Daily Formula : How to Leverage Your Day with a Routine

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There are elements to rest that are uncomfortable. It can be a challenge for me to sit in peace without accomplishing something. Chalk it up to my personality, my desire to take in life as fully as possible, or tendency to be like a Mom who manages a thousand components of daily life, rest holds a tension.

I have found that developing a recipe that I can apply to each day helps me to settle into rest as a habit. Just like a recipe, there are elements that can change in order to add or take away from the “flavor” of a day. There are seasons where the recipe changes based off of the demands of life, and there are some base ingredients that are consistently used (like salt, pepper, oil, etc.)

Ingredients

(2) cups of REST

(2) cups of health & hygiene

(1) cup of purposeful activity (such as work, a task, or a goal)

(1) Cup of exercise

(1) tblsp of Friendship

(1) TBLSP of Stimulation


Rest

I would say rest is the number one thing that I prioritize, even though it can be so difficult. Whenever I notice an area of tension in my life, I know it is something to pay attention to. The first thing I do to prioritize rest is set a bed time and a wake up time. This not only ensures that I get enough sleep but it also helps me to build character, set boundaries, and make scheduling decisions throughout each day.

The second way I prioritize rest is to set a daily quiet time (or two). I like to read and journal in my quiet time. I usually do this in the morning with my latte, and recently I have been turning off screens an hour before bedtime to read.

Health & Hygiene

The older I get, the more showers I know I need and forget to make time for. Washing my face, wearing lotion, and cleaning all-the-things is something I try to plan. I know it might sound weird, but if I plan my shower each day then I make sure to meet that goal. I will literally say, “when will I shower today?”, and then I follow through. Through the routine of the day health and hygiene can be implemented really well if it becomes subconscious. This might look like taking vitamins at the same time or after the same meal, always putting on lotion after a shower or before bed, or meal prepping each week to make sure you have healthy food options to eat. I have found it helpful to figure out exactly what health and hygiene looks like for my body and my needs, then setting goals to meet.

Purposeful activity

Putting a purpose on my day helps me to feel extremely accomplished and motivated. Purposeful activity will look a variety of ways for each of us. For some it may be going to work, others it may be a project or hobby to work towards. Often times my purpose is actually something creative that I want to make time for, but also getting things done at work feels extremely blissful for me. I LOVE CHECK LISTS.

Exercise

Anyone else feel like exercise is the hardest thing to make time for? It feels as if I am saying “Let’s schedule some self torture today!” Here’s the thing… science has proven the importance of exercise. I know I will look back in 20 years and either be extremely grateful or regretful about how I chose to approach exercise. I have noticed that if I stop for a period of time it is extremely difficult to jump back in. So when I have to stop, I try to find ways to become more determined and motivated. I will buy new workout clothes or shoes, and change up my exercise routine to help give me something to look forward to! ( I am currently taking HIIT classes that push me past every limit that exists within me, and I love/hate it.)

Friendship

I went through a period of time while teaching preschool where I was so worn out by the end of each day that I didn’t want to talk to anyone. My brain felt so full and so exhausted. I didn’t ultimately want my default to be to turn inward and ignore the world, but I didn’t have the energy I felt I needed to intentionally engage.

I decided to set an alarm each day to remind me to text a friend so that I would keep connected. I found it to be a super helpful tactic in reminding me that people are the most important part of my life and I want to fulfill my part in pursuing them.


STIMULATION

When processing the ingredients to my daily rhythm, I noticed that I crave some kind of stimulation. It is usually music, a walk in nature, or Netflix. Because I work from home, I often want something playing in the background while I am working. For whatever reason, it is easier for me to have a TV show that I have seen before running in the background verses playing music. One thing I try to set is a boundary on stimulation that involves screens. I let myself have about one - two hours total in my day (almost always it is just in the background). Some days are harder than others to follow this. One way I try to keep this boundary is to set specific times where the screens can go on and off.


example of my current recipe

R 6-730 Wake up, make a latte, sit and journal with my Bible (sometimes I get ready for the day too)

P 7:30 Start work, make breakfast

H & S 12-1 Transition between jobs (make lunch, shower, many times I am also still working in this time frame)

P 1-5/6 Work some more

E /F 6-7 Work out

H & S 7-9 Cook dinner, take vitamins, Netflix (sometimes shower, run errands, FaceTime, work on skill development or personal brand items)

R 9-10 Wash face, brush teeth, get in bed and read, sleep


I find a daily recipe isn’t constricting, but relieving. It helps me to ensure that I am taking care of myself and fitting in all the life tasks that set me up to thrive. I often don’t hit all the marks each day, and I give myself grace every time. I don’t do this to generate guilt or shame, but to ensure self-care.

In each season of life there has to be space for flexibility and change but I believe there is a recipe for every season that sets my body and mind up for holistic health.

Thought web

One of the best ways I process almost everything I need to think through is by using a thought web. I organize my thoughts, needs, ideas, etc. by attaching them to themes. From there, I try to fit those things practically into my life or apply them to whatever I am trying to accomplish. I attached my most recent thought web lay out below to help get you started on processing what ingredients will be best for you include in your rhythm recipe!