We are creatures of habit, so often having routine and structure in our lives can really support our overall health and well-being. Not only can a routine effect your eating choices and exercise, but it can also even support your emotional health. You will most likely have more time to do the things you enjoy in life; more quality time to spend with your loved ones; and it can decrease stress because you won't constantly have to be thinking of what you haven't done or that big deadline coming up that you won't make. It can also help with your sleep pattern which is going to help with your physical; mental; and emotional health. As you can see there are an abundant benefits to having a routine and planning ahead, so below you will find a few tips to hopefully support you with establishing more of a routine.
Tips for Establishing a Routine:
Journal daily activities: Take some time to jot down everything you do on a typical day; what you would like to be doing; and everything you "should" be doing. This includes both work and home life. Reflecting on these items is the first step to establishing your routine.
Start small and build gradually: How often do we set these unrealistic goals that we feel like we need to accomplish in the day, and when we don't achieve all of them we beat ourselves up and fall completely off any kind of routine we once had? Consider taking it one step at a time, and once you feel comfortable with one part of your routine gradually build from there.
Create a plan: Once you have identified what all you want to accomplish in the day and have set SMART goals it's time to start strategically planning this out. Consider asking yourself when am I most productive during the day? When or how can I make time to do X,Y, Z? What is top priority? Once you have reflected on these purposeful questions consider writing your plan out; putting it on your calendar; and/or setting alarms.
Stick to the same time: Try to stick to the same schedule. For example try to go to bed and wake up; exercise; and eat your meals at the same time each day. These all go hand in hand! For example if you went to bed later you probably won't be as inclined to wake up earlier to work out, which could cause you to be sluggish for your work day where you don't get everything accomplished. It can be a vicious cycle!
Plan ahead: Consider setting alarms for when you want to go up for bed and wake up; lay out your workout clothes the night before; have your workout shoes by your desk so you are more inclined to go on that walk; prep your meals for the week; schedule your meals and breaks on your work calendar; etc. The more prepared you are the more likely you will be able to stick to your routine.
Have a back up plan: Life happens and sometimes our schedules just have to change last minute. For example if you don't have time to exercise in the morning consider scheduling out some time in the afternoon or evening even if it's just for a quick 10 minute walk. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing, and research shows that even 10 minutes of moderate exercise can be beneficial for our health.
Add some enjoyment to what you are doing: Track your progress to affirm yourself on how far you have come; do a workout or find some healthy recipes you truly enjoy; watch your favorite TV show or listen to your favorite podcast while exercising; reward yourself in a healthy way for meeting your goals such as buying a workout outfit you have been wanting or treating yourself to a self care day; etc.
Explore accountability: Some examples include: an accountability partner; step challenges; tracking or logging your food or exercise; creating a daily to do list for work; using your calendar; setting alarms; doing workout classes; putting your "why" or motivation posted in a place you will see daily; make a vision board; etc.
Here's an example of my daily morning routine:
5:00 AM: wake up; brush my teeth and do my skincare routine; drink some water; have a cup of black coffee and a pre-workout snack; walk Luna (my puppy)
5:45 AM: workout
7:00 AM: shower and get ready for the day
7:30 AM: eat breakfast; drink my apple cider vinegar detox drink; do my daily devotionals and gratitude journal
8:00 AM- start my work day off with the right mindset
Here's an example of my healthy eating routine:
5:30 AM: Pre workout snack (typically a date with a TSP of peanut butter
7:30 Breakfast (usually a green smoothie bowl; avocado toast; or egg white/tofu veggie scramble)
12:00 PM: Lunch (usually my "Mediterranean lunch box" which contains a variety of veggies; chickpeas; whole wheat crackers; and hummus)
3:00: Snack (usually veggies with hummus and/or salsa)
6:00: Dinner (usually a lot of roasted veggies; salad; and a plant based protein such as: tempeh; tofu; Dr. Praegar's Protein Veggie Burger; beans; etc)
7:00: Snack/Dessert: 1 piece of dark chocolate and red wine (everything in moderation, and Jesus didn't turn water to wine for nothing right???)