The start of the year is the season when people aspire to be more on-top of life. As we reflect on the prior year, we begin the new year resolving to do better. On January 1st, we muster up as much gumption as we can and charge ahead to achieve our goals.
Inevitably, we run out of steam after a few weeks or months and beat ourselves up for not keeping our resolutions AGAIN.
Sheer resolve and willpower isn’t enough to achieve your goals. While hard work and grit is admirable, it can also lead to exhaustion without the right lens on life.
What if making resolutions and new plans isn’t the best way to make progress?
The key to achieve your goals in life is not in lofty resolutions, but in your simple daily RHYTHMS.
What if the key to achieve your goals in life is not in lofty resolutions, but in your simple daily rhythms?
Resolutions are too often about deprivation or forcing yourself to do something. It’s a very transactional, harsh way of dealing with yourself!
On the other hand, daily rhythms create flow and order in your life. These rhythms are simple practices you implement every day, like making your bed or allowing evening wind-down time. Building rhythms into your life will support you in creating the life you really want.
Too many of us – myself included – have gone through life with our “hair on fire,” just getting by. We know what it’s like to drive ourselves to achieve. A life of order is not attained through accomplishment, however. A life of true order- that feeds your soul and your community – is one that is attained through healthy recurrent, self-supportive habits.
Organizing is just as much about healthy life management as it is about organized spaces. In fact, if our private world isn’t ordered, no amount of external order will bring the peace we crave.
When you take the time to establish healthy daily rhythms, you will create infrastructure that surrounds and frees you.
Set Intentional Weekly Rhythms
Some people feel that planning every day is limiting. But, creating rhythms doesn’t remove spontaneity; in fact – a routine that honors your responsibilities and family and work will support you in protecting what matters most to you!
A routine that honors your responsibilities, family, and work will support you in protecting what matters most to you!
Start creating new rhythms in your life by getting out your planner. (If you don’t use some kind of electronic or paper calendar; take the time to find the simplest system that will work for you. Avoid over-complication!)
Note your current daily patterns. What routines are helping you achieve your goals and which are thwarting you?
- Do you constantly over-sleep?
- Do you spread laundry over an entire week?
- Are you exhausted by the end of the day with no quality family time?
Now that you know what HAS and what HAS NOT been working for you, it’s time to assemble the puzzle pieces of your life into a cohesive picture.
Map Out A Successful Week
Use your kitchen table, or even some open wall space, and begin to mind-map an ideal week.
- Use sticky notes labeled with each necessary category. Include personal, professional, relational, marital, familial, and spiritual priorities.
- Keep the topics macro (like “planning” or “health focus”) to allow for fluidity within your days
- Move the sticky notes around until you have landed upon healthy, do-able weekly rhythms
- Consider giving “themes” to certain days. I find it helpful to group similar tasks together so I can focus, wearing one primary “hat” for the day. For example: for me, Tuesday is a “Studio Day” and Wednesday is an “Operations Day”.
Once you’ve established a routine for your week, you can begin a deeper-dive into the flow of each day.
Create Morning Margin
What you do each morning sets you up for a grounded or haphazard day. Many of us begin our day flying out of bed without a moment to spare. Living without margin in the morning leaves us feeling like we’re “behind” in our day before it’s even begun.
Creating morning rhythms that support your priorities is the first step in achieving your goals.
An ordered day begins in the morning. List what is needed to launch your day from a position of strength, not scurry. Include both practical and nurturing elements & then determine the order.
Here are some morning rhythms for you to consider:
- Get up earlier
- Make bed
- Quiet time of reflection
- Unload dishwasher
- Prep lunch while listening to music
- Tidy up; leave house ordered
Once you’ve determined your morning routine, consider using an app, like Habit Tracker, for establishing and maintaining these new rhythms. I personally track everything from taking vitamins to my morning lemon water! These morning routines set me up for a healthy, grounded day.
Notice how different you feel when you begin your day with intention. An organized morning routine is a great first step toward achieving your goals and living out your priorities.
An organized morning routine is a great first step toward achieving your goals and living out your priorities.
Create Evening Wind-Down
Some cultures believe that your day actually begins the prior night!
As tempting as it is to plop yourself on your sofa at the end of a long day, don’t lose your evening margin!
What you do every evening sets you up for the next day. Take a few extra minutes to prep your launch pads and give yourself some nurture in the evening.
What you do every evening sets you up for the next day. Take a few extra minutes before bed to prep your launch pads.
Here are some ideas for how to organize your evening rhythms to support yourself:
- Leave time to wind down: get off screens, stretch, read, etc. – honor your body and it will honor you!
- Honor a bedtime –research on the body’s clock – there is actually a certain time of night that each of your organs regenerate and heal!
- Prioritize care & connection – for yourself and family members. Read together, converse, and connect. Bookend your day with family connection and you’ll create treasured stability within your household culture.
Prep your Launch Pads
From your closet to your kitchen, take the time to prepare your “launch spaces” – those rooms in which you prepare for your day.
- Order your evening spaces – tidy your kitchen, bedroom, & bathroom so they are easy to navigate at go-time
- Pick out your outfit or those for your children
- Make lunches, start the dishwasher, clear your counters
As a business owner, homeschooler, and mom, I can personally attest to the importance of daily routines. Following these rhythms is saving my sanity and creating a known structure for my family. I invite you to achieve your goals and Reclaim Your Life with me, starting with simple practices done day-in-and-day-out that make our lives easier and more enjoyable!
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