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how to establish a routine

How to Establish a Routine

Ready to actually get things done? It’s time to establish a routine that works for you!

If you’re stuck at home or feel unmotivated, I understand why you might be in a funk. However, I have a solution for you!

Creating a routine is a simple and cost-effective way to get unstuck in life and get back on track to achieving your goals!

Routines are great productivity boosters, but that’s not their only advantage. Establishing a daily routine also has many mental health benefits.

Still not convinced? Keep reading to learn why routines are important and how you can create your own!



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Why it’s important to have a balanced life

Daily, weekly, and monthly routines create balance in your life.

If you feel like your lifestyle is chaotic, it’s likely that you need to work harder to achieve balance. A balanced lifestyle will feel peaceful and fulfilling.

The modern world is fast-paced. The “workaholic” personality is common among people who simply want better lives for themselves and their families. However, it’s not healthy to work all the time.

I, myself, have fallen into that workaholic lifestyle at certain points in my career. Sure, I succeeded professionally, but my physical health, mental wellness, and social life suffered.

Now that I’ve established a more balanced lifestyle, I’m in a better mental and physical state. I actually enjoy life again.

If you feel like your way of living is lawless and unbalanced, it’s time to take control. You need structure. You need a routine.


Benefits of having a daily routine

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are so many benefits to creating a routine for yourself.

Here are just a few of the advantages of sticking to a routine:
  1. You’ll know exactly what you need to do, so you won’t waste time thinking or contemplating.
  2. You won’t have to plan as often, so you’ll save time.
  3. You’ll boost productivity and check more items off your to-do list.
  4. You’ll reduce stress, and you’ll worry less.
  5. You’ll enjoy a regular sleep schedule.
  6. You’ll live a healthier lifestyle overall.
  7. You’ll be able to form positive habits.
  8. You’ll also be able to kick negative habits more easily.
  9. You’ll have the opportunity to improve your skills over time.
  10. You’ll procrastinate less.
  11. You’ll feel more motivated to succeed.
  12. You’ll feel more confident and self-assured.
  13. You’ll save money when you stick to the plan.
  14. You’ll achieve your goals with a long-term, effective routine.
  15. You’ll be able to measure your progress and celebrate your wins!

…the list goes on and on.

Ready to create your own life-changing routine? Check out the tutorial below!


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Step-by-step process to establish a routine

1. Get a sheet of paper! We’re going to write this down.

I’m a firm believer that writing with a pen and paper makes you more creative. The first phase of this tutorial involves brainstorming, so you’ll want to write down anything and everything that comes to mind!

Set up your workspace. If possible, find a quiet place with a desk or table so you can write your thoughts down. Prepare yourself to come up with some awesome ideas that are meaningful to you!

2. Brainstorming time! First, write down the tasks that are non-negotiables.

Remember, this is just brainstorming. This initial list is not supposed to be perfect! You’re simply getting your thoughts onto paper so you can refer back to them later.

Create a section on your sheet of paper titled “Non-Negotiable Tasks.”

Think about the tasks that you absolutely must do every day, week, and month. Next to each task, indicate the frequency that you must perform that action.

Examples: Taking a multivitamin (once per day), picking up your kids from school (five times per week), or paying your bills (once per month)

3. Next, write down tasks that are important to you personally.

Below the “Non-Negotiable Tasks” section, create a section on your sheet of paper titled “Important Tasks.”

This next batch of tasks will be things that are important to you, but not the difference between life or death if you don’t get to them.

Tip: If you think of more ideas to put in the Non-Negotiable Tasks section, you can backtrack and add more to it!

Use the same brainstorming process for the “Important Tasks” section. Write down everything that comes to mind!

Examples: Going to the gym (five times per week), getting a pedicure (once per month), or date night with your significant other (once per month)

4. Finally, write tasks that you’ve wanted to make time for, but haven’t gotten around to.

The last section on your sheet of paper will be titled “Tasks to Make Time For.” This section is dedicated to the things that you want to be a part of your lifestyle, but you previously haven’t been able to fit into your schedule.

The good news is that creating a routine will save you sooooo much time. You’ll find time you never knew you had! This means that you’ll be able to do more with your life than you were able to before.

Ask yourself this: if you had unlimited time, what would you do? Write your ideas down in the “Tasks to Make Time For” section.

Examples: Creating a YouTube video (once per week), going on a trip somewhere (once per month), or taking a pole fitness class (once per week)

Tip: Also consider things you’d like to include in your morning or night routine. For example, doing 15 minutes of yoga after you wake up or reading a book for 30 minutes before bed.

5. Time to solidify the routine. Make three columns: daily, weekly, and monthly.

The brainstorming process is complete. Congrats!

Now, you get to create your actual routine. On a new sheet of paper, make three columns for your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

Fill in each column, beginning with your ideas from the “Non-Negotiable Tasks” section. Next to each idea, write the time of day, week, or month each task corresponds to.

Example: Paying your bills (at the beginning of the month), taking a pole fitness class (every Monday), or picking up your kids from school (3 p.m., Monday-Friday)

Most of the “Non Negotiable Tasks” will probably make it onto your final routine. However, if you feel like an idea is irrelevant, just throw it out.

Then, move onto the “Important Tasks” section, and the “Tasks to Make Time For” section afterward.

Once you have your tasks organized into three columns and labeled with the completion times, you’ll see your new routine start to take shape.


6. Use a calendar or planner to hold yourself accountable.

The final step in this process is to write your new routine down in your calendar or planner! When you write things down, you’re much more likely to remember them.

Take each task, one by one, and write it in the appropriate location in your planner based on the completion time. You’ll know exactly when to do each task, and you won’t forget anything (as long as you look at your planner regularly!)

You may also want to chronologically organize the three-column list you created in the last step and keep a copy of that handy, so you can visualize the routine you created just by looking at that one page.

If you don’t currently have a calendar or planner you like, I created a helpful tool specifically to help you organize your routine! Check it out below.


A tool to help you put your routine into action!

24-Hour To-Do List Product Mockup

I designed this super cute printable 24-hour overview to-do list bundle to help you plan all 24 hours of your day!

This will accommodate your morning, afternoon, and evening routines so you can time block, create balance in your life, and make time for the tasks that are most important to you.

Better yet, this printable bundle contains all 7 days of the week in 5 different colors. You can mix and match your favorites or color coordinate the different weeks of the month so you can stay organized and on track!

Ready to get seriously organized and plan like a pro? Click the button below for details about this bundle!

learn more button


How to make your routine stick

Establishing a routine is one thing, but sticking to it is a wholeeee other ball game. Here are some tips to help you:

Take things one step at a time.

It can be difficult to make a bunch of lifestyle changes all at once.

If you feel overwhelmed by your new routine, try taking baby steps. Incorporate one new task this week, add another one next week, and keep stacking them gradually so you have the chance to adjust to the changes.

Remember, this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. The goal is to sustain your routine long-term so you can make permanent improvements to your lifestyle.

It’s better to take things slowly instead of getting burned out from trying to make a bunch of changes all at once.

Reward yourself for sticking to the routine.

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself or celebrating your wins! After all, you’re striving for balance, not perfection.

So, eat that cupcake!

Buy yourself that new purse!

Book that spa day!

Show yourself some love. You deserve it!

Remember why you started.

Sometimes, the motivation you need is simply remembering why you started. Visualize your ideal life and remind yourself of the steps you need to take to achieve it.

Life changes aren’t easy, but you are 100 percent capable of achieving everything you set your mind to!

Be disciplined, but encourage yourself.

If you want to stick to your routine, self-discipline is crucial. However, there is a big difference between being disciplined and beating yourself up. One is good, and one is very bad!

Instead of letting your inner critic belittle you, encourage yourself to succeed using positive self-talk. 

With a positive mindset, you’ll achieve so much more than you will if you’re constantly putting yourself down. Be disciplined, but be your own biggest cheerleader!

Don’t give up!

You’ll fail sometimes. You’ll have days when you just aren’t feeling it. At times, you may feel like giving up on your routine.

But the truth is that the only way to truly fail is to give up. So, don’t do that!

Your lifestyle isn’t supposed to be perfect. If you have a bad day, bad week, or even a bad month, just know that you can get right back on track.

There’s no such thing as losing all your progress. You’re continuously learning, growing, and improving. If you get into a funk, you can get right back out of it. Instead of giving up, learn from your mistakes and move forward!

Need more inspiration? Check out my other post on forming good habits.


Related reads!

1. How to Stop Being Lazy and Unproductive

2. 12 Ways to Get Unstuck in Life

3. 12 Habits of Super Duper Organized People


How do you plan to establish a routine? Tell me your strategies in the comments below.

10 comments

  1. I kept nodding my head while reading my post, like “Yep. Definitely need to get a routine.” Super helpful post! I have an “Every Damn Day” list with all of my MUST do tasks and a few extra ones that I laminated and can just check off with a dry erase marker and then wipe it clean and have it ready to go for the next day. I’ll definitely have to make a weekly and monthly one.

  2. This is amazing advice on how to create a routine because you have easy to follow steps. The printables are really cute too and totally helpful. It feels so good after you establish a routine and things get easier. But sometimes routines are hard to stick to. This post helps that!

  3. Alison says:

    I love this structured approach to building your routine. I thought I had a routine but now I’m not so sure I do. I will give this exercise a go as I’m sure I could free up time. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. I don’t think I’ve come across a better article about establishing a routine than this. You’ve provided reason as to why we should start a routine, benefits, and how to. It’s thorough, and super helpful with additional tools and resources. What a powerful tool you have here.

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