Your daily routine matters

 Some of you may be asking, “Why does my daily routine matter?”

So let’s talk about what would constitute a daily routine when I talk about it. I talk about a morning ritual, a workday start up ritual, a workday shut down ritual, and an evening ritual.

What is a routine?

A routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed.

What is a habit?

A habit is a subtle or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. 

So by having rituals to start your day, before your workday, after your workday, and before you go to bed it allows your body to shift into different modes or different head spaces.

Multitasking can actually reduce your productivity as much as 40%, unless you have certain learning disabilities that make bouncing from one thing to another a positive thing. You’re probably getting yourself out of the groove otherwise. 

Much like our zone of genius, this productivity groove feels effortless and makes us either produce a better quality of work or simply more work. 

The goal for this is to allow our body to adjust accordingly. Your brain is not here to make you happy, it’s not here to make you productive, no matter what we wish. Our mind is here to keep us from dying. It’s going to assume that things are scary, and if things are energy draining they’re going to lump that in with scary. It’ll tell you to avoid them. 

Remember, decision fatigue can be life or death during ancient times. If you were being chased by a lion or a tiger, you’d be able to quickly think and get out of that. But generally the decisions that we make nowadays aren’t life or death.

You need to be able to save your brain power for when you need it most. So with these rituals and routines, you’re going to train your mind like Pavlov’s dogs. Remember, he would hit the bell and then the dogs would start salivating because they knew the meat powder was coming. This is called classic conditioning.

You’re going to teach your brain when it needs to be productive and when it can shut off and recharge. Having a workday ritual to start your brain up, you’re going to start warming it up, and let it know it’s got to get to work. 

If you’ve ever taken your dogs through agility, or ridden horses, you know that you need to warm up to stretch the muscles. What if you don’t? You’re going to get a cramp. Think of your mind like a muscle that needs to be warmed up, stretched out, and cooled down.

What are some examples of rituals?

Now the truth is that everyone has different goals and different types of goals.

For example, are your goals physical like working out? Are they mental, like reading 4 books a month? Are they spiritual, like meditation or praying? Are they family oriented goals, like having breakfast with your spouse or children every morning?

Creating goals is not just for your business. It’s also for your life, which will allow you to find balance. Knowing what is important to you and setting those goals. Those goals need to be reinforced by your rituals. If you don’t reinforce your goals with rituals, they’re going to fall to the wayside. 

So let’s say your goal is to lose weight. Well, if you don’t make it a ritual to wake up early and go for a run or go work out, you’re probably going to stop doing that.

The goal of rituals is to make things habits. Going from a routine, having a ritual, to reinforce that routine, that way it becomes a habit.

Here are some of my personal morning rituals.

Every morning, I wake up and I spend a minimum of 5 minutes snuggling and petting my cat. It’s very soothing and relaxing for me personally to start my day like this petting him.

I generally then do 15 minutes of stretching or 30 minutes of yoga, depending upon how ambitious I’m feeling. 

Then I’ll take a shower. 

I’ll take 15 minutes with my journal where I write about things in the present tense. I’ll write about gratitude. I will also write about things that I know I want because I want to be grateful about the things that I will have in the future. It allows me to align with those goals.

For example, you could write:

I am grateful for the wonderful business that I have. I’m grateful for the wonderful employees I have. It allows you to put yourself in the headspace of where you will be once all of those things have come to fruition.

When my son is home, I love to have breakfast with him and then do a morning walk with him. 

Now when I start my workday here are some things that I like to do. 

I like to start out with my planner. I use a Full Focus planner by Michael Hyatt. When I write in my planner I prefer to do it somewhere in nature. I make sure to get really clear on my goals and decide what I can honestly accomplish. I write in the planner what I want to get done today, and I have a very specific way that I organize things in my planner. We may talk about that another time. 

I then go through the Facebook groups and post when I can help. The other thing I like to do is check my email. 

I have a specific playlist that I listen to while I’m getting these things done. And I know that once my playlist is over, my day has to begin. 

When my day is coming to a close, I have different rituals.

When I was in my van, I would pull into a Starbucks on my way home, then I would sit somewhere with a view while having my drink.

Then I’ll drive back, shut down the van.

If I’m ending my day in my office, I’ll begin checking Facebook groups again because I want to help people.

I’ll look in my planner and whatever I didn’t accomplish I’ll move over to the next day. 

I always have a specific song, 15 Tons, that I listen to at the end of the day. I’m signaling to my brain that it’s time to do anything but work. 

Here are my evening rituals before bed.

I am not as good at evening rituals, and it is something that I do need to get better at. Because Savvy Groomer has been growing a lot, it’s harder for me to get into the headspace of having bed time. 

I shower at the end of the day. I generally read for about a minimum of an hour. I prefer to have a physical book, but if I can’t, I have my Kindle. Or if I’m really exhausted I’ll have my Air Pods in and listen to about an hour of a book. 

Right before bed I always meditate or pray. I project any ideas or dreams that I have. I say that this is what I’m going to do and this is how I’m going to do it. From there, I kind of just let my mind wander and daydream. I fantasize about what I want. Then I will slowly fall asleep.