Routines

Better Mornings Begin The Night Before

Gram’s Wisdom Number 8

When I was a young girl and woke up out of sorts, tired, disorganized, or unready to meet my day on time, Gram said I should have thought of that the night before. She told me I would wake up in the morning in a better mood, less tired, and less frazzled if I would prepare for the following morning prior to going to bed each night.

Gram suggested I put homework and books in my book bag, lay out my clothes for the next day, and tidy my room before going to sleep. This, I was told, was so I’d have no worries about the coming day, and thus allow sleep to come easily.

If you have been following Gram’s Wisdom you will remember in a previous post, I said she was a firm believer in a fix it or forget it philosophy. (I have placed a link to this post at the bottom) So, I went along with the fix it and added 30 minutes reading time before lights out in addition to the suggestions she made.

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It has been more than fifty odd years since those days and I still adhere to a nightly routine. Yes, my routine has changed with the seasons of my life many times over. A good routine needs to work with you and for you. And yes, I still believe it is the best way to achieve a good morning.

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine
— Mike Murdock

Achieve your good morning

The cornerstone of a good nightly routine is to get the sleep your body needs to recharge and repair itself. You know you wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to tackle your day when you’ve slept well. You also know it’s easier to work when you aren’t fighting cobwebs in your head or the lethargy of your body.  

 

Finding a routine that works for you

Here are 11 suggestions for you to try:

·         Read something, anything for 30 to 60 minutes. Your choices are limitless, and you can access your books in a variety of formats.

·         Take a warm bath.

·         Listen to music that puts you in a relaxed frame of mind.

·         Tidy up your kitchen before going to bed. Dishes washed and put away, sink and counters wiped clean.

·         Reflect on what your victories were today and celebrate those wins.

·         Set your goals for tomorrow, start with 3 important ones and add a couple less important for good measure.

·         Meditate for 15 to 20 minutes.

·         Write in your journal for 15 to 20 minutes.

·         Spend some time visualizing what you want your life to be like next year or 3 years from now.

·         Lay your clothes and accessories out for tomorrow.

·         Prepare your bedroom for optimal sleep. It should be dark, somewhat cool, no distracting clutter or technology. Keep your linens clean. After a week or so your sheets are a breeding ground of germs comprised of sloughed off skin cells, airborne allergens, and pet dander.

 

These suggestions are designed to help you 1 sleep better and 2 wake up feeling more organized. Begin with 2 or 3 of the suggestions to create your routine and add or change them as you like. Give yourself time to adjust to what you have chosen, say 3 or 4 months, and make changes as needed.

 

I would love hearing what your nightly routine is and what makes it work for you.

 

Resource Reading from Previous Posts

Happiness Begins Within You Gram’s Wisdom Number 5

Five Reasons You Need To Keep A Gratitude Journal

I don’t doubt you've often been told to be thankful for what you have when something awful happens. But, it’s not easy. Research shows that being thankful is a beneficial habit. When you are in the habit of being grateful it’s easier to focus on the good in your life rather than dwelling on the bad. Keeping a gratitude journal is an increasingly popular tool being used by those seeking to improve themselves.

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And The Five Reasons Are:

1|   Changing Thought Patterns: studies have shown a strong mind-body connection. When we feel stressed, anxious or any other negative emotion it can have a negative effect on our physical health. By considering those things, events or people you are thankful for you create positive thoughts and feelings which help reduce your stress levels. It also reminds you that whatever happens to you there is always something to feel thankful for.

Your commitment to your gratitude journal focuses your mind on positive events, conversations, relationships, and the gifts each new day brings. Enabling you to see more than just those negative ones that tend to fill your mind and dominate your thoughts when they happen.

Another way your thought patterns change is that you find you begin to push boundaries and remove limiting beliefs. This happens as you not only keep your gratitude journal but as you review it. You find that your mind opens to new possibilities and you gain in self-confidence and knowledge.

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2|   Improve Your Health: the fact that there is a mind-body connection means that by focusing on positive thoughts and feelings in your gratitude journal you are helping to improve your physical and mental health. Studies have shown that regular gratitude journaling can:

    Relieve stress and anxiety

    Improve sleep

    Gain perspective

 

3|   Create Optimism: some days it's just too hard to see the forest for the trees. You find yourself focused on something that has upset you and that troublesome thought nags away at you constantly. Taking some time to sit quietly and think about something you are grateful for helps reduce negative thoughts and feelings and replace them with positive ones.

 

4|   Improved Sleep: regardless of whether you feel the need for eight hours sleep each night your body and mind do require a regular amount of sleep each night for optimal mental and physical health. Keeping a gratitude journal is fun, calming, and a positive activity that promotes happy thoughts and feelings. By replacing worry and stress, you can sleep more peacefully and have happier dreams.

 

5|   It's Fun: keeping a gratitude journal should be a fun enjoyable experience; something you look forward to. Choose a time of day that works best for you.  It doesn't matter whether you use a plain notebook, a really fancy one, or a digital method. Your entries can be as simple as I am grateful for today’s sunshine (or a more descriptive) that warms my patio where I drink my morning coffee. Get as creative as you like. Jazz it up by using different colored pens or pencils, or stickers to decorate the pages.

If you want to create a positive change in yourself and your life, then keeping a gratitude journal might be the tool you are looking for. It's cheap, easy and very beneficial to your physical and mental health.

 

Side-note: I found the following posts to be full of good information and I plan to incorporate an idea or two into my gratitude journal. I hope that you will also find them helpful.

Research Proves a Gratitude Journal (Strongly Boosts Productivity

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal:67 Templates, Ideas, and Apps for Your Diary

 

I hope you found this post to be useful. I would love it if you let me know your thoughts on this subject.

How You Can Create A Daily Routine That Works

 

I am such a big fan of having to do lists and a calendar for my work, and my personal life. Like a friend told me not long ago "if it ain't on the list, it don't get done". Yes, this might be how we get big shit done, but it does nothing for the everyday minutia of our lives. Seriously, it's our routines that make those things quicker and easier to manage and without 'em your life and list becomes a hot mess.

How you create routines that work

Does Your Routine Work For You

Honestly, I could never accomplish a thing in my working day if it were not for the daily routines I have in place to speed me along. They are the If This Than That of my life. The trigger of one thing or habit that leads to the next and the next. You know what I mean. The unthinking, frequently auto pilot portion of our lives.

For example, you wake in the morning roll out of bed and turn the coffee pot on, or brush your teeth, or wake the kids, or let the dogs out. Whatever they are, these habits, are likely the beginning of your day, every day. And these habits strung together become our daily routines.

Now the best routines work for us and not the other way around and that is powerful. So they need to be purposeful as much as possible yet with an understanding that its need and necessity that forms them. For many people, the 9-5 workaday world is what provides the need of their routines. Change your job and it is likely you will be changing your routine.

Change A Habit And Change Your Routine

But that doesn't mean we are mere robots who are slaves to our routine, no way. Our brains are facile enough that we can have a different routine ever day and it will keep us on track. In fact, we all make subtle changes as the seasons change and barely notice it. We are able to add or subtract from a routine and hardly miss a beat.

So this is huge. Slip in that new habit you want to accomplish, like exercise that you have been either resistant or even lazy about doing. It may be difficult at first because it isn't part of your routine yet. Schedule it for 21-28 days which is what it takes to form a new habit and whatever you choose becomes part of your now, new routine.

Sure, you had to set yourself a reminder for the last 3 weeks that you wanted to exercise in the evening. But what makes it stick is that you chose Monday Tuesday, and Thursday after you walk your dog. Now your walk with Spot is the trigger for the addition of that habit into your routine. When you arrive home you're ready for your work out, and if you and Spot did more than just stroll maybe you don't need the warm up time before you begin.

So Why Am I So Charged Up About Routines

It is the auto pilot part. If you have no routine or a poor one, you constantly backtrack your steps or think what do I need to do now. When you have good routines in place for the mundane but necessary, you don't think about them. Your brain is free as a bird in flight while your hands and feet go about the tasks at hand. This can be some extra your time. Maybe you have ideas to brainstorm or a new audio book you have been meaning to find time for. Whatever you want that time for, claim it by making your routines work for you.

I want to challenge you to alter or streamline some part of your routine and make it work better for you.

If you liked this post please share it with your Buds.

  ~~Joyce