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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthier Life

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Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthier Life

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

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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