If you are part of our Lessons in the Dirt Facebook Group, we recently discussed the importance of creating a daily routine and positive habits around your actions. Setting yourself up for success starts with planning, maybe a little improvising, but most importantly, executing at a level that aligns with your goals and willpower. Just waking up and getting through the day is no longer effective – it just won’t support your mental state or your physical health.
There are more and more distractions in our every day life and these distractions can make it very difficult to accomplish what we want in a day. Not only what we want to accomplish, but also what our body needs to have in order to stay healthy. It is ALL about routine and mindful habits.
Let’s be honest, it can be hard even without all the distractions because time management is hard. It takes discipline, some practice, and trial and error. The good news is, it is possible to find the balance your mind and body need in their rights.
There is a secret that high-achievers use to manage and avoid all the distraction: setting a daily routine.
It’s a time-tested practice that is about more than just checking off the items on your daily to-do list. Setting a routine and establishing helpful habits can lead you in a direction of satisfaction, accomplishment, and better health. This all brings a deeper sense of meaning in your life.
Let’s start with first defining what a ROUTINE is.
A routine is simply the set of habits that help you get things done. Small or large, it is just the art of completion. Chances are, you already have a routine. What all do you do before you walk out the door to go to work?
The key to forming a daily routine for success is to create positive habits based on your goals, eliminating negative habits keeping your from your goals, and finding balance amongst each of these for effectiveness.
You can make them as automatic as getting dressed in the morning. While it may sound daunting, we all know habits can be hard to break. Studies show that goal-based habits are actually easier to establish. If you’re the type of person who has trouble sticking with something like this, using a journal to write down your goals is one of the easiest ways to increase motivation and enhance performance.
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Finding out which habits you’ll need to form will help bring your goals to life, and also provide the motivation to put those habits into action.
Goal setting – keep it simple, until you’re ready to push yourself a little more. “I want to wake up/go to bed earlier. I’d like to start taking a multivitamin. Read 1 full chapter, walk 10 extra minutes, play with the kids with no interruptions for an hour.” Goals do not have to be unattainable or complicated to be a goal for the day! It also doesn’t have to make you rich or allow you to lose 20 pounds. It just has to positively impact your day in some way.
WHY is it important to set a healthy daily routine?
Following a daily routine benefits our brains by cutting down on multitasking and decision fatigue. Developing a specific plan for when, where, and how you will stick to a new habit will dramatically increase the odds that you will actually follow through, but only if you focus on one thing. It is much easier to implement the things you desire, if you focus on that one thing you need accomplished. In fact, researchers found that people who tried to accomplish multiple goals were less committed and less likely to succeed than those who focused on a single goal.
By following a structure, you’re able to turn daily tasks into habits while spending less mental energy in the process. It also promotes focusing on single tasks, which conserves your mental load for the more complex issues that pop up during the day. There’s actually science behind the benefits of having, and sticking to, a daily routine.
For starters, they are vital to our development as humans. Experts have found that giving a child a consistent schedule builds confidence, organization, self-control, and independence, while also helping the brain develop properly. The benefits certainly don’t end in our infancy, as researchers have recently discovered that subjects who lived by a consistent schedule also tended to attach a greater meaning to their lives.
A few examples of key routine habits:
Maya Angelou woke up at 5:30 am and had coffee with her husband at 6:00 am. She then would be off to work by 6:30 am in a small hotel room she reserved for writing only. By 2:00 pm, she’d wrap up for the day and head home to re-read her work, disconnect, and prepare dinner.
Novelist John Grisham would wake up at 5 a.m. in order to arrive at his home office desk by 5:30. There, he would write one page before heading to his day job as a lawyer.
Jamie’s morning routine – let the dogs out, make hot tea, sit down to read, journal, plan or write, and watch the sun rise. Alone time to prepare is VITAL! Would she rather sleep? Likely, but she knows her productivity increases significantly for the day by simply taking at least an hour alone from the toddler, and setting intentions around what she hopes to accomplish.
Some of the world’s greatest “do-ers” have used well-defined daily routines to accomplish more in their 24 hours, because they plan and stick to a healthy routine.
How do you create habits from setting my goals?
A routine is only as successful as your willingness to adhere to it. The countless distractions that fly your way throughout your day can make it especially hard. The best shield against this onslaught is time blocking.
When you time block you set your intentions for that time frame to work solely on that one thing. For example, Jamie has time in her calendar each week dedicated to just making products for the Next to Nature line. She will drop what she is doing and zone on that. She also has dedicated time for just her family. Time blocking means finding the time of day, consistently to work on one thing before starting something else. This is a sure way to get that to-do list done or started and on to the next.
Be Firm, but Be Flexible Also
Devotion and discipline are key, but it is also okay to admit if something isn’t working. If you just haven’t been giving yourself enough time to connect with your employees or get your busy work done, you can adjust.
Some vital steps to follow:
-Actively track your goals and progress daily
-Reflect on your progress daily
-Reward yourself. This will give you the positive reinforcement you need to keep going, especially if your ultimate goal is still a month or two away.
-Make adjustments. Rather than get discouraged by your lack of progress, let the ability to adjust your direction energize you.
Setting up an actionable routine, and giving yourself attainable, measurable steps toward your goals not only makes your day and duties more manageable, it optimizes your brain for success. By using these techniques, you can take control of your time and success by developing the habits of a successful daily routine.
By doing all of this, you will discover BALANCE. Many think it’s a myth. It is not. It is something you create within each area of your day to day. Jamie will soon share just how much balance plays a role in success each day for her. It is a very in-depth topic of its own.
What will you start incorporating in your routine today? How will you start tracking your new routine? What will your motivation be?
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