Are you happy with how you’re spending your day?
Creating a daily routine is more than listing out the things you want to accomplish on a regular basis. Your to-do list has to fit into a bigger picture of where you want your life to be. You can make a list of things to accomplish in a day that will put you in a better place than where you were the day before, but mindlessly checking things off a list everyday without cohesive goals doesn’t work. You have to be focused. You have to be clear about what you want to contribute in your life. Clear about your long-term goals.
New routines can be hard.
Whenever you do something new for the first time, it can feel hard because it requires your full attention. You’re not supposed to be good at something you’ve never done before, that’s the nature of it. Your brain has to process the new thought, new action and new energy required to complete this new thing. But as you continue to repeat it over and over it becomes easier, demanding less of your brain power to complete, until it becomes a habit that you carry out without much conscious thought. These habits that you build into your daily routine, dictate who you are as a person and where you’re going in life.
Creating habits that serve you, your family and the wider community is vital to success and happiness. If you’re not careful, your daily routine can become burdensome and start to feel like a random list of tasks, disconnected from your goals and values. When everything in your life is important, then nothing is. You must learn to prioritize the things you value. You have to learn which things are worth your time and effort and which things need to be let go.
Where are you going?
You have to know what you want out of life. To create a daily routine that serves you, you have to know how each task it fits into the bigger picture of your life. Like building blocks, each day stacks on top of the last. Each one, in and of itself may seem small and insignificant, but altogether you can build quite a solid foundation. Good habits, built into your daily routine can create a wildly happy and successful life.
Set long-term goals that align with your values.
Setting the goals that will guide your daily routines is not an easy task. Take some time to think through where you’re at and where you want to go. Ask yourself questions like, “How do I want my life to look in three to five years? Where do I want to be in my career, with my family, in my friendships and intimate relationships, in regard to my mental and physical health?”
These answers will be highly personal and unique to your lifestyle and circumstances. Setting goals that don’t align with your core values or working hard to meet the expectations of anyone else is not usually a healthy idea. Think about the contribution you want to make with your life and the specific obstacles and challenges you might face along the way and set your goals accordingly.
Your daily routine should always serve you. When you sit down with your calendar to plan out your week or write down the 5-10 things you need to accomplish in any given day, it should energize you, because each thing on your list reflects the values and goals you’ve set for yourself.
Don’t sell yourself short.
Aim high when you’re setting goals. You’ve probably heard this said before – most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year, and underestimate what they can achieve in five – and it’s true.
The compound effects of consistent, daily habits are really hard to track. But what if you spent just one hour every day, working on your goals? Just like the building blocks we talked about earlier, 1 hour may not seem like much time. But 1 hour every day, 365 days a year, over a 5 year span is a significant amount of time, roughly 182 [10-hour] days to be exact. So, what might seem impossible to accomplish in just 1 hour, becomes a lot less daunting in 182 days.
Where could you be five years from now?