Do you want to start a daily routine and stick to a schedule – but feel like it’s totally impossible?

I know the feeling.

When you have so much to do that you don’t even know where to start, creating a daily routine can feel challenging – if not impossible.

But there are steps you can take to make a daily routine for yourself. One that will help you be more productive, stress less, and sleep easier at night.

Not sure how to make it happen? Keep reading! In this post, we’ll cover:

  • How to develop a daily routine that will help you become your best self.
  • The different ways you can benefit from a daily routine.
  • The steps you can follow to implement your ideal daily routine.

How to Create a Daily Routine that Fits Into Your Life… That You’ll Actually Stick To!

Let’s be honest. 

Creating a daily routine that actually fits into your life can be hard

With so much going on in your life, and so many factors that you may not be able to control, establishing an effective daily routine can feel impossible.

Luckily, there’s no such thing as impossible.

You can make a daily routine that fits into your life that you’ll actually stick to.

It’s just going to take a little bit of effort.

If you want to create a daily routine that you’ll actually stick to, you better be ready to:

Focus on the things that matter. Your daily routine can’t include everything. You need to make some decisions. What are your priorities? What is truly important?

Be consistent. You’ll never have any luck implementing a new daily routine if you can’t be consistent. Consistency is how you transform everyday actions into part of your routine. Make sure you’re consistently practicing the actions you want to become part of your daily routine. 

Reward yourself. One of the best ways to instill new behaviors? Reward yourself for the effort. By creating a positive feedback loop and rewarding yourself for doing the stuff you actually want to do, you’ll make it easier to repeat those behaviors and make them part of your daily routine!

how to make a daily routine for yourself

Daily Routines vs. Schedules – What’s The Difference?

You might be wondering, “What’s the difference between a daily routine and a daily schedule?” 

It’s a fair question and it has a fairly simple answer.

Generally speaking, schedules are associated with specific times. You schedule a meeting or an appointment for a certain time. Then you schedule a time to run specific errands, grab lunch with a friend, or connect with colleagues. 

You do not schedule every element of your daily routine…Because you don’t need to.

Instead, daily routines consist of the activities you do regularly – the things that come so naturally, they could be considered habits. Your daily routine is the way you flow from one task to the next and where you focus your attention. 

Here are just a few examples:

Daily RoutineSchedule
Brush my teeth in the morning after I wake up.Grab breakfast with Jen at 8AM. 
Check the mail after eating lunch.Work on my project from 2-4PM.
Do yoga after dinner, before bedtime.Go to bed at 10PM. 

What are the Benefits of Having a Daily Routine?

People don’t just embrace daily routines because they’re fun. People follow daily routines because they’re helpful. There are some serious benefits involved with implementing a daily routine. 

Not convinced that a daily routine can benefit you? Here are a few of the most compelling benefits of having a daily routine:

A daily routine can increase your productivity. Routines are similar to habits. It’s what we do unconsciously, without even thinking about them. The more your routine feels like a habit, the less effort you’ll need to exert to make it happen, and the more productive you’ll be overall. 

Once loading the dishwasher after breakfast becomes part of your routine, it won’t feel like such a burden. It’ll feel like something you’re supposed to do. And when you aren’t scrambling to check your to-do list or think of that thing you forgot to do? Consider it time that you can repurpose for more productive things. 

A daily routine can help you stress less. Trying to remember an endless to-do list is exhausting…and stressful. Want to stress less? Implement a daily routine that includes the things you’re most likely to forget.

By making these actions a part of your routine and doing them regularly, in the same order, you’ll eventually get to the point where you’re running on autopilot. 

A daily routine can improve your sleep. The whole bedtime routine thing? It actually works. If you struggle to go to sleep at night, going through a set series of actions, your bedtime routine, can help your mind and body prepare to go to sleep and make it easier to drift off once your head hits the pillow.

Is There a Downside to Routine?

There are many recognized benefits to establishing a routine, but what about the downsides? 

What happens when routines go wrong?

Despite the many benefits that routines can bring into your life, there are a few drawbacks to be mindful of, too.

First, routines can get monotonous and boring. If your routine doesn’t include a lot of variety, chances are you’re going to get tired of it pretty quickly.

Routines can also be a good way to stifle creativity, which isn’t good. If you’re a writer, or a singer, or a painter, you know that inspiration can strike at any time… not just when you plan on writing, or singing, or painting. 

And if you’re following a routine that won’t let you pause and shift your focus? You’re going to end up frustrated and uninspired when it’s actually time for you to create something new. 

Finally, routines can get comfortable – too comfortable. Once you get familiar with your routine, you can become complacent, which can lead you to actively fight against positive change and progress. 

Fortunately, the benefits of routines outweigh the downsides for nearly everyone. It’s just important to maintain a level of flexibility as well.

How to Start a Daily Routine and Change Your Life

A daily routine can make all of the difference in accomplishing your goals, achieving your dreams, and living your best life.

But where do you begin?

How do you establish a daily routine to become your best self?

How do you create your ideal routine? And how do you even figure out what your ideal routine looks like?

You start by examining the routine you have today.

Don’t think you have a routine today? 

I bet you do. Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down what you do each day – from beginning to end. You don’t have to capture the details. Just focus on the big things you do each day. 

Chances are, you’ll be able to identify a pattern that happens nearly every day – and that’s your routine.

But if you want to start a daily routine to change your life?

That’s going to take a little more effort..

Creating an Ideal Morning Routine

We’ll start from the beginning and examine morning routines first.

You may be wondering, “What is the best morning routine?” 

There’s no ‘right’ answer to that question. The best morning routine is one that will help you…

  • Set you up for success throughout your day.
  • Achieve your goals.
  • Change your life.

If you want to create your ideal morning routine, start by stepping back and looking at your current routine. Ask yourself:

  • What time do you wake up each day?
  • What do you do next? Scroll through your phone? Jump right into the shower? Put the coffee on to brew while you watch the news? 
  • What else could you do each morning to make your day even better? More productive? More fulfilling?

Once you’ve outlined your current daily routine and have identified some opportunities to improve, you can find ways to improve your morning routine. How? By looking at your “what else” list and finding ways to weave those actions into your routine as you start your day.

Need some inspiration for your morning routine? Consider adding some of these activities into the mix:

  • Write in your journal while you wait for your coffee to brew.
  • Drink a tall glass of water before breakfast.
  • Stretch before getting out of bed.
  • Put on your favorite playlist or podcast while you get ready for your day. 

It’s important to create realistic routines for the life you have now. If you have young children, factor their needs into the equation as well. What ‘ideal’ looks like at various life stages will change with time.

how to make a daily routine for yourself

Figuring Out the Best Afternoon Routine for You

You’ve heard of the “afternoon slump.”

Two o’clock rolls around, and it’s time for a coffee break. Otherwise, it’s time for a nap

Did you know your afternoon routine can actually help you overcome that midday slump and power through your to-do list without a single yawn?

Yep – that’s the power of routines.

Afternoon routines are harder to maintain than morning routines simply because they happen later in the day, which means you’ve had lots of time for your plans to go awry. That’s OK. It happens. New priorities pop up, our focus shifts, and our afternoon routines go out the window in favor of whatever we need to do right now.

That doesn’t have to always be the case though.

Your afternoon routine can be something you follow consistently – even when things get crazy and stressful. How? By planning for it. 

Planning your afternoon routine

Constantly fighting the afternoon slump? Consider incorporating a quick nap into your daily routine. Twenty minutes of sleep can make a surprising difference in the middle of your day.

Or, you could make a quick cup of coffee part of your daily routine and let caffeine fuel you as you conquer the rest of your day – before you’re nodding off in front of your computer screen.

Not sure what kind of activities your afternoon routine should include? Here are a few ideas!

  • Step away from your work and spend some time moving! Take a walk, dance to your favorite playlist, or jump on your Peloton and squeeze in a quick workout.
  • Grab a quick snack. Don’t let your hunger get the best of you! Eating something light in the early afternoon will give you the energy and clarity you need to power through your day.
  • Clean up your inbox! Spending a little bit of time each day keeping your inbox in order will help you keep things manageable.

Remember to keep your routines realistic. If you have kids who you have to pick up from school or help with homework, consider those needs as well as you create your routines. Maintain some flexibility while working towards consistency because life can throw those curve balls.

Say Goodbye to Stress with Your Evening Routine

There’s no better way to finish the day than with an evening routine.

The right evening routine can…

  • Help you relax and unwind
  • Let you get ahead on your to-do list for the following day
  • Improve your sleep

… and so much more! 

At the end of a long day, there’s a good chance you’re feeling some stress. It happens. Let’s be honest – life can be stressful. After hours of hard work, it can be challenging to “turn off” and stop thinking about your never-ending to-do list.

That’s why evening routines are so important. 

An evening routine is a powerful tool to help you stress less and relax more. By having a set series of steps that you put into motion each evening, you can train your body to know that it’s time to stop stressing out over work and start to wind down for the day.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your evening routine, I can help! Here are a few evening routine activities that can make a big impact:

  • Grab a journal and reflect on your day.
  • Take a warm shower.
  • Prepare a nutritious dinner for yourself (and make enough for leftovers so you have lunch the following day!)
  • Put on some relaxing music to set the mood.
  • Read a chapter of your latest book before going to bed.
how to make a daily routine for yourself

How to Stick to Your Routine – Even When You Don’t Feel Like It

One of the biggest struggles to starting a new routine?

Figuring out how to stick to your routine even when you don’t feel like it.

Sticking to a routine can be a real challenge. 

Sometimes, you just don’t feel like doing the thing you know you need to do. And that’s OK.

We all get tired. Exhaustion can happen to the best of us.

And working through our routine? That can be exhausting. Especially in the beginning, when you’re establishing new habits.

But what do you do when you really don’t feel like sticking to your routine? How do you overcome that challenge?

Here are two of my favorite ways to push through:

Entice yourself with a reward. I’m not a big fan of bribes, but if that’s what it takes… If you’re struggling to find the motivation to stick to your daily routine, consider giving yourself a little incentive – a reason to keep going. Have you been eyeing a new lipstick? A favorite snack? A pair of concert tickets? Give yourself a reward and see just how motivated you become to stick to your routine.

Hold yourself accountable. Accountability is huge when it comes to making positive changes in your life. Having support from others can make all the difference. If you’re struggling to stick to your daily routine, find a friend or small group of friends who will help keep you accountable. Chances are, you’ll be more inclined to do what you’re supposed to do and not slack off and fall back to bad habits.

Making a Routine You Can Stick to is the Key Factor to Success. 

What works for someone else may not work so well for you – but that’s OK! When it comes to making a daily routine for yourself, finding what works for you is the key to your success.

As long as your routine is something you can realistically follow, chances are you’re going to succeed. Keep your to-do list manageable, focus on the important things, and make it a habit, and there’s a good chance your daily routine will help you achieve your goals and stress less.

Want More Help Creating Routines for Yourself?

I created the Simply Scheduled Workbook to help busy moms manage their time more efficiently. Get a handle on all your to-do’s by creating routines, habits, and systems that work for you!

In Simply Scheduled, you’ll find:

  • all the things list
  • task lists + ideas
  • meal plan & grocery list
  • remember today & important dates
  • priorities assessment
  • morning & evening routines
  • daily, weekly, & monthly planners
  • undated monthly calendars

For more details and to order, go here:

Want to keep up with The Simplicity Habit? Sign up on the form below to get weekly tips on living simply and intentionally sent right to your inbox! You’ll also get the free Priorities Assessment worksheet to help you focus in on what matters most in your life.

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