You may have hopes to wake up early, workout, eat healthy, meditate, read, journal, and have one-on-one time with your morning coffee before 8 am. But, to be honest, that could take hours out of your morning. While that may work for a couple of weeks, this “productive” routine may fall short when time gets tight. That’s why I’m here to share how creating sustainable routines can improve your lifestyle and help you achieve your goals.
I will start out by breaking down what a sustainable routine is, steps to creating your own (and adjusting as needed), and share a few examples of my own. So, let’s get started!
What is a sustainable routine?
A sustainable routine (to me), is a routine that you can easily carry out to achieve your goals without sacrificing an outrageous amount of time to keep up with it. For some, it’s hard to do everything you want in the morning without having to wake up two to three hours earlier. Or, it could be hard to achieve everything you want in the evening without cutting your social life.
To create a sustainable routine, we strip everything and start with the basics. What is important to you? What makes your morning and night brighter? What are some goals that you really want to achieve this year? The list goes on, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
How to create a sustainable routine in 6 steps
Creating a sustainable routine is one that is easy to do long term. I’m not talking about a few weeks. I am talking about months, years, decades, etc. If you have a bad morning and wake up later than normal, you should still be able to carry out your routine without a worry. And, if you have a night where you stay out longer than normal, you should be able to hash out your routine without a sweat when you come home. Here’s how!
1. Break down your goals
Take out a notepad and write out your goals. These goals could be working out, making your bed, reading the bible, or working on your website daily. For instance, mine are making my bed, brushing my teeth, washing my face, putting deodorant on, and walking my dog before my morning meetings start. And for the evening, it’s showering, doing skincare, walking Sadie girl, giving her her meds, and reading the bible before lights out.
2. Highlight your routine wants and needs
Now, you simplify your goals. Many of us are a little too ambitious with our daily goals. You may think you want to go to the gym, publish one blog post, film and edit a video, carry out your full-time job, and do yoga all before day end. Realistically, you aren’t able to complete all these tasks in a full day, let alone carry it out for weeks on end — it’s not sustainable.
To avoid this, highlight which goals you want and break them down into smaller, daily goals that are sustainable for your lifestyle.
3. Create your routine + test it out
You have the list of realistic goals you want to achieve this 2022 — now put it in action. While you start up these routines, be aware of what’s working and what may not be working. For example, I love working out in the morning, but working out before starting work at 7 am isn’t realistic for me. Instead, I workout in the evening to ensure that I’m making it easier on myself to carry out day after day.
4. Brainstorm motivational tactics
This sounds so cheesy, but it really helps. I have a motivational background on my phone, laptop, computer, and iPad to remind myself what I am working towards. I am wanting to learn new things, grow my mindset, test new things, and achieve my life goals. To do those things, it doesn’t happen overnight. I have to chip away at these goals day after day with help from my structured and productive routines to avoid burnout.
5. Adjust as needed
If your new routine isn’t working for you, adapt. Take out what you need and add what you think you can take on. Nobody is forcing you to do a routine that doesn’t work for you — you are in control. As I mentioned, it’s not realistic for me to workout before my 7 am work meetings, but workouts between 4:00-5:00 pm does work for me. Understand your own natural routines and adjust as needed.
6. & now, repeat
Once you have this process down for one routine, create more *sustainable* routines. For instance, you nailed your morning routine and can test out a new night routine. Once you have your night routine perfected, start on your work day routine (starting up and/or logging off for the evening). Routines are what help me stay on track and avoid stress from feeling out of control.
My sustainable morning routine
5:30-6:00 am: Wake up, make my bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, and do my full skincare routine.
5:45-6:15 am: Eat breakfast, sip coffee, drink lots of water, and start waking Sadie girl up.
6:00-6:15 am: Let Sadie girl out, check up on my budget, write out a to-do list and drink more *coffee.*
7:00 am: Start my work day.
My sustainable night routine
4:00-4:30 pm: Log off work, decompress, catch up on social media, workout.
5:30-6:30 pm: Eat dinner, feed Sadie, let Sadie out, chat with family/friends/boyfriend, and work on my side hustles as needed.
7:00-8:00 pm: Shower, night skincare, tea, winddown, catch up on TV shows.
9:00-10:00 pm: Let Sadie out again, get in bed, read my bible, watch TikToks (not proud of this), and fall asleep.
As I mentioned, not one routine works for everyone. We all live different lives, have different needs and wants, and are working towards different goals. To create a sustainable routine, you have to nail down what’s important to you and what makes you feel the best throughout the day. Doing your skincare for example could make you feel more confident in the morning and take charge of your day. Do what you need/want and adjust as needed. 🙂