Why would you have a routine?

Routine: hated and loved by many. Often associated with negative connotations. But is it really bad? 

For most of my life, I‘ve liked the routine. I love the feeling of being in control of my life in a good sense of it. I’m the kinda person that is going to wake up 30 minutes earlier. I need to feel set and ready before heading out of the house. But it wasn’t always like that… 

In my teenage years and later in my 20ies, I was that one always-late-classmate. I was convinced there is no way I could be a morning person until I became. There was a period of my life when I had to commit to a very structured schedule of the day. It involved doing certain practices in the morning for an extended period of time. In the beginning, it took an effort to stay committed. But in a short period of time, I noticed a positive difference it made to how I felt, what I said and how I behaved throughout the day.

That’s when I realised how a routine can actually be beneficial, let me summarise all the reasons why I think it’s great to have a routine:

It makes you more efficient

Everything happens like a well-orchestrated band and almost without thinking you go through task after task. When you are finished with one you know what follows. in this way, everything is on autopilot. You become faster and more efficient.

Saves time and eliminates procrastination

Since you know what steps follow and you don’t have to waste the time thinking what is next, you automatically save time. It becomes ingrained into your system and you almost do it subconsciously eliminating procrastination. Things almost happen seamlessly. 

Creates good habits and replaces bad ones

Your daily routine is a series of actions that are repeated, the long term of repeating actions is also a habit. Having a daily exercise or a few minutes of meditation every day is an example of positive actions of your routine. From daily actions, they now can become your habits. In the same way, creating a routine with good habits limits the space for bad habits to creep in, or even replaces them.

Keeps you on track no matter what

Life is everchanging and some times you’ve got a good day and some times a bad one. On any occasion and especially on the bad days. It’s when you want to do nothing and be unproductive, your routine keeps you going on track to your goals.

Can help your health and reduce stress levels

You will have a sense of control in your actions. You will feel a so-called “flow”, a meditative like state allowing you to focus on your tasks fully. A lack of anxiousness about what to do will be eliminated. You will feel more present in the here and now.  Being fully immersed in the task can reduce stress levels and improve your health.

So how can you create a routine? Well, my approach is simple.

Start from your schedule:

Look at how your week is currently planned.  See where you can add more things or rearrange tasks to another day. Maybe even give some tasks away. Consider some days or hours within a day to be dedicated to one thing or topic. For example, you always do the full cleaning of the house on Saturdays, water the plants on Wednesdays and Sundays, exercise in the park on Mondays and Fridays. Having your calendar planned in a convenient way for you and sticking to it will become your positive routine. It will eventually become your habits and lifestyle. 

Test it out

Do an evaluation of your routine and see how it’s working for you. Feel free to change it around allowing yourself to drop what’s not working and stick what is. There isn’t one the right thing that fits all.  Don’t overstretch your self with new things keep it light and enjoyable adding one thing at a time.

Praise yourself for doing the right things. Maybe keep a journal to track your process. It can be simple notes of what worked well for you today, and what didn’t. With time passing you will be able to look back in your diary. It might even surprise you how much you can achieve when you allow yourself to be curious and playful discovering what is truly your activities to form and keep. All for good health and happiness.

Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s your stand of having a routine? Can you see how having a set program could benefit your life? And if so, how your life would change?

Please, share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Don’t hold back. Your story may exactly be what someone else needs to make a positive change.

Thank you for making this space safe, inspiring, and supportive for everyone to express themselves.

With much love,

Nora

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