New Routines for a Productive Year

08 January 2019


My first challenge in 2019, is to adapt to a morning and evening routine. I have several reasons for choosing this task to start with. First, I believe that creating a routine of waking up and going to bed at the same time every day will set me up for success with many of my other goals throughout the year. Second, much research has shown that putting one’s body on a schedule has positive health benefits both physically and mentally. And third, my schedule is absolute chaos right now, which has impacted my energy levels, motivation, and ability to be available for other opportunities.

I also believe that adapting to a morning routine will be one of the more difficult tasks I hope to tackle this year. In large part because I am not a morning person. And when I say not a morning person, I mean planning to wake up no later than ten a.m. each morning has me stressing out a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for the challenge, and my belief is that the positive benefits from sticking to a routine will far outweigh any negatives that may come from waking up early. This does not change the fact that I do not adapt to mornings well.

But I want my year to be a success, and if that means biting the bullet to create healthier habits, so be it.

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Wake up at nine or ten a.m. Partake in light, fifteen to twenty minute activity or workout routine. Eat a hearty and healthy homemade breakfast. (If you’re looking to make your morning breakfasts easier, and want to ditch the cereal, check out this Minimalist Baker recipe. It is my current go to each morning, with frozen raspberries and hemp hearts or chia seeds sprinkled on top.) While having breakfast, go over the days/weeks/months tasks and to-dos, in order to schedule the day for optimal productivity. The key thing here is to WRITE IT DOWN! Make it a visual reminder so that I have no excuses. Then the day is mine to complete all of those to-dos.

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Go to bed by two a.m. By one a.m., stop all electronic usage, especially those with blue light screens. Review that to-do list that I created for myself in the morning, marking off the accomplishments, and making notes for the items that still need to be done. Read for a bit. Go to sleep.

As of publishing this post, I will have been on this routine for a week, and this is how it is going so far:

At the start of the week, I was able to get up between that nine and ten o’clock window, and get in some kind of activity or workout. But by the end of the first week, I was stretching that snooze alarm to the very last possible minute. In an attempt to combat this, moving forward, I will not give myself the wiggly room of choosing nine or ten, but instead have a firm nine thirty wake up time.

The evenings were pretty easy. The struggle here was to find the time to read. I think, moving forward, I will need to adjust how I do the evening routine, stopping electronics ninety minutes before bed, dictating that first half-hour to reading.

Do you stick to a morning and evening routine, or have you also struggled to create a consistent routine that works for you? What does your perfect routine look like? And are you interested to know more about how I plan and schedule my days? Let me know in the comments, and as always, you can reply to this message.