Establishing a new routine can be tricky. It really can feel like your whole life is changing. To help with the trickiness, keep you on track with all of your tasks, and help keep you sane when working out a new schedule, here are some tips to help you establish a routine that will make you feel really proud of yourself.
1. Make a list of your daily tasks:
One of the first steps in planning out any new routine is making a list of your daily, or weekly, tasks. When first starting your new routine, it’s important to include when you will get up, eat meals, take breaks, and include any other commitments you have throughout your day, like walking your dog. As you get used to the new schedule you could probably opt out of listing everything, but definitely still keep the most important things that you have to do.
2. Be consistent with time and stick to your plan:
Being consistent with your time and plan is the core of establishing a new routine and sticking to it. Setting timers, and actually sticking to them, can really help you stay on track throughout your day. Be sure to lay out a full plan of all that you have to do. This will help keep on track with your list of daily tasks. However, it is important to make sure you are not overwhelming yourself throughout the day with too many tasks since that can lead to burnout.
3. Be prepared ahead of time:
This goes for everything you need to do in your day. If you need to do some work on your computer or at your desk make sure your area is all set up with all of the tools you need. Getting prepared ahead of time might be making sure your laptop is completely charged, making some snacks to keep you energized, or making sure you have enough pens and other desk supplies to get you through your workday or task. You could also think about the day ahead of you for a few minutes as part of your daily routine or part of your evening rituals. The classic saying still stands, that it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
4. Reward yourself:
Make sure you are rewarding yourself when you stick to your routine. I typically do not need any excuses to reward myself, but definitely following a new routine is one of the times when it is the most justified to give yourself some sort of treat. Whether it’s your favorite snack or a few minutes watching some funny Youtube videos, rewarding one’s self can lead to some pretty good results when it comes to learning a new routine. Also, you can make rewarding yourself when you finish tasks part of your routine if you are someone who thrives off of incentives.
5. Be realistic:
One of the ways most people miss their goals or have trouble sticking to a routine is because they set goals that are either too big for their time frame. Or their goals are just completely unrealistic for themselves and their lifestyle. Examples could be, creating a to-do list that is just far too long or telling yourself that you will be getting up early to run every day. While these are not bad goals, they might not fit every single person. If you’re someone who works nights, it may be pretty unrealistic to expect yourself to get up at 6 am to run. Or if you’re someone with a lot of other commitments in your life, making an in-depth to-do list might not work for you. It’s important to keep realistic expectations of yourself, that way you don’t get discouraged. Being realistic with your goals will also help you practice some mental self-care and not beat yourself up if something doesn’t get done.
6. Get some good sleep:
Nothing messes up your aspirational plans for the day like not getting a good night’s sleep. Everyone’s sleep patterns vary, including when they go to be and get up or how long they need to sleep. But getting the amount of sleep that’s right for you is crucial when it comes to planning a routine that you really want to stick to. If you have trouble falling asleep, you could always try tea or milk before you go to bed, meditation, reading a good book, or listening to calming music. Try to stay away from bright screens, as we all know those never help. After you’ve gotten your much-needed rest, you’ll see how you will wake with resolve to tackle whatever tasks you have on your list for the day!
7. Clear your mind and focus:
Using meditation has been a tried and true tool for many to clear their minds and work on being able to focus. I know people who meditate in the morning because it helps keep them focused and grounded throughout the day. I also know some people who meditate at night to help them relax after a long day and improve their quality of sleep. If mediation is not for you journaling or stream of consciousness writing can be a good way to clear your mind and focus. Sometimes, all you really need is to take a few deep breaths and prepare yourself for all of your tasks at hand.
8. Have an evening ritual:
Having an evening ritual to close off your daily routine can really help you stick to a new routine. Sometimes we have those days where everything seems like too much and we struggle with even seeing when it’s going to end. Having a nighttime routine that you enjoy slipping into at the end of your long day might just be what you need. Read a book, do some stretches, drink some tea or cocoa, or whatever gets you in a relaxed mood. It also might be a good idea for you to plan out when your day is going to end, like “I’ll stop working by 6pm” or “I’ll make sure to be home by 9pm”, It might not be the same end-time every day, but having a rough stopping time might give you something to look forward to.