The Routine Before the Routine...
Gosh, I feel like I could have just sat down and written you about 17 letters this past week…if I weren’t running at the speed of light. How’s your summer wrapping up? Any little vacations or weekend get-aways on your calendar? I feel like I have so much I still want to pack into the rest of August and it feels a little bit like I would need to cut back to sleeping 4 hours a night and eating on the run to make it all happen. Can you relate at all? Well, we both know that neither of those habits would have a good outcome so I’ve been searching for what else might make a difference.
Have you heard “the secret of your success is hidden in your daily routine”? If you listen to one of my favorite people, Terri Savelle-Foy, then you most certainly have. I am not new to hearing talk about routines, but don’t you find that most people talk about a good morning routine? I use to have a good morning routine and I can’t for the life of me figure out where it fell off or why. Granted, it fit in with what it needed to accomplish at the time. As I think about designing a new morning routine that works with life now I am finding that I need a good EVENING routine to make the morning routine successful. It can all look good on paper and a task list, but let’s take any kind of exercise for example. I am not very good at just “get up and go do it”. I’m sure after making that a habit I could do it much more efficiently. Do you plan any exercise in your morning? If you do, I’d love to hear what you like to start your day with. I use to get up and go to the gym and was more in “attack the day” mode. These days I’m a bit more crawl out of bed and start the day more calm.
So back to the routine. I like to do some stretching and some beginner yoga in the morning but I do all “on demand”. I found that if I wait until I get up to figure out what I am going to do I could scroll through videos…and waste a good 15 minutes right there. So I need to cue up the video at night. I do stretching from YouTube so I bookmark that and I do “on demand” for Yoga so I preselect that. I find that, even though, the athletic clothing is in 2 drawers about 5 feet from my bed, I am so much more prepared in the morning if I take them out the night before and lay them on the dresser ready to go. Is it weird that something so simple can still make such a difference in the morning?
I’ll admit, I am still discovering this “evening routine”. My husband, Allan, is usually out of the house around 4:15 A.M. and back home between 6:30-7:00 P.M. He generally tries to head to bed at 9:00 and is usually asleep when his head is still about 2 inches off the pillow. I hate to make 6:30-9:00 too much of a routine because I like to see if he’s still ready to run an errand or if he’s ready to camp on the couch. I don’t have a lot of time with him and if you know us then you know that where you see one of us you usually see both of us (outside “work” time). I generally like to go to bed when he goes to bed and am trying to get more on his schedule. Are you an early riser? If you are, does it just come natural or have you worked at it? I’d relish any tips you have!
So I’ve come to the conclusion that if I implement some things in my evening routine, Allan will probably do them to and we both can have good sleep and be ready to go the next day. I just got off the phone with another friend, Mary, and was telling her about this and she said “why don’t you start some of your routine a half hour before he gets home”? See, between you and Mary it is evident that I have smart friends! There are things I can do before he gets home like get my clothes set out for the next day, make my list for the day and do any prep that can be done like put stuff in bags for errands or to take to the studio, or plan meals for the next day. (True story… when it comes to meal prep I can go from mastering this to sucking at this and back again within two weeks and there isn’t much middle ground.)
There are things that I will save until around 8:45 for my final evening routine. During this time I want to do more “winding down” kind of things. Wash my face, put lotion and lip balm on. These, again, aren’t earth shattering things but I’ve read several articles that talk about how even simple things train your brain that it’s time to go to sleep and you rest better. Shutting off all devices earlier will definitely be a bigger challenge. I am usually adding things to “idea” or “to-do” lists when I think of them. My biggest obstacle to good sleep is shutting my brain down so I will let you know how it goes with doing all the little things that tell my brain it is time to sleep, not jump into creative mode for business.
So where are you at with all of this? Ready to create a good evening routine with me? Already have a good evening routine? Either way, I’d love to hear from you! I love good suggestions and if you’re challenged here too then we can check in with each other to see how it’s going. Seriously, if you have 5 minutes write to me. I’d be thrilled to hear from you! I will let you know next week how my evening routine is shaping up and then we can chat about a morning routine. That is a whole other topic!
Side note: Doesn't the photo look dreamy? I can relax just looking at it!
Have an amazing day and until next week I am sending you much love!
- Therese Thull