Some many think routines are for rigid, control-freak, type A personalities that can’t stand letting others being in control and will never be surprised at their own surprise party. And they’d be correct! But what about the mom that handles not only her own schedule, but the schedules of each of her 3 kids? Or the businessman that has so many meetings that he doesn’t know when he’s going to get a chance to eat? And don’t forget the college student that has to juggle her studies with practicing for her upcoming dance performance, and oh yeah, trying to fit in some fun while she’s at it. With these types of demands, establishing a functional routine is a must for everyone – all ages and genders.
Besides for some the obvious reasons for establishing routines, such as fitting more things into your day, there are often hidden benefits that may not be so obvious. These buried gems are what make the effort and consistency of having a great routine worthwhile.
It’s the fountain of youth. Having a solid routine allows you to schedule time for looking and feeling good. Regularly schedule time for rejuvenating activities, such as exercising, meditating, getting a massage, cooking healthy food, and so on. Even going in for your yearly physical and six-month teeth cleaning check-up keeps you youthful. Consistently doing things to boost your happiness quotient is like making a deposit into your bank of vitality. The ROI (return on investments) is priceless.
You’ll save (and sometimes make) money. Routines are especially good for saving you money. Clipping coupons weekly, mapping out your errand route to save gas and miles on your car, and only buying what you need when you need it are all examples of how being consistent can save you money. Also, saving a certain amount from your paycheck on a monthly basis or contributing to your company’s 401k bi-weekly are ways that routine will make you money. Exercise consistency in maintaining a sound financial routine and you’ll see how large of a monetary muscle you’ll build in the end.
You’ll have a life. Yes, you too can have a life! Creating a routine that frequently includes time for pleasurable activities like having dinner with friends, taking a personal development class, or going on dates with your significant other is what makes life worthwhile. All work and no play can make you one dull individual. Schedule time for yourself and your loved ones often and you’ll definitely live a fuller life.
Take some time to write out your ideal daily schedule for the upcoming week and make a real effort to try to follow it. Tweak, change, add, and delete as you go to fuse the gap between your ideal routine and what is realistic for you. It may take a few tries, but keep at it. A routine that creates the flexibility for what you need to do AND what you want to do is the name of the game. The additional benefits it brings is icing on the cake.
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