Do you associate the word habit with something bad? Routine as something that defines you as boring? So many people that I talk with want to shun the idea of routines, but in truth you already have routines in existence. The way you make your coffee, put away your groceries, put your clothes on or get out the door to work are all made up of tiny little habits and daily actions.
These daily actions ARE your habits and your routines. They already exist. Your daily habits are creating and shaping your life.
So, you want to know how to make your deepest desires and biggest, audacious dreams a part of your reality? Tie your dreams into your daily life by stepping out of unconscious surviving and consciously creating routines that are supportive and nourishing.
You can’t bring your dreams into your reality if your current routine consists of getting up late, rushing out the door, putting out fires all day, being crazy busy, and then grabbing drive through for dinner because you haven’t planned what’s for dinner.
Nourishing routines, on the other hand, are about managing your energy effectively. When you manage your energy, you can channel it towards what’s most important. But where do you begin?
Well, the best place to begin is right where you are!
Grab a little notebook and write down your current morning and evening routines. If your schedule varies, write it down for every day this week PLUS the weekends. If your schedule stays generally the same, then do one for an average week day and one for an average weekend.
This isn’t meant to take a ton of time, this is a 10 minute reflection. Take some time at lunch to jot down your morning routine. And after dinner or before you go to bed, jot down your bedtime routine.
After you have this collection of what your mornings and evenings are truly like, begin to evaluate them for how they support you, nourish you and contribute to you achieving your goals. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. You need to evaluate what is working and what isn’t working to move to the next level.
For example, if your goal is to work out in the mornings, does your routine support that? Are you going to bed early enough? Are you setting your workout clothes out the night before? Go deeper into that – you want to work out in the mornings to feel healthy and alive, right? So are you setting yourself up for real support by having a meal that nourishes your body and gives you energy to work out? Do you need to make some healthy muffins to grab or cut up fruit the night before? Do you need to prepare your lunch in the evening?
If putting your pen to paper on your daily routines makes you feel overwhelmed, is it possible you have too much on your plate? Are you using busy-ness to numb? Is it time to say “no” to more?
If your mornings are incredibly stressful and always feel rushed, begin by creating a supportive evening routine. This is all about preparing for the next day – gathering your briefcase or backpack, setting the table for breakfast and choosing what you want to wear. It allows you to fall asleep with a bit of a peaceful heart – and sets you up for beginning the next day with slow, deliberate action instead of a flurry of rushing around.
Seemingly small details can make the difference between a fabulous flowing and productive day instead of a crappy and chaotic one.
Once you have an evening routine in place, figure out what you need in the morning to better manage your energy efficiently. A solid morning routines allows your brain to go on auto-pilot and get outstanding results while opening up this beautiful space in your life. It allows you to complete necessary tasks with a minimum of energy expenditure – leaving the important parts of your life to get the lion’s share of your precious attention and energy.
No matter where you may fall in the cycle of reflection, reevaluation or rededication to dreams and goals, I want to remind you that you, darling, deserve to achieve those desires. Taking a hard (and compassionate) look at your routines will allow you to begin putting tools in place to help you create a daily life you love.
This, my darling, is how we achieve those big dreams. By creating a supportive daily life that feels nourishing, we don’t forsake ordinary desires. We are falling in love with the daily act of living and moving towards what we want to create with baby steps.
All the while, we aren’t pushing or demanding of ourselves. We are treating ourselves with love and using compassionate discipline to achieve. We create a life we love and our big dreams and goals, my darling, will fall into place. Best of all, we get to love what’s right in front of us in the now instead of waiting until we get there.
Next week, I’ll be back with another trick for making space in your life for dreams. This week, though, get clear around what you can do daily to become devoted to your desires.