Imagine waking up every morning feeling energized and ready to tackle the day. Sound too good to be true? When you harness the power of habit, it’s actually pretty simple! Whether you realize it or not, your daily routine has the ability to shape your life, dictate your level of productivity and impact your overall well-being. But how do you create a routine that actually sticks and becomes a way of life? We’re here with a few tips to help you do just that.
Do a Self-Assessment of Your Current Habits 🪞
Before we dive into creating an entirely new routine from scratch, we should first evaluate the foundation that we’re working with. Understanding what is already working and where there is room for improvement is the key to creating a routine that sticks, and isn’t just a flash in the pan, overambitious attempt that goes out the window in a few days.
For starters, it’s a good idea to track your daily routine, including your daily activities, the time you wake up, what you eat, how you spend your free time, and when you go to bed. Make sure to note how you’re body and mind is feeling, your mood, your energy levels and your motivation. Right away, you’ll likely be able to see a few obvious links and areas that you can improve! PS: If you’re looking for the perfect way to track your daily routine, check out our collection of printable calendar templates!
Test, Tinker and Trial and Error 🧪
Tinkering with your daily schedule is a great way to do some self-exploration and personalize your daily routine. Choose one habit and play around with the time of day that you do it — you might be surprised to find out that you’re actually not the night owl you always thought you were, and in fact, a sunrise journaling session is just what the doctor ordered.
Even though most adults work a 9am to 5pm schedule, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will be at peak productivity during those hours. If you have a flexible work arrangement, try out a few different schedules to learn when you feel most productive. For example, maybe taking a lunch hour lunch leaves you feeling sluggish and unmotivated in the afternoon, and you’d prefer to follow a split work day and knock out a few tasks after dinner, instead.
It’s even a good idea to let your routine evolve throughout the year — maybe you prefer exercising during the middle of the day during the winter, but are able to manage an earlier wakeup call (along with the sun!) during the summer months. Allow yourself the flexibility to relax on the weekends, too. Remember, we’re playing the long game here, and taking a break in the short term will help you avoid burnout and stick to your habits in the long-term!
Consistency is Everything 🔁
When building a new habit, it’s all about that daily grind. In fact, it’s great advice to shoot for not missing a new habit two days in a row. Of course, life happens, and there will be days when you can't stick to your routine — just don't let that become a habit in and of itself by giving up entirely! The idea is to always keep the momentum going, and hey, if you do slip-up, don't beat yourself up about it. Just do whatever you need to do to get back on track and keep on keepin' on. Recommitting to your routine (or adapting your schedule to find the path of least resistance!) is the secret ingredient towards making your new routine a permanent part of your daily life.
Get Family or Friends Involved 👯♀️
Get your squad on board! As they say, there is strength in numbers, and having an accountability buddy will make sticking to your daily routine much more likely (not to mention a lot more fun). If you can find a neighbor or friend that is willing to join you on your morning jogs or to your spin class, you’ll be less likely to hit the snooze button on that 6am alarm. Plus, there's nothing like a little friendly competition to keep you on track.
Plus, you can bounce ideas off each other, swap tips, share your wins and losses, and cheer each other on every step of the way. Having a buddy makes for a win-win situation all around. Lean into your network of powerful, motivated women!
Slow and Steady Wins the Race (and Forms the Habit) 🐢
The amount of time it takes to form a new habit is up for debate — 21 days is the common answer, though for more extreme transformations, it might take several months before the habit becomes a natural part of your day. Either way, it’s a good idea to break down your goal timeframe into smaller, more achievable chunks.
Think about it: Planning to eat vegan for a full month might be really difficult for a lifelong carnivore — but could you instead try it out for one week? Maybe you want to read 25 books in a year. But when it’s already April and you’ve only read one book, maybe it’s worth setting some shorter-term goals (for example, shoot for one book per month to start) so that you don’t feel completely discouraged and abandon your goal entirely. Making small yet consistent progress in our daily behavior is what creates the building blocks towards a habit sticking long-term.
Celebrate Small Wins and Treat Yourself 🍭
Linking rewards to completed habits is a great way to motivate yourself. Cranked out that hour of writing in the morning? You deserve that iced coffee you’ve been craving, girl! By celebrating your progress, no matter how small, you'll get that dopamine hit of accomplishment that will propel you towards it achieving it again the next day. And who doesn't love a good reward? It's a simple way to make sure you're enjoying the journey and not just focusing on the destination, as the old saying goes.
Pro tip: Use one of our cute printable planners to track not only your goals, but your reward for completing each task, too! Writing our goals down, old-school pen-to-paper style, is like a secret weapon towards helping you form new habits. Give it a try!
Habits are the Foundation of a Daily Routine 🧱
Life constantly changes, as does our mood and schedule. In fact, sometimes our life goals might even feel like a moving target. But by building a foundation of strong habits, it will become a million times easier to weather the ebbs and flows of our day-to-day. It’s impossible to feel completely rested and 100% motivated every single day, but when you roll out of bed and already know the first three things on your to-do list, you’ll be more likely to get the momentum rolling for the rest of the day.
Bonus Tip: If you’re like us, you skimmed and scrolled straight to the bottom of this post. But before you go, we’ll leave you with one last tip: Don't try to change everything all at once. Gradually adding new habits to your routine at a slow by steady pace will make it much more likely that you stick to them. Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint — you’ve got this!
Thanks for checking out The Deep Clean, Tidy Plan's blog full of tips and advice to help you declutter your mind and build good habits. We're all about self-care, productivity, organization, and are here to assist you on your personal growth journey to become your best self!