Let’s face it, the majority of the plans that we make for our life never turn out the way we imagine them to be. Those goals and dreams—landing a perfect job, living in a swanky house or traveling the world—are still within reach, but most of the time they are out of our control. But the one thing we can control is our day-to-day routine of simply just living.
It’s taken me years to figure out a balanced daily routine that works for me and I’m still tweaking my habits. And since I’ve been more self-disciplined during the week, I’m a more healthier and happier person.
Here are some things I do every day to create a balanced routine. They may or may not work for you, but you can get idea of what you envision in your day-to-day regimen.
#Priorities: Start the day with the most important.
On most weekdays, after I roll out of bed and take that first sip of steaming coffee, I’m on my couch reading my daily devotion or on my yoga mat waking up my muscles. The days that I don’t set good intentions—well let’s just say I’m a train wreck for the next 12 hours.
Ultimately I find that what you do first thing in the morning can set the tone for the rest of your day. Figure out what’s best for you, whether it be breaking a sweat, eating a nutritious breakfast or praying every morning.
Check out my other suggestions for a better morning here.
Live in a clean space.
I don’t know about you, but when my kitchen, bathroom and bedroom are spotless, I feel productive and can check more tasks off my to-do list. A little cleaning here and there each day can go a long way. And when the weekend comes, you’re not stuck at home scrubbing counters and vaccuming a week’s worth of crumbs and dust.
Also, I religiously make my bed every day. I know it’s crazy…because you jump right back in when you get home right? Good excuse! However, when I’m feeling sluggish, I make my bed and lay out my work outfit. This daily habit triggers my brain to get moving.
Plan your meals and you will make better choices.
Unless you live in a city with a variety of restaurants with healthy options, your chances of making good choices that you won’t get sick of are slim to none.
I know it can be unrealistic to cook every day, but even if you prepare a few meals a week, your wallet and waistband will thank you.
Here are a few simple steps that I follow every week:
- Sit down every Saturday or Sunday and plan out what you’re going to eat that week. It can be as simple as a soup and salad or grilled chicken with veggies. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or contain a lot of ingredients!
- Make a grocery list and stick to it! If you are low on money one week, incorporate more of your pantry staples into your recipes.
- Prepare a slow cooker meal on Sunday and eat it throughout the week a long with a couple other meals for lunch and dinner.
I have a grocery planner that I received for Christmas and it’s my saving grace! It’s hanging on my fridge, so if I’m tempted to swing by and get fast food, I’ll remember that I have food to eat at home.
Look out for a post on my blog soon about Meal Planning 101. I have finally got it down to a science!
Take time for the people you love in your life
Spend 20 minutes talking to your mom about your day or go have a cup of coffee with your bestie. Trust me, we are all busy, but we all get the same 24 hours. Nurturing your close relationships are vital to having a balanced routine. We need long laughs, good coversations and pep talks from the ones that love us most.
Create a window of time for yourself during the day
Although I wholeheartedly believe in serving others, I also believe that you need to nurture yourself. We live in a consumer-driven society where we are constantly being told to spend more and do more when we really need to take a step back and reflect. Whether it be 10 minutes or an hour, find time in your day to relax and do what you enjoy.
Learn to enjoy simple pleasures
In our culture, we are always pining for this and that, the next gadget or newest pair of shoes.
While we all enjoy nice things, learning to appreciate the things we already have is the golden rule. I continually work to get to this place and I learn to savor small moments that truly make up a good life—great conversation, a delicious meal or a beautiful sunset. It really is true what they say—the best things in life are free.
We don’t have to wait until we are older to reflect on our lives and learn how we can better ourselves. This is a daily goal for me and it’s how I wake up each morning, striving for that balance of contentment throughout the day.