The power of routine – How sticking to a schedule will get your life back on track

One way to get over your ex is to stick to a schedule. Routines are a powerful beast. You don’t even realize the effect that it has on your life until they are disrupted and even destroyed.

Take your routine with a significant other. Waking up in the morning before work, taking the dogs for a walk, going to the park on Saturdays, a glass of wine while catching up with the latest installments from HBO on Sundays.

When that all comes crashing down after a break up or divorce, it completely shocks your system in more ways than one, but in particular it breaks a routine that you have found comfort in.

From there, you have two choices. 1.) Fall into a routine that is easy and comfortable or 2.) Reinvent your approach to each day with a routine that will optimize your life.

The balance becomes not establishing a routine encourages stepping outside of your comfort zone. You need to build patterns that encourage growth in new ways, so routine shouldn’t be associated with boring and mundane.

For instance, a buddy of mine and I made a pact for the next 52 weeks, that each weekend, we’re going to do a new outdoor activity to stay healthy, enjoy the great outdoors, and meet new like-minded people. Paddleboarding, paintball, skydiving, mountain biking, SCUBA diving and the list goes on.

I’ve set the routine and expectation to do something epic and awesome each weekend and I’m excited to go out and seize the experience every time.

Now that’s all good and great for the weekends, but most of us can’t afford to not work and go do awesome stuff every day. So, what does it mean for your day to day?

Well, here’s a look at how I approach my morning in a routine that sets me up to maximize and appreciate every moment that day.

·      Wake up at 6AM

·      Spring out of bed to the best of my ability and groggily venture down to the kitchen

·      Load up the Vitamix with handfuls of green goodness

·      Head to the gym for a mixture of compound exercises, isolation lifts, and high intensity training

·      Sit by the pool for twenty minutes of meditation

·      Write down one thing I’m grateful for

·      Build a list of 10 new ideas

·      Write a new blog post or an entry in my journal

·      Head to work, listening to a podcast on health, business, or personal growth

Boom. By the time I hit the office, I’ve loaded my body with healthy greens, gotten the blood flowing with a workout, zenned out, flexed my creativity, practiced gratitude, and learned something new. That’s a lot to accomplish in a three hour period.

After my divorce, this routine helped get me back on the right track and ultimately become an amazingly better version of my former self. Every day I try to improve just a little bit at everything I do. If I can get 1% better each day, the impact at the end of the year will be unreal. So, I remind myself of that each time I’m staring at the iPhone as its alarm chirps in my ear while it’s still dark outside.

Now, sure…sometimes I slip up. After a brutally stressful day, coming home, planting myself on the coach and binging episodes of the office I’ve seen countless times for 4 hours before crashing, waking up and doing it all over again. But those lapses are temporary.

Because I’ve built a routine that I know will enrich my mind, body, and spirit, whenever I falter off that path, I always venture back to get back on track because I know how great it makes me feel.

So, ask yourself…what does your routine look like in the morning? Does it consist primarily of hitting the snooze button and rushing through the shave and shower, downing a donut and getting to the grind? Probably not the best way to get you into the proper state of mind for your day.

Take some time to think today what your ideal daily routine would look like. Write it down, and try it out for a few days. Know that you’ll slip back at times, but keep your eyes on the prize and focus on growing that 1% every day and your mind, body, and soul will thank you.

This post originally appeared on Good Men Project