The new year is approaching and you may be thinking about resolutions, goals, and reflections on 2017. I’m a huge proponent of “tending” to my goals and self-reflection. The last few years I’ve used a Passion Planner agenda and spend time each month reflecting and answering the monthly written prompts. In addition to annual and monthly goals, I rethink my daily habits every year around this time. Here’s how to create morning and evening habits you will stick with and I’m including a pretty printable (see link at end of post) to help you out as well:
The only way you can really build a habit is through repetition. You have to start it, continue it, and eventually you’ll be on auto-pilot. Admittedly, this is much harder said than done. But if you really want to kick some bad habits or pick up some new habits, you have to start somewhere.
Reflect on where you are now
Each year I think about where I am currently with my daily routines. What does my morning usually look like? Evening? My work day is long and my profession doesn’t allow for much flexibility (at all) so I don’t spend time thinking about the big “middle” of my day. If you work from home or have more flexibility in your schedule at work, you may want to reflect on this time as well. If this is overwhelming in general, pick one time of day to focus on only. Start there.
Make a list of everything you usually do during that period of the day. My morning, for example, looks like this:
- Guided meditation app, sometimes
- Make coffee
- Get together lunch
- Stretch, sometimes
- Dress daughter
- Feed daughter
- Gather work/personal items and load car
- Work on blog, sometimes
There are things I always do – dress, for example … obviously. And things I sometimes do if I have time, work on blog, for example. Everything I sometimes do, I wish I did every day. These are the things I’m working on this coming year. But to make that determination, I first had to reflect on what my “normal” looks like.
Decide what you want to change
Once you know what your “normal” looks like, you can make decisions about what you want to change. What do you want to devote more time to? Less time? It might be a matter of eliminating things that are not priorities or changing how you allocate your time. Be realistic about what you can fit in your given schedule. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t fit every single thing you want into that morning or evening routine. It’s all about progress, not perfection.
Write it down
Writing it down gives you a visual reminder of what you want to accomplish each morning and evening. That’s why I created this printable. I print one on card stock and keep with my planner. It’s a daily reminder of the habits I’m trying to create. Maybe you post on your fridge or place on your desk – put it somewhere that will remind you of your goals. If you’re like me, and life starts to get crazy, you will forget and then you have no chance of creating new habits!
You will see a spot on the printable to write your word of the year. I love doing this! Each year I select a word to serve as my mantra and focus for the year. When I reflect each month on how the year is going, I think about this word and how my life relates to that focus.
Once you’ve reflected on where you are and where you want to go … the hard part starts! And by that, I mean – you start. Do the best you can to start incorporating those habits into your routine. That may mean focusing on one at a time – especially if you are trying to completely change your routine.
Again, give yourself a break. Some days will go better than others, but the key is to keep with it. If you have a bad day or week, recognize it, think about how to make it better going forward and keep on, keep on. We hold the power to change our routines and create a life we want … it just takes some hard work and determination. Eventually, if you keep at it long enough, you will develop habits that don’t require a huge amount of mental energy – you just do it.
Find the printable for this post here.
If you like printables and journaling, you may be interested in this related post.
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