by the hour or even the same each day. It just has to be, at most, a list of habits that you want to achieve by the end of the day. My routine is flexible in that sometimes if I feel like meditating in the morning, I’ll meditate in the morning and if I feel like meditating at night, I’ll meditate at night. Some days might be so busy and chaotic that sleeping early will be my priority instead of meditating. Maybe I’ll swap it with affirmations, I’ll change the type of meditation or length or the position I’m in. It’s all about what feels right and listening to your body.
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