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The routine building blue print

Invest the time to establish a routine for yourself - it will pay off in more ways than one
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Self-care takes effort and time — no different than our jobs, our families, our friends, our bills, our passions, our hobbies or anything else that’s important to us.

That’s why many of us work hard to establish a healthy exercise routine—a common item on the self help 'to do' list. But we shouldn’t stop there: the act of establishing and sticking to a routine can have tremendous benefits in other areas of our lives.

Whether it’s planning a routine for your work day or simply a regular meal with friends or family, routines help us bring a calming order to the inevitable chaos of daily life.

Here are a few tips to help you get better at building routines that work for you.

Write out your goal
Before you establish a routine, you should clearly articulate what you’re trying to accomplish. Perhaps you want to start a morning workout routine, improve your golf game or you simply want to meditate after each work day.

Once you know what you want to do, grab a piece of paper or a digital notepad and write it down, then post it where you will see it every day—your bedroom mirror, your fridge or your phone’s wallpaper.

Staying mindful will help you build the commitment to the new routine.

Establish a time frame
Picking the right time of day or specific days of the week is essential to setting yourself up for success.  Be aware of your obligations, and be aware of yourself in this process, too.

For example, if you’re not a morning person, and you know the idea of waking up at 6 a.m. is unlikely to result in you sticking with that new yoga class, don’t try to force it.

Be kind but be purposeful
Emergencies and exceptions will come up, so be kind to yourself when something doesn't go according to plan. Just because you missed one day doesn’t mean you should abandon your new pursuit immediately and call it quits.

That being said, try and avoid a string of misses. If you’re repeatedly missing, you may want to revisit #1 and #2.

Reflect on your success
After a few weeks of building the routine successfully, revel in it! You worked hard to get here, and now that hard work in establishing the routine is likely not so hard anymore. Be mindful of that and allow yourself to feel good about it—it’ll help motivate you to create other routines.

Success is a clear result of a well-planned routine, and with these tips and the determination that lies within you, you’ll be a better you in no time.

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