Feeling over-scheduled, rushed, and stressed is a reality for many of us these days, and unfortunately, that often means that healthy habits get pushed to the bottom of our to-do list. The good news is that having a plan and creating a flexible schedule for ourselves can really help us get things done.
In addition to increasing productivity, routines have also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, help you make better big decisions and even lead to better sleep. The best part? Having a routine doesn’t have to mean scheduling every minute of the day. By using the tips below, incorporating a routine into your everyday life is easy & rewarding.
Wake up and go to bed at the same times every day.
While it may be tempting to binge-watch your favorite TV show on a Thursday night, or sleep until noon on a day you don’t have to be up for work, setting consistent hours for sleeping is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only does a regular bedtime guarantee you’re getting the sleep you need, going to bed and waking up around the same time everyday can improve the quality of your sleep.
Set regular meal times.
Choose flexible times during the day to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating meals at the same time each day does make it easier to plan the rest of your to-do list. For some, consistent meal times can lead to more energy, better digestion, & even better-regulated blood sugar! Skipping meals, also, can do more damage than you might think.
Make movement a priority.
The list of benefits you can get from physical activity is limitless, so be sure to make movement something you do everyday. Schedule a portion of your day for exercise, and make it non-negotiable. It can be a walk, stretching, dancing to your favorite music or even some vigorous house cleaning. If exercise is a new part of your routine, experts recommend attaching your movement to a habit you already have established. For example, working out before your morning coffee or stopping for a walk on your route home from work. Just like many other parts of your routine, the more consistent you can keep the time, the more likely you will be to actually do it.
Write it down.
Just like writing down goals is an imperative step in accomplishing them, writing out your daily routine is a great way to help yourself stick to it. Writing down your routine helps make it more “official.” Additionally, having the ability to post your routine somewhere highly visible like your refrigerator or your bathroom mirror means gives you a visual cue and extra motivation to stay on schedule.
Schedule in time for flexibility.
As much as we’d like to be able to never deviate from our routine, there will be times when life gets in the way. You may need to schedule a doctor’s appointment during your normal movement time, or attend a social gathering a few hours after you’d normally eat dinner. Don’t let life’s inevitable hiccups blow you off course. Allow for flexibility in the schedule and do your best to shift things around so you still feel happy, secure, and productive.
Here are some sample schedules that may work for you!
7:30 am Wake up – spend about 20 minutes meditating
8:00 am Shower, get dressed, start breakfast
8:30 am Eat breakfast
9:00 am Work!
1:00 pm Break for lunch
1:30 pm Work
5:30 pm Some kind of exercise— walk or YouTube video
6:00 pm Make dinner
7:00 pm Eat dinner
7:30 pm Dishes, clean up
8:00 pm Read, relax, fold laundry, chat with family, whatever…
10:00 pm Start the dishwasher, clean up a few last things around the house…
11:00 pm In bed!
8:00am Wake up, make bed, wash face, make coffee
8:30am Coffee, breakfast, reading
9:30am Morning movement
10:30am Household chores, reaching out to friends, family or hobby time
1:30pm Afternoon refresher: meditation, stretching, reading, outdoor activities, shower
3:30pm Snack (if you’re hungry!)
6:00pm Dinner prep/eating
7:30pm Dishes, make a to-do list for the next day, get ready for bed
8:00pm Relaxation of choice…
10:00pm Bedtime routine
10:30pm Lights out!
For more information on how to set goals, click here.
For many people, diet and exercise alone are not enough to reach a healthier weight. There are now safe and effective non-surgical medical treatments that have been proven to help people be successful over the long-run. Talk to your doctor or check out our physician locator to find a doctor near you who specializes in the medical treatment of weight.