The Power Of A Routine: Create A Schedule That Aligns With Your Goals

For most of us, routines already make up the majority of our day. Our iPhone alarms wake us up for #6AMCREW. Weeks in advance, our school or work schedule is set for the rest of the semester. CHAARG events + #CHAARGFITPLAN workouts take over our planners, leaving us with only the moments in between. While it seems like every single one of our activities should always have its corresponding time slot, it rarely ends up this way, right?

More often than not, we cram in late-night studying [+ even worse, all-nighters!] or a last minute #sweatsesh [that one we intended to knock out in the A.M.], + often trade valuable moments for necessary naps, grabbing that *not-so-healthy* meal on-the-go, + rescheduling all of the other tasks we missed out on in the process [+ let’s not mention all of the stress that comes with this…]. We tell ourselves it’s supposed to be better + easier than this [because *it should be*] — so what exactly happened to our routines?

>> FIRST, LET’S UNDERSTAND *WHY* ROUTINES ARE VITAL TO OUR DAY-TO-DAY LIVES.

At the beginning of this #YearOfTheBolt, we set goals for ourselves [in addition to monthly + FitPlan goals]. In order to reach our full potential as #GoalDiggers, our routines *must* push us closer to these goals. Routines + daily rituals can + should become something more than just checking items off a never-ending to-do list.

For example, my personal #CHAARGFITPLAN goal is #EVERY #DAMN #DAY, which, for me, means not missing a workout. In order for me to crush this goal, I’ve established a *new* daily routine of journaling [+ yes, I’m obsessed with the CHAARG FitJournal], so that I am fully aware of what I’m accomplishing each day. Every ritual, no matter how small, should always play a positive role in the pursuit of your goals.

When we find ourselves slipping away from our routines [+ pushing our goals to the backburner], we’re often faced with *decision fatigue* + we might not even realize it! Any time you’re faced with too many decisions, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, stressed, +// or set back. Sometimes, we even choose *not* to choose + allow the decision fatigue to get the best of us. Yes, you guessed it — early mornings are when we are most prone to decision fatigue, which is why we set multiple alarms, lay out our workout clothes, + pack our bags the night before. Once one routine is thrown off [ex. staying up late to study for an exam], it can immediately have a negative effect on the others [ex. not waking up to our alarm, not preparing for a morning workout, etc]. Routines force us to make these decisions ahead of time, eliminating decision fatigue + bringing us that much closer to our goals.

>> NOW, *HOW* EXACTLY DO WE TAKE BACK OUR SCHEDULES + REALLY BENEFIT FROM OUR ROUTINES?

Start by identifying pre-existing routines [those that have survived the stress of midterms or the first week of the FitPlan] + for each, ask yourself — *does this action help me reach my goals?* Then, break down each of your goals into the monthly, weekly, + daily tasks + routines it requires. Be as elaborate + deliberate as possible when creating your routines. What exactly does the action entail? How much time does this new action require? What time of the day is best for this action?

*Habit-stacking*, literally *stacking new habits onto your pre-existing routines*, can also help you in introducing these new, forward movements. Have a goal of learning how to meditate? Start each workout with a 5-minute meditation. You’ll find it’s easier to tack on a few minutes to your workout vs. setting aside a separate time slot in your already busy schedule.

>> LET’S GET BACK ON TRACK, *TOGETHER*.

Below, we’ve included a few example routines + rituals. Using the hashtag #inCHAARG, share with us two, new routines [one daily + one weekly//monthly] that you plan to introduce into your schedule. + why wait? Let’s start practicing these actions *right now*.

DAILY //

+ 15 minutes of morning journaling [list out the day’s 3 main priorities + how to complete them] + 15 minutes of evening journaling [list out 3 positive moments +//or 3 things to be grateful for] + 10 minutes of meditation + Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up [+ before each cup of coffee] + Reading before bed [look for titles + topics that align with your goals!]

WEEKLY //

+ A *different* workout of your choice [an outdoor or long run, a group fitness class, or yoga//meditation]

MONTHLY //

+ Plan an outing with your roommates, CHAARG small group, etc. — something that you’re really looking forward to + An act of community service + Reflecting on your monthly goals + establishing new goals for the next month

+ Jessica [@jessicasmith_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG NYC


Originally published at CHAARG.com on October 25, 2015.

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