It began the day we decided to struggle and lift our head off our soft blanket and take a look around. Of course, our goals have changed as we’ve grown older, but they haven’t gotten any easier. We challenge ourselves to succeed, and unfortunately we fail more often than not.
How do you reach your goals when you often find yourself falling short? One of the ways I recommend is through the use of daily routines.
What is a Daily Routine?
A daily routine is a schedule of activities that you repeat on a day-to-day basis. It offers structure, and reinforces the positive behaviors you seek to live out. Daily routines create habitual behavior, and when aligned with your goals they create building blocks for achieving success in life.
For example, my daily routine might include the following:
Wake up at 6:00 am, exercise 30 min.
Eat breakfast, make bag lunch
Be at work by 7:45am, preview schedule
Read industry blog over lunch
Clean desk before leaving work
Family time 6-8pm
Read one hour before bedtime
This becomes a routine when you make a practice of doing these activities every day of the week. (You should create weekend routines as well).
Incorporate Goals into Your Routine
If you study the routine above, you will see that I incorporated several goals into my daily activities: improving my fitness, saving money/eating better at work, being better organized/informed at work, spending more time with family, and reading more.
Think about all the ways you can include your goals into your daily routine.
By developing a daily routine that includes my goals I have created a blueprint for success. Furthermore, the good news is that many of these goals quickly become habits – a measure of success for achieving any goal. By following this routine I will be living a life of balance, having activities in many different facets of life.
How Do You Create a Routine?
You must first decide how much structure works for you. Some personalities enjoy structure while others resent it. Your routine can include as much or as little of your day as you wish. I urge you to experiment and find a daily routine that feels fluid, and not stifling.
Use the following steps:
- Write a daily schedule based on your life right now
- Create a list of long-term goals and intermediate steps. See this post for details.
- Create processes within your day that reach toward your intermediate steps (e.g. “Clean desk before leaving work”)
- Find a way to twist normal daily processes into satisfying goals. In my routine above, eating lunch becomes eating healthy, saving money, and expanding my business knowledge.
- Write out a master routine sheet and make it visible in your day planner
- Commit to following your routine for four weeks
- Revise as necessary after one month
What do you think?
Do you think daily routines will help you achieve success? Are you currently using routines that benefit you? Please comment here, or post a comment on Facebook. If you like this post and want to read more on this topic, please be sure to tell us.
Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at [email protected].
[baby photo by Badruddeen]