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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthier Life

Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthier Life
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Big or small, healthy or unhealthy, our habits combine to form routines that play out every day for us. Most of this is done without us even having to think. That’s why, even though we understand the importance of having good habits, sometimes it’s tough to stick to a healthy daily routine.

Today, you’ll learn more about why setting a routine can be a challenge. By understanding the root causes of your behaviors, you’ll learn how to make changes and stick with them. You’ll also discover some positive daily routines that can lead you to a healthier and happier life.

Finding and adopting the right daily routine will re-energize you and help you regain wasted time. Your mind and body will thank you for the decreased anxiety and extra care you’ve given it. Here’s to a healthier, calmer, and higher-achieving you.

How a Daily Routine Changes Your Life

Your daily routine consists of all of your habits. These actions structure your day and make the difference between operating at peak efficiency and struggling to make it through a poorly-planned day.

You can have energizing, time-saving routines, or you can adopt draining, inefficient routines. The choice is up to you. Don’t feel bad if you know that some unhealthy habits have crept into your day. The important thing is to recognize them so that you can make a change.

An excellent daily routine sets you up for success. If you make just one change that saves you 10 minutes per day, you can regain 60 hours of your precious time back each year.[1]

Best Daily Routines for a Healthy Life

It takes time to become the best version of yourself, but I’ll help you to make it easier by getting you a few healthy daily routine examples to follow directly.

Daily Routine for Good Health and More Energy

1. Start the Day With a Glass of Lemon Water

Simply add the juice of half a lemon to your glass and drink it to enjoy a refreshing start to the day.

Lemon juice reduces your body’s acidity levels, which, in turn, protects you against inflammatory diseases, such as fungal infections and osteoporosis.[2]

2. Exercise in the Morning

Working out early in the morning improves your energy levels and your circulation, and encourages good lymphatic function. Just 20 or 30 minutes every day can make a difference! Mix up cardio and weights throughout the week for all-over toning and general health.

For great exercises, grab this Cardio Home Workout Plan for free and try the recommended exercises!

Getting on the scale each morning is also an effective way to monitor your weight. Don’t go weeks without weighing yourself, because this allows you to remain in denial about any weight gain.

3. Eat a Good Breakfast

When you eat breakfast, fuel yourself with a healthy mix of protein, slow-release carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Sensible options include yogurt with nuts and berries, a vegetable omelet, and low-sugar granola bars with a piece of fruit.

4. Stay Hydrated

Did you know that becoming even slightly dehydrated can lead to lowered mood and decreased concentration? Keep water or other low-sugar drinks on hand to sip throughout the day.[3]

5. Get a Healthy Lunch

Even the busiest of us can grab a healthy lunch as part of a daily routine. For lunch ideas you can make in advance and take with you to work, check out this post: Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work

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Avoid too much fat at lunch time, as it promotes afternoon lethargy, which isn’t going to help you get through a busy day![4]

6. Do Some Mid-Afternoon Stretches

Most of us have a mid-afternoon “slump” somewhere between 2 and 4 PM, but you can keep yourself going through the day by choosing a healthy lunch and doing some light stretches or a bit of exercise in the afternoon. Check out this list of 29 exercises you can do at (or near) your desk.

7. Dinner

With a plethora of meal planning apps out there, getting a quick but healthy dinner on the table has never been easier! Be realistic, and choose something that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort to throw together, otherwise you may resort to takeout.

Green vegetables are always a great choice, as they are packed with antioxidants and have an alkanizing effect. Choose plant-based proteins such as tofu or seitan or, if you prefer animal protein, pick fish and lamb rather than beef or chicken to minimize acidity levels in the body.[5]

Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, because it will prevent you sleeping soundly at night.

8. Take Time to Relax

It’s normal to feel stressed from time to time, but high stress levels leave you vulnerable to a number of health conditions and problems, including depression and elevated blood pressure.

Find a healthy activity that relaxes you, and then set aside some time every day to do it as part of your daily routine. This could be journaling, reading an inspiring book, spending time with a pet, meditating, or simply taking a few minutes to remind yourself of everything that is going well in your life.

9. Take a Vitamin C Supplement Before Bed

Take half a teaspoon of buffered vitamin C powder in a glass of water before turning in for the night.

This is a quick, effective means of reducing the acidity in your body. It will also ensure that you go to bed well-hydrated, which will help you wake up when that alarm clock beeps.

10. Go to Sleep at a Reasonable Hour

It sounds obvious, but if you want to feel your best, then you must get enough sleep. Most experts recommend that we get 6 to 10 hours of sleep per night.[6]

Turn off your phone and computer at least an hour before bed, and avoid vigorous exercise in the late evening. These measures will help you wind down when it’s time for sleep.

Daily Routine for an Organized Life

1. Make Your Bed

Prepare for the day by making your bed.

 It’s a quick chore that will put you in a productive, organized frame of mind.[7]

2. Have Your Equipment and Clothes Laid out the Night Before

If you like to work out, the morning is the best time to do it! It will leave you feeling full of energy and will give you a sense of accomplishment before you leave the house. Whether you like to go for a walk, take a gym class, or do yoga in your bedroom, make sure that you have all the equipment and clothing you need laid out and ready the night before.

3. Wipe Down Large Surfaces

After your morning shower, spray down and wipe the largest surfaces in your bathroom. It’s much easier and more fun to do mini-cleans throughout the week than to wait until the weekend![8]

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4. Put Everything Back Where You Found It

When you’ve made your breakfast, put everything back exactly where you found it, as this makes everything easier the morning after. If you notice that you are running low on a grocery item, add it to a list you can take with you next time you pass the grocery store.

5. Run Through a List of Essential Items

Before you leave the house, run through a list of your essential items, such as your wallet, employee badge, water bottle, and so on. Keep a list of these items near your front door so that you can quickly check your purse or bag before heading out the door as part of your daily routine.

6. Prioritize Your Tasks

Make a list of tasks and decide whether they are important, urgent, both, or neither. Start with urgent and important tasks, move onto the important and non-urgent tasks, then tackle the unimportant but urgent jobs.

Make use of this Full Life Planner to help you better organize your day. Writing a task list can always give you a sense of control.

7. Prioritize Your Emails

Before you start your day, spend 10 minutes prioritizing your e-mails. Get into the habit of deciding which ones need your urgent attention, which are important, which are both, and which are neither.

Check your e-mails every couple of hours rather than every few minutes, because frequent interruptions will impair your concentration and productivity.

8. Keep Your Finances on Track

Take a couple of minutes to keep your finances on track each day as part of your daily routine. Check your bank balance and make sure that you’re sticking to your budget.

9. Plan for Dinner

Do you need to pick anything up from the grocery store on the way home? Do you need to look up a recipe? This only takes a few minutes, but a bit of planning can save a lot of time later.

10. Clear Your Desk at the End of the Ay

Take five minutes to clear your work desk before you leave for your break. It will help you feel more organized when you return.

11. Review Your To-Do List

If you aren’t making as much progress as you hoped, it’s time to rewrite it!

12. Do the Dishes Immediately After Dinner

Otherwise, you might be tempted to sit down in front of the TV and get distracted.

13. Do a “Brain Dump”

Doing a “brain dump” is helpful if you tend to lie awake worrying about what you need to do the next day. Once you have written them down, you can go to sleep knowing that you can refer to the list when you wake up.

Daily Routine for More Productive Work

1. Plan the Night Before

Some of the most effective and productive people get started on their daily routine the night before.

Think of this as the planning stage. At this time you might find it useful to plot out your day in blocks of time, with a specific activity planned for each. This is commonly known as the time blocking method, and using this method ensures that you don’t end up multitasking, which can have a negative impact on your productivity.

2. Wake up at the Same Time Every Day

This may sound counterintuitive, it is often imagined that the most productive people are those that can wake up at dawn and continue into the evening. But the 9-5 work day might not necessarily suit everyone.[9]

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I’m not suggesting that people work less, but someone who works from 10-6 works for just as long as someone who works 9-5, and that extra hour in bed may mean that they’re more fresh and ready to work.

If you have any flexibility at all, consider what works best for you.

3. Eat a Good Breakfast

Once you have woken up, it is very important to eat well as part of your daily routine. You need something that will give you a good boost of energy, all the while keeping you full. A good idea is oatmeal with a smoothie or a healthy fruit juice.

Check out 30 Healthy And Tasty Recipes For Breakfast That You Can Make The Night Before for more healthy breakfast choices that are easy-to-make and will keep you energetic.

4. Create a Distraction-Free Workspace

A few years ago, a study at Princeton University concluded that if there are many forms of visual stimuli in your field of vision, your brain will spread its focus and attention to each piece.[10] In other words, if your desk is cluttered, your ability to focus on the task at hand diminishes.

Simply clearing your desk of distractions can have a great impact on your focus and productivity.

5. Don’t Check Emails First

Mornings are a great time to do productive work that requires focus, creativity, and strategy. Clearing out the inbox gives you a false sense of achievement and wastes the opportunity to engage your brain in more proactive tasks. Though you may have read a lot of emails, you haven’t done anything important.

Instead, focus on your goals, and do what really matters.

6. Tackle the Worst Thing First

Start your daily routine at work by tackling the most difficult or most pressing task first, the task that will most likely encourage you to procrastinate. This is the philosophy put forward by Brian Tracy in his book Eat That Frog.

The benefit of this is simple. Even if you accomplish little else that day, you can be happy with the knowledge that you did something important. Also, by doing the most difficult thing first, everything else will be easier.

7. Rest or Meditate

When setting up a routine, it can be easy to forget the most important activity: resting. Humans simply aren’t built for working all day, every day without a break. If you don’t consider this in your routine, there is a danger that you will lose energy and enthusiasm all together and burn out, thereby killing your productivity altogether.

This can be mitigated by making sure to making sure you get some rest.

One way to do this is by picking a reasonable time to stop working. Another is to take a quick nap or try meditation.

8. Say No to Unreasonable Requests

This may be the hardest thing on this list, but it can be one of the most effective. Adding extra tasks and jobs to your day can immediately throw your routine off balance, and it will negatively impact your day’s productivity.

As such, declining and saying no to extra tasks (that are unreasonably urgent or unimportant) can be the key to staying productive. After all, doing one thing really well is more important than doing several things badly.

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Daily Routine for a Stronger Relationship

1. Kiss Your Partner Goodbye

How often do you rush out of the door with a quick peck on the cheek and a “see you later!” Maybe you’ve got to the stage where you don’t even do that anymore. It’s important to really take the time to say goodbye.

Create 3 to 5 minutes in your morning routine to just be with your partner and properly say goodbye. Kiss each other meaningfully, and take in the moment. It’s important not to overlook these small gestures.

2. Create Little Daily Rituals

Creating small actions that are meaningful to both of you can build a sense of connection, and these can carry on throughout your day when you’re apart.

Leave little notes under your partner’s coffee cup. Write a message on the fogged up mirror for your partner to discover. Text a joke of the day on your lunch breaks.

These types of rituals bring a sense of positive expectation and bonding, something only the two of you share together. Without these, relationships can become stale.

4. Schedule a Date Night

This is a particularly important part of your daily routine when you have kids. When your lives are controlled by children and extra responsibilities, your relationship can get overlooked. This is when things can break down, and intimacy gets lost no matter how much you love each other.

Schedule regular date nights where you can be free from responsibilities and really connect with each other. Use this time to check in with how you are both feeling, and most importantly, have fun. Keep reconnecting with the reasons you fell in love in the first place.

5. Create a Bonding Bedtime Routine

When the doors are closed and you’ve finally fallen into bed, it’s easy to want to fall asleep, but bedtime is a wonderful time to get connected with your partner both physically and emotionally.

Try to go to bed at the same time, and use it as your couple time. Pillow talk is a great time to bond. While you’re in a relaxed state, talk about your days at work, any concerns, or even future plans.

Communication and talking things out is the best habit you can have as a couple. Just make sure you take the time to really listen to each other with respect and an open mind, always ending the night on a positive note.

How to Stick to Your Routine

When you do something and no immediate harm comes to you, your subconscious mind assumes that it’s safe to continue doing the activity. Overcoming a poor daily routine that feels comfortable to you requires impressive amounts of willpower.

Reaching for a snack or scrolling through social media can sabotage healthy plans by flooding your brain with dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter. That dopamine release causes you to want to continue the action whether or not it’s good for you.

There may be quite a few things that ought to change in your life. Changing too many habits at once can be difficult and discouraging.[11]

On top of all that, we only have so much mental bandwidth to devote to making decisions. When decision fatigue sets in, we’re likely to revert to whatever is easiest, even if we know it’s unhealthy.

Biting off more than you can chew is a surefire way to fail. Instead, pick one routine, and work on that. Or better, pick one habit and stick to that first.

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Upgrading your daily routine is a commitment. By starting small and being realistic, you can develop healthy rituals and efficient routines that help you get the most out of life.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Olivia Anne Snyder via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

A Complete Guide to Goal Setting for Personal Success How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up Can’t Focus? The Mistake You’re Making and How to Focus Better 17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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