Living without a daily routine sounds great. Surely, it must feel liberating, right?
Well, that may be true for some, but it’s definitely not true for everyone. Having a routine is a way to give your life some structure. While it’s good to leave room for spontaneity, a total lack of structure can leave you feeling directionless, unmotivated, and lazy. It can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule and even your ability to keep track of the day.
It’s especially hard if you work from home, advertising Nashville houses for sale or writing blogs with such snazzy titles as “How to Make a Daily Routine for Yourself.” Without being forced into a routine by having school or work to worry about, the only way to get some structure into your life is to put it there yourself.
Name Your Goals
First things first, it’s important to know exactly what you mean when you say you want a routine and what it is you hope to gain from it.
For some, it’s about establishing a reliable daily norm, something you can depend on and plan your life around. For others, it’s about fixing bad habits, like procrastination or unhealthy snacking, or alleviating depression and anxiety. There are those for whom a routine provides motivation. These are just some of the things that a daily routine can help with.
Naming your goals is a vital part of achieving them. Once you know what you want, you may know better how to get it.
Write It Down
People who have been following a daily routine for years rarely have to think about it. It becomes a natural part of who they are, not an itinerary to follow, but something more instinctual.
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably not one of those people. That doesn’t mean you can’t become one, though. Don’t feel bad if a daily routine has not become a gradual part of your life on its own. Some of us have to work for it, but that just makes it more satisfying when we succeed.
Sit down with a pen and paper—or a computer and keyboard—and lay out a plan for the routine you want to follow. Figure out where you have to be and when, how much time you have for each activity, etc. This will make it easier to keep things straight in your head.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to start a new routine is being too strict with themselves. Having flexibility might seem like the opposite of what a routine is for, but it’s really not. A routine isn’t about eliminating flexibility, but managing it.
That part up above where it says “write down a plan for your routine”? Well, the first time you do that you’re probably going to write down your ideal routine, the one you envision as your end-goal. Throw that away and start over. Introducing a routine into your life requires patience, both with it and yourself. Being too regimented too early on is how people get discouraged and ultimately quit.
Be your own best friend. Sometimes being a good friend means being harsh and challenging, but it also means being compassionate. Forgive your mistakes instead of brooding on them.