Are you able to set a goal for yourself and stick to it? If your answer is no, you’re not alone. In fact, according to The Washington Post, “one-third of Americans say they lack the self-control they need to accomplish their goals. About one-fourth attribute trouble sticking to a diet to a personal character defect such as “laziness.” How can you combat these overwhelming statistics? For me, the answer has always been very simple. I’ve found that setting and living by healthy morning and evening routines has made me far more dedicated, energized and driven.
The result? I’m unstoppable!
Rise and Shine
It’s true – not everyone’s a morning person. But I believe that you can learn to love the morning time, regardless of your natural disposition. This is because most people are far more productive and energized at the start of their day than at the end of their day. I find that when I wake up before 7:00 AM and abide by my early-morning routine, I’m more inclined to exercise for a longer period time. I think this happens for a few reasons: subconsciously, I know that I’ve started my day early and so, I have the time to really put in a dedicated workout. Secondly, when I work out during the morning, I let my time spent exercising wake me up and power me for the day ahead.
There’s also something to be said about the rush of endorphins you get after exercising in the morning. All of these mood-enhancing neurochemicals propel me forward and put me in a great mood for the rest of my morning and beyond.
I also start each day with a strong sense of accomplishment, knowing that before I’ve even had my first sip of coffee, I’ve already made healthy choices and taken steps towards achieving my goals. Here are some additional benefits associated with early-morning routines, whether or not they include exercising:
- Enhanced physical and mental well-being
- Stronger levels of productivity
- Better mood
- Elevated confidence and self esteem
- Minimal levels of mental fatigue
- Reduced stress
Don’t Fly By Night
Don’t ruin the progress you’ve experienced from following a morning routine go to waste by going rogue at night. Instead, do what we’ve been taught to do from a very young age – create and follow a bedtime routine.
The beauty of the nighttime routine is that for many of us, when we reach 8:30 or 9:00 PM, the majority of our day is already behind us. Because of that very reason, my evening routine is all about unwinding and taking the time to practice self-care. Each night, I spend some time in my kitchen slicing and dicing in preparation of the next day. I never spend more than a half hour doing so – I really just focus on organizing a healthy snack or two and getting ahead of my meal prep. This sets me up for success and again, enforces that sought-after feeling of accomplishment.
While it’s difficult, I also try to avoid all electronics an hour before bedtime. I do this for a few reasons: first and foremost, my cell phone and laptop are lifelines to my work. And while I absolutely adore sharing my tips, advice and life with all of my followers, I believe that by allowing myself to recharge, I’ve become even better at my job. Secondly, removing electronics from the picture enables my brain to relax – which translates to a much sounder night of sleep.
Finally, I prepare for bed by going through my usual skincare regimen. The benefits here are twofold – I take care of my skin (SO important, ladies) and during this time, I reflect on my day. By the time I get into bed, I’m calm and feeling prepared for whatever comes my way. Here are some additional benefits associated with partaking in a consistent nighttime routine:
- Lower stress levels
- Stronger focus
- Positive mindset
In closing, I’ll leave you with a quote that I believe truly sums up the importance of routines and structure: “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.” – Richard G. Scott.
If you have a morning or evening routine to share, please leave a comment below.
If you’re looking for ways to get past pesky obstacles, then this post is for you: OVERCOMING OBSTACLES – HOW TO PUSH THROUGH YOUR NEXT PLATEAU.