We all have daily routines, but they’re usually centered around work. Leave at X time, pick up coffee at X time, get lunch at X time. But routines outside of work are a little harder to keep — routines that involve household chores or working out, for example. We also have those goals and dreams we set for ourselves, often as New Years Resolutions, that end up waning as we get wrapped up in our other routines. We argue with ourselves and convince ourselves we’ll just get to it some other day.
It can seem like this is a never ending cycle, but there is another solution to consider: making what you want to accomplish part of your daily routine.
One of my final writing courses in grad school did something none of my other professors had ever asked me to do: Write every single day. We didn’t have any other homework assignments — we just had to write something every day. I experimented with time, trying evening and morning, and eventually settled on a morning journal. For a full month, I wrote every day — and it was the most I had ever written in a short period. Sure, I’d written a lot when I had a big assignment due, but this kind of writing had variety. I had a different story I crafted each day, even if I didn’t finish it. At the end of the quarter, I selected my favorites and revised them into separate pieces for my portfolio.
Of course, the quarter ended and I was on to the next class. I stopped doing writing (just for me, not work) every single day. And then I stumbled upon Gretchen Rubin’s post on LinkedIn: “Why I Try To Do Some Things Every Day, Without Exception.” I was reminded of why that routine I developed was so important:
True, if you do something every day, you tend to fall into a routine, and routine has a bad reputation. Novelty and challenge bring happiness, but I think that routine activities also bring happiness.
The things you do every day take on a certain beauty, and provide a kind of invisible architecture to daily life.
So, Career Girls, join me as I begin again my daily routine. Your routine may not be writing, but it could be keeping a daily journal, starting the day with daily meditation, or making a daily trip to the gym. Once you start, it will be no different than waking up and putting on your makeup. It will be a part of your day.
Let’s start the new year off right, with a routine already forming!
What do you want to make a daily habit? Share it with us, and let me know how it’s going once you get started.