2018 Daily Routines

It's hard to do everything. Actually... it's impossible. In 2018, I've worked to really refine my daily routines.

If you're anything like me, you have a structured life... but an unpredictable schedule. It makes routines difficult.

In this post, I want to share with you my new routine items (well, they aren't all new).

To manage my daily routines, I've been using an app called Productive and it's really been helping me.

Morning

No Snooze

I'm a snoozer. Yes, I realize that more than an hour of hitting the snooze button is excessive... but I LIKE TO SNOOZE!

This year, I'm working on not snoozing.

Here's where I failed in the past. I've wanted to be an early riser. Here's the problem... I don't have to be anywhere. I work for myself. My commute is from my bedroom to my kitchen with a pitstop in the bathroom. However, when I wake up early... I GET STUFF DONE, SON!!!!

Here's the other problem... every time I decide that "I'm going to start waking up early," I set the alarm to 5am, when I'm used to getting up at 7am or later... and I just can't do it. Well, this tip from Ed Mylett has really helped me. Rather than trying to wake up at my ideal time, I'm slowly working my way back 15 minutes at a time. 

I've only "not snoozed" one day. BUT, I'm waking up so much earlier.

Tip: Put your phone/alarm on the other side of the room.

Make a Daily Plan

I don't do to-do list. They end up being forget-to-look-at-it list for me. I schedule everything in my calendar. This helps me with structure, but it also helps me make sure I have time to accomplish the task at hand.

Making a daily plan helps you to proactively think about what you need to accomplish and make it happen!

Weigh Yourself

I lost 55lbs last year on the Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge (ask Ashleigh if you want to get started). It's super important for me to keep track of myself. This isn't new for me... but because I changed my daily schedule, I have to make sure I don't forget!

I track my weight in MyFitnessPal.

Cold Water Blast

Also something I got from Ed Mylett... I immerse myself in cold water every morning. Okay... immerse might be a strong word.

Apparently, some people, with lots of money, have these cold water tanks they jump in. Well... I don’t have that kind of money, and when I do... there are power ranger toys to be bought! 

 Here’s what I do.

I get in the shower with the water at a good warm temperature. Once I’m under the water, I grab the knob... and turn it all the way cold. OH SON!!!! It is COOOLLLLLDDDD! And I do this for about 5-10 seconds. 

Apparently, this is supposed to help you wake up and be alert. I don’t know. 😂

Shower and Get Ready

Once the freezing is over... I go through my entire routine of getting ready. This is especially important if you work from home. You need to trigger your brain to think “it’s time to be productive.” I have lost entire days to Netflix since starting our work from home careers. This helps me not do that! 

Read/Study Bible

Using the Grace For Life Bible Guide, I do my morning reading. I typically like to have a solid hour for this, because I’m reading and processing and looking deeper into things. 

This is my MOST IMPORTANT moment of the entire day. 

Empty Dishwasher

Okay, this is new... and it’s been HUGE! 

Ashleigh and Jason Mayfield are notorious for having a kitchen FULL of dirty dishes. I'm not talking a bowl in the sink. I'm talking let's go buy new stuff because everything is dirty.

Our kitchen has been borderline unlivable most days. UNTIL NOW!

Recently, I've started (after a massive cleaning effort) putting the dishes in the dishwasher as the day progresses and then I run the dishwasher overnight. When I wake up I have nice clean dishes.

This sounds simple, but it's been huge for us.

Cook Breakfast for Kids

We've been Pop-Tarts and Froot Loops people for a long time. Then I lost 55lbs. That's when I started being more concerned about what the kids eat... but I still didn't change it for like 7 months. Why?

Well, the convenience factor and the always-outrageously-messy-kitchen-with-no-clean-dishes were the strongest deterrents.

Now that I have a dish and kitchen cleaning routine, and an earlier wake-up time, this is something that is easier to do.

Usually, it's eggs and sausage for breakfast.

Sit With Kids While They Eat

So, I don't eat breakfast. But, I'm making an effort to be more present with them when it's mealtime. This is 15 minutes of my day that I can sit and do nothing and talk with them. This morning I had a great conversation with Jocelyn about debt and being debt-free.

Afternoon

Inbox Zero

The afternoon is still trying to find it's way into my daily routine.

Ideally, I clean my email everyday. I'm not doing great. But I AM doing better. I've gone from several hundred unread messages every day to a dozen or so.

Track my Budget

I use an app called YNAB to do this. Keeping daily track of our inflow, outflow and debt reduction is huge to our financial success. I do this Tuesday-Friday since things don't really happen with banks over the weekend.

Evening

Eat Dinner As A Family

Like I mentioned earlier, we're trying to be more present with the kids during mealtime. However, this is a happy accident.

We had dinner together recently because the schedule magically worked. It was a really powerful mealtime because Jocelyn (our oldest, 8) started sharing some things that we wouldn't have heard otherwise. Since then, we've been trying to make this happen on the regular.

Keep Your Diet

Okay, this isn't really new. But I thought it was a great way to actually track my progress. I keep it in the app so I can check off and see how many days I've been going.

Wipe Down Counters

Again, clean kitchen in 2018!!! This action isn't so much about cleaning as much as it is making a statement that "this kitchen shall remain clean"! I use Lysol Wipes and it takes about 45 seconds to complete. Totally worth it!

Start Dishwasher

Like I mentioned earlier... I'm loading dishes all day and I need them to clean overnight. This has been one of the biggest enhancements to our quality of life lately.

Read a Psalm and Proverb

Obviously, I'm reading in the morning and I'm receiving a lot! This isn't nearly as intense at my morning reading, but it gives me an opportunity to "book-end" my day. This isn't part of my "official plan" so I just read-through and start over when I'm done.

If I were to miss a day of Bible reading, I would make sure I still did this. Even though I'm a fan of physical Bibles, I wouldn't have a problem using my phone for this. The reason? So I have some sort of interaction with the scripture everyday.

Take a New You

NEW YOU is a product that I take every night before bed. It's intended to help do something with your muscles... I don't know. What it does for me... it gives that GOOD SLEEP. That "I had a totally weird dream I slept so good" sleep. The clutch part is that I don't feel groggy when I wake up. It's a HUGE part of my routine!

Lay Out Tomorrow's Clothes

As simple as it sounds, this makes a big impact on waking up early. The more obstacles you remove the night before, the more likely you are to wake up and win the day.

It also helps that I basically wear the same thing every day.

Hot Bath/Journal/Gratitude

Okay, so... do you remember the "cold blast" in the morning? Well, not only did Ed Mylett tell me to do a cold blast in the morning, he told me to spend time in hot water at night. Apparently, this is supposed to tell your body "hey... yo body... time to sleep."

Cold in the morning. Warm in the evening.

I also try to journal, but I emphasize writing down at least 3 things I'm grateful for during the day.

Gratitude isn't just an attitude, it's a habit.

Brush Teeth

I know it sounds gross, but I typically go straight to the bed and skip the evening toothbrushing activity.

Well, having the check it off is really helping me make sure I get that done.

In Bed by 10pm

This final thing is really essential to get the first thing right. The earlier you go to sleep the earlier you can get up.

Now, above I wrote about moving my wake up time back in 15-minute increments. When I get to my desired wake up time, I'm going to start moving my sleep time later until I can get in the habit of only sleeping around 6 hours every night. Why? Because 2 extra hours during the day will help me accomplish more!