So we all know what a routine is.
It’s getting up, eating breakfast, go to school/job, come home at five, dinner, sleep. Repeat.
That’s not what I’m discussing today though. Today I’m discussing a fundamental routine which is a term I made up just now – which is a very small and short routine that serves the purpose of bringing you closer to an end goal.
For example if you have the goal of writing a book in the next three months, then your fundamental routine can be to wake up an hour earlier during the week days, make yourself a cup of coffee and write 1000 words every morning before starting your day.
I myself currently have a night routine that serves as a way to reach my end goal of healing my physical and mental health.
The reason I suggest you create a fundamental routine in your life is because it’s something that helps you pace out a large task into small accomplishable pieces. It also, through repetition, turns into a habit which will help you sustain positive changes in your life.
So I want to break down the process of creating one of these routines so that you yourself can use it as well. I know I normally only share writing advice on this blog with the occasional life lesson here and there but I decided that anyone who wants to achieve something can benefit from this advice. Even if they are a writer.
First step: What are your priorities?
To me it was a big thing to honestly reconsider my priorities and coming to the conclusion that my health need to be at the top. I am stubborn person who wanted to keep my writing at the top despite the fact that my physical and mental health have been keeping me away from writing since the beginning of this year.
So I asked myself, if I had all the time in the world what is the most pressing thing for me to do now?
The pressing thing for me was to re-establish some form of stability that no amount of pain can shake and which can heal me emotionally and be good for me physically.
So my priority became getting enough time with God as well as physical rest.
Step two: What is one thing you can consistently do to pursue your priorities?
If your priority is writing then you can write consistently.
If your priority is eating healthy you can consistently eat a good breakfast.
And if your priority is rest and healing then you can consistently pray and get a goodnight’s sleep.
So think about it. Write some ideas of what you can do down.
Step three: Determine when this routine will be taking place.
Ask yourself how often is it necessary to do this small action, for it to have an actual effect on your life.
Once a day? Twice a week? Once a week?
I decided that I need regular rest which to me means every day. I need to let my body and my mind rest and let go of tension every day. So I can start tomorrow fresh and with a relaxed body. (Stress causes my Pain to get worse)
Once you know how often you want to do it – ask yourself, what exact time (and day) will suit you best?
Some people I know wake up very early to read their bible – that works for them. Others I know will go jogging right after getting home from their job –because that’s their open slot.
So the trick is to know yourself and how your life generally plays out, and what your routine will require.
I can’t do mornings because I wake up very badly, there are a ton of distractions, and the cold of the morning makes my pain worse. So it’s better for me to take a moment to read my bible at night, when it’s quiet, and then get enough sleep – only waking up when it’s a little warmer outside. Plus if I unwind before bed the quality of my physical rest will be better which is ultimately what I’m aiming for.
Step four: Working out the details.
Simply saying that on Mondays you will be getting up early to jog can work but I believe that putting a couple of tiny objectives before the big one will help you reach that point in a unhurried and directed manner. Does that make sense?
This is very simple because it’s just saying that if I’m trying to achieve X I will have to do 1 2 3
For example: If I’m trying to achieve jogging every morning I will have to get up, get dressed, drink a glass of water and then I can go jogging.
Your sequence can be as celebrate or simple as you want it to be.
My wind down routine consists out of taking my meds, putting on my PJ’s, cleaning my face and teeth, making a hot water bottle and something warm to drink then getting into my bed so I can do some in-depth bible reading and pray in peace.
Step five: putting this all on a time table.
Alright so you don’t honestly have to go work out your routine by the minute but I think having a set time to start your routine will help you not forget about it. Then if you want you can go and decide in which order to do your small details.
I start my routine at 09:30 pm by drinking my meds and putting the kettle on boil.
From there off on I just go through the motions of preparing for bed in the order of getting dressed and brushing my teeth before getting back to the kettle to make my hot water bottle and warm drink.
You can also create a set end time for your routine so you know not to drag your actions out. I personally don’t because I end my night reading bible and if I spend an hour too long reading bible it will honestly do more good than harm.
So the last step will be to implement your routine.
Go for it. Do your routine with certainty instead of hesitancy and let it become a habit in your life. Each time that you go through your routine remember that you are laying down a block for the foundation that is your future – even if it is simply the near future.
So go be positive while I go take a little nap… I’ll write to you again soon.