Though many of us might shy away from feeling constricted by the same old routine day after day, establishing a routine can have lasting benefits on your health -- both physical and mental.
A routine doesn’t mean that life has to lose its excitement or spontaneity, it just allows you to better manage your time and your energy in order to live happier and more productively. You can incorporate small, positive changes into your day-to-day life that make you feel more in control of your thoughts, feelings, and even your long-term goals.
Science shows us that establishing a positive daily routine helps us establish priorities, limit procrastination, keep track of goals, and can even make us healthier. Incorporating a routine into your life demonstrates an investment in yourself and what you have to offer the world.
How to Add Structure to Your Life
The same pattern doesn’t work for everyone. What might work for others doesn’t have to be what’s best for you. Adapt your routine to your specific needs by evaluating what makes you feel happiest, healthiest, and most energized. This can be as simple as making a list of goals for yourself each day or creating a detailed schedule that you follow minute-by-minute.
The most important part of building a healthy routine is simply implementing small, positive changes into your day-to-day structure that make you feel more focused and productive.
You can try making a daily to-do list, which will help you keep organized and motivated throughout your day. Especially when you’re stressed, maintaining structure can make you feel more organized and in control.
A to-do list will also allow you to prioritize tasks and use your time more wisely. When you have a clear vision of what you need to accomplish on any given day, you’ll be able to allot your time appropriately and spend less time procrastinating.
As you move through your day, it’s also important to take regular breaks. This will constructively break up your day in a way that keeps you from feeling overwhelmed or burning out quickly. As humans, we need time to give our brains a rest and regroup before continuing with work, creative projects, or other daily activities.
You’ll also be surprised by how important it is to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine like committing to a certain number of hours of sleep per night, creating an exercise schedule for yourself, or meal planning in a way that aligns with your health goals.
Building Healthy Habits Into Your Routine
Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood, your decision making, and even your ability to learn and retain information. Sleep is extremely important to your overall health and can lead to serious health conditions.
The more tired you are, the less time you have to deal with your physical and mental needs. You’ll be less likely to follow a routine when you’re sleep deprived. You can get a good night’s sleep by improving your diet, limiting your caffeine intake, and staying away from technology right before bedtime.
By incorporating these healthy habits into your routine, you’ll not only be improving your sleep habits, but building in structure to your daily routine by taking better care of yourself. Restructuring your day so that you’re emphasizing getting good sleep can be an important part of building your routine.
You might also consider giving yourself daily exercise goals such as always taking a twenty-minute walk in the middle of the day or starting your day with a simple yoga routine.
Other Benefits of Having Structure
By having a regular routine, you’re saving yourself the time and energy involved with choosing how to structure your day from scratch every day.
Research also shows that routine plays an important role in mental health, such as helping people to better manage stress and anxiety. Having a routine can help you form positive daily habits, take better care of your health, and help you feel more productive and focused.
Be Patient With Yourself
Starting and sticking to a new routine takes time and effort. Don’t force yourself to continue doing something that doesn’t work for you; instead, adjust it to your needs and your lifestyle.
Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day and figure out what makes you feel best. Are you at your most productive at a certain time of day? Make that the time that you schedule yourself to get some work done. Are you at your most lethargic right after lunch? Give yourself time during that part of the day to take a break. The beauty of a routine is that it is uniquely yours and you can do whatever works best for you.
Building a routine starts with small, positive changes that will eventually evolve into a uniform structure for your daily life that makes you feel happy, fulfilled, and healthy.